Tuesday, 26 August 2014

''Someone told me It’s all happening at the zoo''- Paul Simon

It was a girls day for today's post.. Great Nanny and Great Aunt of minibrum took us out for the day on Sunday to Twycross Zoo! This was a nice surprise for us and madness on their part as they only took mini to Weston-Super-Mare on Friday! They are  Gluttons for exhustion fun!
   Well, the quote in the title  could not be more apt, it was all going on! On top of their regular activities, Twycross was also hosting a Sci-Fi event this weekend.    
 Dressing up got you 25% off entrance into the Zoo (we decided it against it as we had an 83 year old  out with us and she was not. keen. AT . ALL! Shame as she would have made a great Leia!! ) Inside there were members from the UKGarrison of 501st legion , dressed as Stormtroopers and Apes from Planet of the Apes. They held characters amazingly well and were pretty fabulous all day, really adding to our experience!

Also there was a life sized  TARDIS from Doctor Who  courtesy of PropsDropUk making my nerdy self  and minibrum very happy! It would have made Mr.H's day but he was at home with his knee injury after celebrating the Warwickshire Birmingham Bears win at cricket!

Added to the dressing up of the public was the excitement of a lot of patrons over the Twycross Zoo photography competition.There are now as time of writing only 5 days left to enter this competition and boy were a lot of people making use of their cameras and phones. Ah the irony as I now post a million pictures myself... Here... see....

Ok,.. On to the animals ! Twycross is a world primate centre and there are plenty of different species to keep everyone happy. The animals seem comfortable and well adjusted here and There was a lot of activity going on in enclosures that had minibrum in stitches. Particularly this moody cutie who led her a merry dance.

Great Aunt found her happy place with the penguins who watched aeroplanes overhead in unison to the delight of the crowd.

The Orangutans fascinated me (as always) to the point I lost my family as they just wandered off without me ..

 As evidenced above currently there are also a good amount of 'Zoo Babies', Twycross has done a great job of highlighting them on the map given out on entry to the enclosures. 
 The map also clearly labels twice the feeding and exhibition times of the animals; first on the pictures of the animals and then in a full time listing so you can plan your day accordingly. My favourite baby was the Elephant who was having a grand old time trying to (unsuccessfully) balance on a rickety log and generally being the funniest cutie around! 

Minibrum was roaring over the adult Meerkats protecting their baby with a good old stink eye!

  Since the last time we went last October the Zoo had three great new added areas. First was the Lorikeet Landing which was I loved! Set in a large indoor protected and netted area you can purchase a little pot of nectar for £1 and the birds will fly down and feed whilst sitting on you. Now, the greats refused to even come inside once they realised this. Minibrum was initially quite brave but once inside panicked and thrust her nectar in my hand (and up my arm) and her arms around my waist, which lead to me juggling her with a Lorikeet on my head and one on each hand. Photo's of this experience are sadly unavailable as Mr.H would have paid good money for this view ! The birds are extremely light and I found it a great experience to have them so lively and so close.  I recommend it highly despite the excitement! They really are very beautiful.

Second is a Butterfly Forest. We went through this as the last bit of our day and it was such a relaxing time I am glad we did it on the wind down. Again protected and netted it is warm inside and slightly humid to suit the butterflies. They are free floating again and gosh they love to settle on people. This had the effect in their of pushing a sweet connection with everyone inside chatting while they watched the creatures sitting on you.
  There is a huge variety of Butterflies inside and the staff are knowledgeable and enthusiastic about them all. Before I went in I was skeptical that this was the right move for a zoo with so many exotic and amazing animals but after watching mini with another child sharing a butterfly and a hug I am a definitely converted! It was Great Nan's pick of the day on the way home too.

 Finally is the opening of a soft play inside the Himalayas which the cafe and shop area. This is a great structure and minibrum had a great time while we had a cuppa but the cost didn't quite pan out for me. £4.50 for the full two hours she could have taken would have been good but as it was just a pause for us she didn't really make the most of it. Last time we went was a freezing October day for mini's birthday ( we missed the softplay opening by two weeks!) and I feel we all would have gotten a lot more out of it during the colder weather.
 If the soft play is not your thing, no worries as the zoo has plenty of space for running around! Also on offer was face painting and a bouncy castle so there is something for every child to plead for!

 If you have a child like minibrum, who thinks mentioning they need the toilet should only be done in the last nanosecond possible before disaster then Twycross is the place for you. If you played Zoo Tycoon as much as me in the 90's then you will be happy with the layouts here! Toilets, rest areas and drink/snack stops are everywhere around the zoo as are playareas for when you need a break! Our day out here was wonderful and was a fun packed end to 'big events' of our summer holidays. We barely heard an upset child all day and this is definitely worth entrance fee in my book. Details on the zoo can be found here. Seriously, who wouldn't enjoy looking at this :

 This week now is a wind down for us as we look forward to the start of mini's first SAT's year (eek!) and the rain is neverending so the next blog will probably cover something slightly more sedate... Now if you'll excuse me I am off to dig out Zoo Tycoon to see if I can make a gorilla happy ..

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