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A Day Out at Colchester Zoo

By October 19, 2017 , ,

Male and female lion sitting on a ledge, the female has her mouth open and tongue hanging out

Last week, we visited Colchester Zoo for the first time as a family. My partner and I usually visit every Summer, so it was a nice change this year to take our 5 month old baby girl with us and to visit in the Autumn.

Penguins standing around a pool with green shrubs and grey rockery

We're used to seeing the car park full of cars and people queuing outside of the doors when we visit, so it was a pleasant surprise to see only a few rows of cars and no one waiting at the entrance. We usually purchase tickets online the day before as they're discounted, but we decided not to this time as we thought it would be typical for us to do that only for baby to fall sick and us not being able to go, so we opted to purchase our tickets on the day - they cost £22.99 each and entry for under 3's is free.

We were amazed at how quiet the whole place was. We're used to visiting in the height of the Summer where people get in your way and you have to wait for them to finishing looking at some of the enclosures before you're able to, but it wasn't like that at all this time round.

Two lemurs sitting on a wooden ledge in front of leafy green plants

As a result of the zoo being so much quieter at this time of year, we felt much more relaxed and really took our time roaming around. It's the first time we've visited where we're stayed the entire day. We visited many of the enclosures more than once and attended a lot of the shows and encounters they had on, where the zoo keepers feed the animals and share information on the animals with the visitors. These are on throughout the day and we saw the tigers and chimpanzees being fed and watched the sea lions doing some tricks. I always find the tiger viewing area is busy and as their enclosure is very built up it's always been difficult to view them but both times we visited their home during this visit the tigers were out and about enjoying themselves and in full view. It wasn't just the tigers that were more active during this visit, the lions were up and wandering round all 4 times we visited or walked past their area whereas, I've only ever seen them sleeping previously, and it was the same with the cheetah, so there was definitely more benefits to visiting in Autumn rather than during the hot Summer weather.

A chimp in its enclosure with saw dust on the ground and red ropes hanging above it

Whenever we've visited in the past there's been some sort of building or development work going on. This can cause some minor disruption to your day, but it's always being done to benefit the animals and the zoo. Last year when we visited they were working on the chimpanzee enclosure. Part of that is now finished and it looks amazing and it reminded me of the enclosures at Monkey World in Dorset. They've also finished work on the area around the road train which has now got a lovely undercover area for prams, a wooden walk around area to queue up in and some new animals to view right next as you wait, so those big and small are kept amused!

This visit there was still work going on in the chimpanzee enclosure, there was a sign up stating that work was commencing on 'Lion Rock' and it looks like they could be getting a bigger enclosure. A small part of the zoo was also sealed off, but a diversion through the indoor cheetah viewing area was in place, which we didn't know was even there, so it was nice to view the cheetah from a different point too.

There were plenty of toilets and baby changing facilities dotted around the zoo which was nice to see. There were also signs up saying that the food outlets in the park would heat feeds up as and when requested, however we did not do this as our little one is happy with feeds at room temperature.

The zoo is quite hilly in places and it can be a bit of a strain on your legs pushing a buggy up and down them, especially as we done some areas of the zoo several times, but it's not impossible to do and the next day I felt like I'd done a work out! 

There were two highlights for us during our visit - the road train and the underwater sea lion viewing area. The road train takes you around a small part of the zoo and little one loved it. It stops off at the lemur enclosure and you're able to walk around the inside of it. However, we were warned that the lemurs could jump on us! Which is exactly what one of them did to one of the other visitors. The sea lion viewing area is stunning as you walk through a tunnel and you can see them swimming above you. Again, little one, absolutely loved this.

A close up of a giraffe during feeding time
Colchester Zoo has been voted the 2nd best zoo in the country and year on year I can see why. Every time I visit there's a new development or attraction in place and they're always working to improve something. We thoroughly enjoyed our visit, more than we ever have done before and it was lovely taking our daughter with us for the first time. She spent the entire day in awe, taking in everything and watching the animals. The giraffes appeared to be her favorite as they were up close during feeding time so she managed to get a good look at them. We had such a great time that we're now considering each purchasing a zoo pass that will allow us to visit as many times as we want over the course of a year for a one off charge.

Thank you Colchester Zoo for a great family day out!

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A Day Out At Colchester Zoo

Me, Being Mummy


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  1. I love zoos - this one sounds really great. I should make an effort to get there -
    it sounds like a great day out! #HoneybeeLinky

    1. It is! :) If you get chance you should definitely try to visit.

  2. ive not been to colchester zoo in years!! doesnt seem to have changed much at all x

    1. The basics are definitely the same, but I always notice a difference to something or other year on year! x

  3. How lovely! Especially that it wasn't too busy, I love it when that happens. Am glad you had a good time and that baby was happy to see the animals. Thank you for joining in with the #HoneybeeLinky, hope to see you for the next one! xxx

  4. What a lovely day. We went to Monkey World just at the beginning of September and it was quiet there too. I think term time is a good time to go somewhere like this if you can.

    1. I love Monkey World :) It's great when it's quiet, isn't it?

  5. Oh I'd love to visit, I quite like a zoo but would certainly want to go out of term time so we can walk around a bit easier. I like a giraffe too! I could sir and watch them for ages. Thanks for joining us at #familyfun

    1. The giraffes are great and you can get so close to them! :)

  6. I love the sound of viewing the sea lions from inside the tunnel. I can imagine how that made your little one smile. :) #FamilyFun

    1. It's great seeing them swim over your head :)