This weekend, the husband and I took the big one and the toddler to Chester Zoo, thanks to the super people at Superbreak. And you know what? Despite the dismal forecasts and the heavy, foreboding clouds up above, the sun managed to shine down on us all day- perfect!
Superbreak have been around for 25 years and specialise in providing hotel packages of all shapes and sizes. You can choose from city breaks, theatre breaks, London breaks, tickets for concerts and events and tickets for attractions. Their site is a bit like a one-stop shop- book the travel, hotel and attractions all in one place. Perfect if, like me, you can’t stand trawling the net looking for the latest offers. Superbreak has it all in one place!
When Superbreak asked me whether I would like to review a family day out, I jumped at the chance! So we packed the kids up and off we went, regaling the baby with tales of real life elephants and giraffes, whilst he enquired over and over and over and over about the possibilities of seeing wack-wacks (ducks)…
Having never been to Chester Zoo before, we were pleasantly surprised to find that even though the car park was relatively busy (we got there around midday), there were no queues to get in. Bonus. Especially when you have kids itching to get going! As soon as we entered the zoo, we were asked to stand against a green screen for a photo, and this is where my husband’s cautious side kicks in. He doesn’t see the point in having our photo taken when we’ve no intention of buying it later. I don’t see the point in not having it taken, in case he changes his mind…
Arriving at midday was ideal as we were able to find a picnic bench near the elephants (and a coffee shop) to charge our batteries and plan a route with the free map. The big one decided we would take the green route, I wanted the purple route and the baby wanted the route with the most ducks. We decided to just follow the animals we wanted to see. A lot easier, I think!
Let me tell you this. Chester Zoo is MASSIVE. It doesn’t seem possible that the longest route is only 1.9 miles. We must’ve walked at least 10! There are some alternative forms of transport available. You can catch the monorail or waterbus for an extra charge and there are also buggies and wheelchairs available for hire. We found that the prices of these services were a little high to be honest, but they were popular and promised fabulous views around the zoo.
The highlights of the day were:
The Dinosaurs at Large. What an awesome display! The spitting dinosaurs were a real attraction and the fossil digging feature at the end was also great for older kids. Again, an additional cost was required for this and a strategically placed shop ensured more pennies were spent…
The monkeys. Glossing over the fact that the toddler calls them’mummies’, we all really enjoyed the monkies. The big one has always like watching them and this was one area of the zoo we all wanted to go back to.
The playgrounds. A welcome break for mummy and daddy to sit (for a second or two) while the kids played. There are three playgrounds, one of which was suitable for the toddler, the other two cater for kids aged from 3.
We had a great day at Chester Zoo! The zoo itself takes animal preservation very seriously and there are plenty of opportunities to donate money and to learn a little more about the animals and their natural habitats. The only drawback to the day was the cost of everything once inside the complex. There is face painting, dry air tattoos, numerous shops and other attractions such as mini golf- all at an extra charge. For a family of four, a small fortune could be spent unless you learn to steel yourself against puppy dog eyes. That said, family days out like this one are special and the attractions at Chester Zoo are worth saving up the extra pennies for.