Recently, I took the caped crusaders to Blackpool Zoo for the day. My sister, Lisa came with us, too. It was the kids’ first ever Zoo visit, and the first time I had been to a zoo in about 20 years!
We definitely struck lucky with our day of choice – the weather was amazing! The Sun was shining and there wasn’t a cloud in the sky!
The Zoo was a lot bigger than I was expecting, and there are a lot of surprises in store! I won’t spoil it for you by giving everything away, but (in no particular order), here are our top 5 exhibits/ experiences from within Blackpool Zoo!
This is a large barn, containing goats, donkeys, guinea pigs, chickens, geese and REINDEER! (I love Reindeer, so was very happy to see them outside the Children’s Farm)! The babies were especially cute! Inside the Barn, there is also a large play area. It is great for letting little ones burn off some energy. You can also pet the animals in here.
I could have watched the penguins all day. There are several large windows to observe them through. Blackpool Zoo is the only place in the UK you can see Magellanic Penguins. They are amazing in the water, and can swim at speeds of up to 15MPH! Their enclosure was built in 2009 and looks perfect for them. The penguins seem very happy!
Sam adores Raa Raa the noisy Lion, and Huffty the Elephant is one of his favourite characters. He got really excited when I said “Look Sam, it’s Huffty.” I have to be honest, this was not one of the best looking enclosures. It definitely needs updating in my opinion. It looks very worn, when compared with the newer exhibits. The fact you can get this close to the elephants makes up for that, though. I was amazed that we could see them so close up. Elephants are amazing!
This photo is the Sealion enclosure – this photo has not been edited or enhanced in any way. I promise you this is Blackpool Zoo! You would be forgiven for thinking it was a tropical island, but it is in fact the Californian Sealions’ home! I was too busy enjoying the show to take any photos of the sealions in action, but they were brilliant! After the show, you can see them snoozing, and observe them from a few feet away. It was definitely one of Sydney’s favourite exhibits!
Amazonia is an indoor exhibit. It is like being in the rainforest. You walk along a path, in amongst the plants, trees and wildlife. It is genuinely amazing. The Spider Monkeys like to come and check you over for any snacks they can pinch, though. Sam had a hitch hiker on his pram – look!
The monkeys are free roaming in this area, so make sure you keep your valuables secure! They like to steal dummies as well as snacks, so we had to remove Sydney’s before we could walk round. Sam was laughing for a good 2 hours after his encounter with the “ooo ooo’s,” so I think it’s safe to say they were a hit with him!
There is lots more to see and do in the zoo. The restaurant sells a large range of fast food. We took a picnic with us, and enjoyed it on a picnic bench, with half a dozen giant seagulls for company!
There is a large outdoor play area near to the sealion house, as well as other (chargeable) activities, including a model railway and a bouncy castle.
One thing I love about Blackpool Zoo is the fact you buy your ticket online, and it is valid for 28 days – ideal if you’re going to Blackpool on holiday, and want to visit on a dry day. You can benefit from the 10% off online bookings discount, while (hopefully) getting to visit on a decent weather day.
The gift shop has fairly priced souvenirs, treats and toys. I got Sam a toy snake, and Syd a small sealion teddy for under £6.
If you time your visit well, you can watch the animals being fed, and attend talks on some of the animals.. We spent around 5 hours in the Zoo, but could easily have spent longer.
I loved the fact you can adopt animals too. For £75, you get 2x tickets to visit the zoo, a 12 month adoption of your chosen species, your name on the adopter’s board and lots more besides.
I cannot recommend Blackpool Zoo enough. It is a really calm, relaxing place. There is lots of space between the exhibits, and you can get up close to a lot of the animals, too. It was easy to navigate with a pushchair, and I am sure a wheelchair user could manage easily most of the time, though there are a few steep hills here and there. We will definitely be visiting again.
We were given free entry for the purpose of this review, but all words and opinions are my own.