We’ve been to Chester Zoo before with the children when Boo was tiny and whilst I was on maternity leave and so our last visit there was a little different to this year. This year Boo insisted on walking all the way round (those of you that have been will understand how large the zoo is and so for a 2 year old to walk around it must have been exhausting)!
Seeing animals is one of the thing we all agree as a family we enjoy seeing and we all have our favourites. Boo liked the flamingos, Monkey liked the bats, husband likes monkey’s and I love elephants.
We arrived within 30 minutes of the park opening expecting it to be very busy but it was ok we didn’t need to queue for long and in fact throughout the day it remained reasonably quiet and we were able to get around without having to wait to see animals or get on the monorail that goes around the zoo.
When we first arrived the elephants who are the first animals you see when you arrive were not there their area (which is huge) as it was being cleaned out they were using a mini digger to get all the dung it was an interesting watch and so we came back to look at the elephants later.
The list of animals we saw was long although we didn’t get to see many of the big cats (they were hiding from us) or the giraffes – we ran out of time sadly.
As we were going past a stall doing face painting Boo asked for her face to be painted. As parents we’ve not really experienced this before in the past we have suggested Monkey have his face painted he has always flatly refused and I was surprised when in his final year of infant school he allowed them to paint his face as a bumble bee for their final year play of the Jungle Book. Anyway… we stood in line and watched other children getting their faces done and explained the process to Boo who seemed relaxed and eager to sit down and have her face painted. When it was her turn she sat down and asked to be a tiger wiyh no hesitation. She listened to the lady explaining the process and tilted her head when asked. She enjoyed having this done but did look a little unsure when she saw her face for the first time however she loved it and roared at people and animals for most of the day.
The monorail is raised above the zoo and is a good way to get from one part to the next and to see animals from a different view. You do have to pay for this and I would highly recommend getting a day ticket for this as you can use it endlessly useful if you want to go more than 1 stop as you would have to get off and pay again to the next stop (you can only travel 1 stop at a time).
We all enjoyed the monkeys fooling around, the elephants with their baby. Boo and I didn’t like the bat cave (I’m not sure my husband was keen either) Monkey however loved it which was interesting as he dislikes anything that flys and a few years ago I took him into a butterfly enclosure and he was terrified and kept swatting them all away!
The animals all appear well cared for, there is a lot to see and do. Plenty of seats in the food area and we even went on a boat ride which was quite new.
For a day out during the long summer holidays I would highly recommend it but it will take a full day to go around so wear your most comfortable shoes and pack a camera for all those animal photos.