Visiting Colchester Zoo {Katy from Love Lemon}

The final of my holiday guest posts comes from Katy who writes Love Lemon. Katy is a local friend and despite only meeting once we have been emailing for well over a year.
Katy's blog is a mix of homemade crafts, vintage and lifestyle. I absolutely love it. 
One local attraction I've always wanted to visit is Colchester Zoo, my husband won't go though as he says the drive is too far. Katy visited last year and told me all about it.

Last year we decided to visit Colchester Zoo for my little boy’s 2nd birthday, as we hadn’t been before and had heard it was a great day out. After spreading the word to family and friends we ended up with 17 adults and 18 children joining us.

The upside of taking a small army into the Zoo was that we received a discount of around 20% for booking such a large group in advance. Once in the zoo we separated into smaller groups, partially for fear of being herded into an enclosure of our own!

Parking was easy – we arrived at around 10:30am and found a spot close enough to the entrance that we could leave cool boxes with our picnic lunch in the car to pick up later.

We arrived just in time to see some penguins being fed. Being currently our son’s favourite animal, we were lucky to get so close and he loved every minute of seeing the fabled “Peng-Peng” in the flesh.

The zoo is well served with outdoor picnic areas, which is great for families looking to keep costs down and bring their own food. We agreed on one to meet at for lunch and, even with so many of us, we found seating together to enjoy our picnic and birthday cake.

Colchester Zoo has a wide variety of animals, both domestic and exotic, and is spaciously laid out on a large plot, so walking around there was always something to see and it felt safe for little ones and easy for pushing buggies around.

The highlights for us were seeing the playful monkeys, which the smaller children thought were hilarious, and feeding the giraffes and elephants which, worryingly, my near-30-year-old brother particularly liked, going back six times! The older (but not quite as old as my brother) children really enjoyed the adventure playground, which as an added bonus also served to sap the last bit of energy left in them for a quiet ride home!

Of course, the gift shop is obligatory as far as the children are concerned but it was good to see lots of gifts to choose from with a wide range of prices. We were able to get the children mementos of the day without breaking the bank.

We were lucky with the weather but there are lots of covered areas in the zoo, which are useful for escaping to when the dark clouds appear.

We hadn’t expected to spend an entire day at the zoo but we left at around 5:30pm and I think we could even have arrived earlier and left later, there was so much to do and lots of cafes to stop for drinks and ice cream along the way. I can’t wait to go back… and neither can my brother… 

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