Ever since I have been a small child I have adored Colchester Zoo, living not far from it, as a child, we used to drive past the entrance quite often and you could always spot the elephants peaking out!!
As an adult, I still have a fondness for the place, and when we were given the opportunity to visit with the children I was almost as excited as they were.
I can honestly say,it is one of the few places that can actually cater for all six children aged one to teen, which is a pretty big deal to us!
We are not a family for busy crowds, so tend to avoid outdoor attractions during the busier summer months, we like nothing better than wrapping up warm in the winter and visiting places, so the end of the Christmas holidays was a perfect time for us to visit.
The Zoo is open from 9.30am every day except Christmas Day and closes at dusk, giving you plenty of time to explore. The prices until 15th February are £12.99 per adult and £8.50 per child, which I think is great value for an entire day, if you book your tickets prior to going they are even cheaper.
Six children, six different ages, here is what they had to say about Colchester Zoo...
Tyrus (age 1 interpreted by mummy) "The zoo was so cool, it had loads of great animals for me to stare at and try to touch"
|I just want to stroke the lizard!|
|I could just sneak out of the pram and have a ride on the elephant, no-one would notice!|
|This being pushed around, looking at animals is so cool!|
Throughout the entire day, Tyrus had one little sleep, he was so amazed by everything, he spent the entire time giggling and pointing, a great day out for young children as there is so much to look at and keep them entertained.
Eowyn (age 4) "The Zoo was gorgeous, there were lots of animals to see and lots of things to play on, I found some rocks to dance on, but you don't want to kneel in the mud to stroke the goats, or you get really muddy knees!"
|Ooh Pink, my favourite colour, I wonder if one would like to live in my garden!|
|haha his long tongue is tickling my hand!|
|His trunk is like a hoover!|
|Oh a Rock, I just love to Dance on Rocks!|
|This is a funny ladder, it keeps moving!|
Eowyn had an amazing day, she loved seeing all of the animals and interacting with the giraffes and elephants, she was one of the youngest to feed them and she was very proud of herself. She loves to climb and dance and there were plenty of opportunities for her to do this, although she is only four, having four older siblings means that she is quite outgoing for her age and extremely competitive, every task or challenge they were trying, she insisted on joining in too.
|I can run as fast as all of you!|
Kaide (age 7) "This Zoo is awesome! The animals are well good and the animal olympic boards are brilliant"
|I can jump as far as a Kangaroo!|
|Come on keep hanging only 990 to beat the high score!|
Neva (age 9) " I LOVED Colchester Zoo, my favourite animals are the Penguins, they are so funny, one of them always stood at the window as you came in to see them. I had great fun taking photos of the animals, and compiling a chart about all of the animals I saw."
|Just turn this way a bit Macaws so i can get your best side|
|What score shall I give them ?|
|Don't look now but a Sealion is heading straight for us!!|
Neva had a fantastic day, she is completely animal mad and would have been happy just to spend the day looking at the animals, taking photos and writing about them in her notebook. She has wanted to work with animals since she started school and has watched numerous episodes of Zoo Days that was filmed there.
Lochlan (age 12) " It was a fab day out, I loved the baby goats that tried to eat my coat and challenging my brothers and sisters to the activities around the Zoo. "
|Who Is The Strongest of Us All!|
|The largest Egg EVER!|
|Get Off My Back You Three!|
|Please move over and STOP EATING THE PRAM!|
Lochlan had a great day out too, he is usually the hardest of the six to keep occupied all day, if it was just a place with animals he would have soon got disinterested, but the fact that there were various tasks and play areas to amuse them, and that they could feed the elephants and giraffes and stroke the baby goats, made the experience much more enriching, which kept his enthusiasm all day.
Xene (age 14) " I enjoyed the Zoo, because it was great to see how my little baby brother reacted with all of the different animals, and I got to race against lochlan and beat him!"
|I beat you AGAIN Lochi!|
|Just hanging around waiting for you to catch up!|
We took a picnic with us, but there are various different food outlets dotted throughout the zoo, ranging from a BBQ terrace, Pizza Lodge and Coffee Shops through to Ice Cream Parlours and Hot Dog Stands, all of them looked very clean and tidy and had a large selection of meals available at reasonable prices.
Our Day Trip out was a complete success, I would recommend it to anyone with children of any age, we have two cameras full of Animal photos, but in this review I wanted to show you what else was on offer as well as over 280 species of stunning animals. They offer over 50 animals feeds, talks and encounters per day, even if you are the only person to turn up it will still take place. There are various areas that you can walk through and be VERY close to the animals, much to the baby's glee!
The Giraffe and Elephant encounters were breathtaking and it was very well organised, everyone who wanted to feed them got a turn and it didn't feel rushed.
It really is a full day out, so I recommend that you arrive as early as you can and stay for the entire day, the children thought it was really cool when it went dark and the lights all came on, so they could continue playing on the adventure playground!
We shall definitely be returning to Colchester Zoo in the not too distant future.