Tuesday, 19 August 2014

Life | Zoo Lates | London Zoo

Not too long ago I went to the Zoo. London Zoo. I haven't been here in such a crazy ridiculous time so even the journey to the zoo catching the 274 from Baker Street/Marylebone part of town sent a wave of nostalgia over me. I can count on one hand the number of times I've been here but it's the zoo! There's something about seeing live animals albeit in captivity (insert sad face here) that just captures people both young and old. I never really considered going back as I prefer humans to animals in general, but I have never been to Zoo Lates so when a colleague mention you can get in for a discounted price of £17.50 (normally around the £24 mark) with a Time Out Offer, I guess 2014 was the year to lose my Zoo Lates at London Zoo V-card...

For the month of June of July, in recent years, London Zoo has implemented Zoo Lates catching on board with other London attractions to open after hours on Friday evenings in the summer making the most of Daylight Saving Time and the long summery evenings. The zoo normally shuts to the general public around 5pm, but on Zoo Lates events, it reopens between 6pm and 10pm allowing visitors to visit the entire zoo  - though be warned: most of the animals go to bed around 9pm so get in before hand if you wanna check the animals out. Not only can you wander around the zoo to your heart's delight and content, there's street food serving up world cuisines from Thai to burgers and everything in between, alcohol is available with Rekordelig cider being offered, there's a silent disco and just a whole bunch of other events going on including face painting! 

You can enter the zoo via boat down Regent's Canal which is a lovely experience. I did this once when I was about 10 years old as part of winning a competition at church for the best altar server's group (#RomanCatholicChildhood) and our prize was a trip to the zoo with a canal boat trip - was pretty darn cool, but then again, our priest was pretty darn cool himself - shout out to Canon Colin haha! Definitely do this if you have little ones - they will love experiencing the boat going up and down via the canal locks! 

When the boo and I visited, it just happened to be one of the hottest days in London with temperatures carrying out to the evening which normally is beautiful. However when you pop over to the zoo, it just means that all the animals are sunbathing or dozing off in the summer sun. The tigers were not active, as weren't the lions - two animals I really wanted to check out! The boo was less than impressed with me as he's seen it all in real life and that having spent most part of his life in Africa - what can I say? I'm a Londoner! 

Personally, one of the saddest displays I found at the zoo is the Gorilla Kingdom. I remember when this first opened up a while back and being super excited about having never seen a gorilla in real life before. However, the feeling back then and now when I walked in was the same - the gorillas looked like they were so unhappy in their enclosure and I really don't blame them. I mean, if you were in a glass enclosure not in the wild roaming free with people after people wanting a take a picture or five of you, you'd probably not be in the best of moods either. Bless the gorillas - I hope they are genuinely happy and they just happen to have a moody face as default. 

At least the cheetahs were awake! Can you spot the second one lying in the grass?
And of course the penguins were quite happily awake and swimming about aside from this little poser!

After deciding that the girafees, zebras and other African wildlife were too far to get too, and completely forgetting about visiting the meerkats (simples!), we settled on some selfies and food. Pretty safe to say that I had a ton more fun than boo!
Day was so beautiful and hot we had to pick up an ice cream which to me translated as "Let's do an OOTD picture!" Top: New Look, Shorts: Primark probably, Sandals: Primark, Bag: Longchamp Pliage Red, Sunglasses: Accessorize, Watch: Hello Kitty (I kid you not). 

Word of warning though - Zoo Lates is cash only! Make sure you draw some out before you come. You can pay by card at the Zoo Shop to pick up London Zoo paraphernalia but for the street food and drinks, cash is the way to go! If you do forget, there is an ATM located in the Zoo Shop but this does charge for ATM withdrawals and expect to queue up for at least 20 minutes. Of course I sent the boo to wait in line while I explored the shop.

Does anyone remember these?? I remember going on school trips and being able to go to the souvenir shop to pick up a new pen, sharpener, eraser and whatnot branded with that attraction! My favourite souvenir to pick up was always a pen, my older sister's was a bookmark and my brother a key ring. #nostalgia #memories

Boo was taking ages to queue up for the ATM so here's a whole bunch of selfies from me to you!

Have you been to Zoo Lates?
What's your favourite animal/exhibition?
Anything you recommend?

Let me know in the comments below!

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