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Has anyone been to London Zoo this week? and am I mad to even consider it?

(18 Posts)
bodiddly Wed 28-Oct-09 19:58:25

Thinking of taking ds out for the day tomorrow and could either head in to town for London Zoo or out to Whipsnade ... anyone been to either this week? Is it going to be horrific? Dp will be working so just the two of us!

domesticslattern Wed 28-Oct-09 20:07:53

London Zoo on Saturday oddly empty (probably because it was raining). I definitely don't think it would be horrific tomorrow- it's a big place, better than an indoor museum.They have special Hallowe'en activities (eg. make a bat) and the twin baby lions cubs were out (so cute!).

ps. I recommend taking your own food though as I don't think much of the overpriced catering.

sleepwhenidie Wed 28-Oct-09 20:12:22

I have been to London Zoo in half term before and while it is very busy and the queue to get in can be ridiculous, once you are in it isn't too bad, especially if you take a picnic or buy from sandwich shop and eat outside rather than braving the main cafe (which can seem more like the zoo than outside when packed).

Also, it is probably best to go without aiming to see absolutely everything and stressing yourself out in the process - there are lots of places where kids will linger while you can chill out a bit (new children's bit with meerkat tunnels and play areas, playground and bouncy castle - who needs animals?!, nighttime zone, esp if raining) - make sure you visit the lion cubs and the otters though, both v cute!

domesticslattern Wed 28-Oct-09 20:14:47

Yes sleep you're right about the queues to get in., I forgot about those. Try to get there when it opens and not at 11 when everyone else gets there. The difference is huge.

bodiddly Wed 28-Oct-09 20:23:41

is it walkable from the nearest tube? ds is 4 and pretty good but I am just imagining the train, tube and zoo may be quite a lot!

feetheart Wed 28-Oct-09 20:39:59

Went to Whipsnade yesterday and it was great - surprisingly quiet (and it was a glorious day), oodles of space as usual and DC so tired afterwards that they nearly fell asleep in their dinner!

We always take a picnic and scooters so little legs don't get too tired and the owners of said legs don't get too moany smile

They have pumpkin carving and story-telling stuff going on but ours just wanted to hare around in the fresh air.

Just be aware that it closes at 4pm now.

bodiddly Wed 28-Oct-09 20:52:56

am torn but think London zoo is about the right size for him. My other half would be jealous if we went to whipsnade or woburn! I will probably drive to Barnet and get the tube down to Camden Town.

zebramummy Wed 28-Oct-09 21:04:38

the walk along parkway from camden town station is quite long i would say although you can cross the park for the last 1/3 which makes it a bit more feasible with a good walker.

ABatDead Wed 28-Oct-09 21:06:58

Been to London Zoo at half term. It was not enjoyable and hugely expensive.

NEVER AGAIN!

girlsyearapart Wed 28-Oct-09 21:08:08

We were meant to be going to Battersea park zoo today but I was ill so didn't go. Anyway that could be good compromise on price if you fancied it. Never been before but they have monkies,ponies,otters,meerkats and more.
Anyway it's miles cheaper than London Zoo but not the same animals obviously! We'll hopefully go next week as I had a disappointed dd1 on my hands today..

bodiddly Wed 28-Oct-09 21:42:03

argh now I am all confused!

teameric Wed 28-Oct-09 21:46:56

I personally think London zoo is overpriced, we always go to Colchester zoo www.colchester-zoo.co.uk/ don't know if it's a bit out of the way for you but we always have a lovely day there.

sleepwhenidie Thu 29-Oct-09 19:48:46

Walk from Camden overland station is long (would probably take 1/2 hr+) but not so bad from Camden tube, maybe 15 minutes or so, I always do it with a scooter too though (DS on it, not me grin) - you may get told not to use scooter in the zoo though.

It is about £15 to get in to London Zoo (including £2 voluntary contribution) and I think that is the same for adults/DC's over 3. This obviously adds up when you have whole family and seems a lot, but I think you can get 2 for 1 offers, esp with train tickets if you dig around a bit - I seem to remember hearing that the cheapest ticket you can buy to get this is to Windsor from central London but try a bit of research, unless you could get it with your train tickets anyway of course!

sleepwhenidie Thu 29-Oct-09 19:49:36

duh, just noticed you were going to go today! What did you do in the end?

messalina Thu 29-Oct-09 20:24:50

I went on Monday. We got there at noon and it took 30 minutes to get in. Queue seemed horrendous but it actually moved very fast. We took a packed lunch, which was wise, because queues for food were long, but no issues with crowds when actually going round. Saw everything we wanted perfectly. Had a lovely day. And went to Regent's Park tube stn and had lovely walk through Park there and back to Zoo rather than taking bus. About 15 mins each way. But it cost 37 quid for two adults (plus toddler, free).

bodiddly Thu 29-Oct-09 20:57:21

Thanks everyone for the advice. We went today and it was a great day out. We got the tube down to Camden Town and walked it. It took about 20/25 mins with a 4 year old in tow which was ok on the way there but there was no way on earth he would've managed the return walk. He did really well running around the zoo all day so we cheated and got a cab back to the tube. It was great weather and no queues .... definitely worth it, especially with the clubcard vouchers a friend gave us!

domesticslattern Thu 29-Oct-09 23:23:36

Glad you had a good time bodiddly.

zebramummy Sat 31-Oct-09 12:52:28

glad you enjoyed it

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