For the last couple of years, rather than have the whole big crazy party thing we have taken the kids out somewhere special for their birthday. This year Ben decided he wanted to go back to Chessington Zoo – the same place we went this time last year. It is the same place as the theme park but only the zoo part is open at this time of year .. perfect for us because it doesn’t get too busy and it is a lot cheaper for a zoo day than when the full park is open!
This year was made even more special because lots of family members and some friends came with us too, so Ben had lots of people to spoil him throughout the day 🙂
Because we’ve been to the zoo before the kids knew exactly what they wanted to see first .. the SeaLife Centre of course!
You could tell we’d not been to an aquarium/sealife centre for a while as the kids couldn’t get enough of the animals! They really do love fish, sharks, rays .. really everything to do with sea life. By the time we’d walked round and found our way to the shop it was lunch time.
After lunch we started on the larger animals. Following the “Trail of the Kings” we saw the Fossa, Lynx, Binturong, Tiger and Gorilla. This is one of my favourite parts of the zoo because I love the big cats and gorillas. The kids did like looking at them but because they don’t tend to do much when they aren’t eating, they don’t want to stand and look at them for as long as I could!
We also compared ourselves to a gorilla …. Gorilla’s have much longer arms than us it seems!
Next we decided to go to see the animals in Amazu. We almost missed this part last year because we left it so late to go, so I was keen to make sure we fitted it in this year! We all love the monkey walk-through so that was the obvious place to start. We had quite a wait to get in, and then when it was our turn there weren’t many monkeys out as they didn’t like the wind! But we got to see some Golden-Headed Lion Tamarins and a couple of Geoffrey Marmosets.
We also saw the Capybara, the Spider Monkeys, the Giant Wood Rail and (Jasmine’s favourite) the Ecuadorian Red Lored Amazon.
And then it was over to Sealion Bay with minutes to spare for the start of the Sealion show.. possible our most favourite part of the whole zoo! The Sealions really do put on a great display and had everyone laughing and clapping at their antics and tricks.
Opposite Sealion Bay are the Creepy Caves.. Well, anything creepy has my kids jumping for joy so that was where we headed next. They weren’t disappointed as we saw lizards, snakes, spiders, frogs and beetles. Ben loves the lizards, Thomas was happy to see a tarantula and Jasmine was excited by, um, all of it actually!
The final animal of the day for us was the penguins. The penguins are new at the zoo and weren’t there this time last year so we were all excited to see them. We’d walked past them a couple of times already had watched them briefly but were keen to see the feeding and the “show”. It was well done and was fun to see the animals both in and out of the water, catching the fish that the keepers were giving them. Penguins are always fun to watch!
Finally, just before it was time to leave we managed to squeeze in a trip through Hocus Pocus Hall. We couldn’t persuade any of the kids to go in last year (it is a haunted house attraction) but their friends wanted to go in this year so the boys decided they’d try it out. Jasmine was adamant she wouldn’t like it (and to be honest she probably wouldn’t have done), but the boys did well and faced their fears! It was actually me who freaked out the most as they had the “revolving wall” thing and I HATE that! I closed my eyes and held on to Gordon until we were through! The boys quite enjoyed most of it, although I think some of the optical illusion stuff confused Ben. Thomas only decided he wanted out when something jumped out at him! But then I found a farting chair, which they both loved 😉 And the very end was a mirror maze, which Thomas does enjoy so they both came out quite happy 🙂
We really enjoyed our day at the zoo and I have a feeling it will be requested again for Ben’s birthday next year!