With the summer holidays fast approaching, zoos across the UK are getting ready to welcome thousands of guests as they make their way to the zoo for a family day out. But planning a trip to the zoo with children can be difficult; organising the transport, arranging the picnic, even deciding which of the animal enclosures to visit can be a challenge. To help make your next zoo visit run smoothly, we’ve put together a list of things to consider before leaving so that you and the kids can enjoy a hassle-free family day out this summer.
Family days out can often be put on hold when the weather turns grey but luckily you can visit your local zoo no matter what the weather, it’s just a case of what to take with you. For the colder days, we suggest layering up; many zoos have tropical realms to discover and wearing a heavy jumper can be rather unconformable in those tropical climates. For those hot summer days, we suggest a good hat and lots of sun tan lotion; walking around in the sun all day can take its toll so make sure to drink plenty of water too!
How do you plan on getting to the zoo? Many families will chose to drive; this is a great option as it allows you complete flexibility on arrival and departure times. Before leaving make sure you check for any parking charges and pack plenty of change for the meter if needed. For those of us not driving, public transport makes an excellent alternative. Many zoos will offer a bus service straight to the entrance with a number of these also stopping by the local train station. Just make sure to check the train schedules and bus timetables before you go.
Food and drink
When it comes to food and drink at the zoo you have two options, bring your own or shop at the zoo. For those who choose to bring a picnic packed full of all your children’s favourite treats, make sure to consider the weather and check that the zoo has a covered eating area for greyer days. If you plan on purchasing lunch at the zoo, we’d suggest checking the zoo’s website beforehand to make sure they cater for any special dietary requirements you may have. Many zoos will offer children’s menus and facilities to heat up bottles but again, check this service is available before leaving.
When packing your bag for the zoo think to yourself, do I really need this? Carrying around a heavy bag all day won’t do your back any good so make sure you only pack the essentials. If you do need to bring heavier items or if you’re planning a family picnic, we would advise renting a locker. Many zoos offer this locker service; all that’s required is a small charge and deposit. Once you have purchased your locker, you can leave the heavier items securely inside whilst you explore the zoo, nipping back to collect the items when needed.
Walking around the zoo all day can be exhausting for adults and even worse for children, so we would advise taking a good look at a zoo map before leaving. Planning the route you take through the zoo will not only allow you to see the most animals but also to travel a lot less by ensuring that you don’t double back on yourself because you missed the giraffes. Many zoos will also have great transport facilities like a monorail or boat; these are great ways to get a new and exciting view of the zoo without consuming too much energy.
And there you have it, our top tips for planning a visit to the zoo with children. If you have any tips that you think would be of use to our customers then let us know! You can connect with us on both Facebook and Twitter.