Sunset Safari at London Zoo

Ever wanted to experience the magic of the zoo after hours?

London Zoo have a special after hours summer evening event running every friday until 17th July 2015, where visitors get to watch the sun go down amongst the company of many of the 750 animal species from around the world. Listen to many of the fascinating talks that are being held around the zoo, learn about the animals at special times of the evening from their keepers.

The zoo opens up at 6pm and closes at 10pm, with most of the exhibits closing between 8:30 and 9:30. Everyone needs their sleep, even the animals!

As the sun sets visitors are invited to relax at the Safari Base Camp in one of the many comfortable chairs and beds that are scattered around the Lawn, with an acoustic guitar performance providing an idyllic end to what promises to be an unforgettable evening. And if you are an adult, there are plenty of waterholes to grab a glass or bubbly or a pint of lager from (your even allowed to roam around with glass/plastic in hand)

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The middle boy and I visited the zoo on Friday 3rd July, it was a birthday present to my son as he absolutely loves animals. He was really excited to meeting all of the animals but I was a little worried that it was going to be a late night for him. I didn’t plan on staying until closing time as we had to travel back home using public transport and didn’t want to be out too late with him. I planned on leaving at about 9.

We arrived at the zoo for about 6:30 and the first place that we went to was to go and see the Lemur. The animals are in an enclosure that you can walk through so if you are lucky enough the Lemurs can come up close to you.

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As Joseph was posing in front of some of the Lemurs, one of them came right up behind him. He was a little scared at first but the Keeper told him to stand still and just let the Lemur come close. He was very happy to see them up so close and couldn’t believe he got the chance to be within breathing distance to them.

We went off through the Nightlife and Rainforest area on our way to see the Otters. We saw Fruit Bats, Mice, Rats and Meerkats.

We were very lucky to see the Otters being fed at the Otter Holt. They were very noisy and it seemed that one of them took a fancy to Joseph as she just kept screaming at him, and he was mimicking the noises back at her.

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We couldn’t wait around as we had lots of areas to cover in such a short space of time.

We made our way along the canal to ‘Into Africa’ my favourite place! Giraffes I adore them!

The Giraffes are so graceful and beautiful, with their long slender legs and smooth fur. As we stood on the bridge looking over at them, one decided to gallop over and take some feed from the basket that was just hung up on the bridge in front of us.

Hello there!
Hello there!

So beautiful!

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Just next to the Giraffes are the Zebras and Pygmy Hippos

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There are plenty of statues scattered around the zoo to pose with and play areas to explore

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Lots of photo opportunities around the zoo too

With so much to see and do, we hurried round the Aquarium and the Reptile HousePicMonkey Collage reptiles

And went off to Tiger Territory to search out some Tigers, we saw them laying down up high on a balcony in their enclosure, probably time for bed!

The next place we went was to meet the Monkeys. As we walked through the enclosure, I heard a rustle within the trees. Joseph and I searched through the leaves with our eyes and was greeted by this little dude

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He was nibbling away on some of his food but was happy enough to run down a branch to say hello to us and then run back into his hideaway amongst the branches.

We was almost to the end of our night at the zoo, but not without a visit to Joseph’s favourite mammal, the Penguin! Joseph adores these species, so we saved the best til last. It was crowded at the Penguin Beach when we got there as it was Penguin Chill Out time. There was a little show going on so we found a little spot towards the back of the pool and waited by the glass to see if a Penguin would swim by

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Just to see the smile on his little cute face was enough to last me a lifetime.

It was time to go home, the sun was setting and the sky becoming dark. We had a brilliant time and Joseph has asked to go back again next year. He told me on the way home that it was the best present ever!

There are two more dates available for London Zoo Sunset Safari 10th and 17th July. Ticket prices are Adult: £20.80 Child: £14.56

 

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Set4Sport with Judy Murray

Last week We were invited along to a superb children’s sporting event run by Judy Murray which was to be held at London Zoo. The boys were really excited that they had been asked to go along and couldn’t wait unfortunately in the end we couldn’t attend so we organised it for a friend of ours to go along in our spot. She jumped at the chance as her daughter who is only 6 and very sporty and also pretty good at tennis and wanted to meet Judy.

Set4Sport was created in a garden, Judy Murray’s garden to be exact. Judy comes from a sporty family so it was the inevitable for her to play games with her boys Jamie and Andy which she did as soon as they could walk. Not only was playing games with her boys fun but it also helped them to develop skills that would allow them to play any sport competently later in life and that they did as they both went on to become brilliant tennis players, Jamie also has a handicap of 3 at golf and Andy once trialled with Glasgow Rangers.

The Set4Sport programme provides accessible ways for parents to play with their children, all of the activities can be tailored and easily created at home with inexpensive items lying around the home. It’s all about having fun in the family environment covering the ABCs agility, balance and co-ordination –  Developing these skills at an early age can also improve confidence, self-esteem and the ability to set goals and challenge themselves.

The day started at with 10.30 Judy Murray giving a little talk to the bloggers about the day, what it was going to be all about and a little back ground to Set4Sport. 

There were 4 stations around the room all showcasing a game – Judy and her 4 coaches showed how each of the games worked and then played them with the children and the familes. Mums and Dads involvement was very important as the event was all about getting the family together and then for us to start to create our owns games. Rokoslana enjoyed playing all the games which were all new and exciting to her, obviously her favourite was the DIY Tennis game but she has been carrying on playing the games at home with her parents. Rokoslana couldn’t wait to sho her daddy what games she had learnt, she had lots of fun and even got to have a little wander around the Zoo after for a spot of animal watching

The Games that we played were-

Jump the river:

Use 2 pieces of rope to create the river. Start with them quite close together and gradually move them apart after each jump. Dream up a theme to make it more exciting. ‘Shark-infested waters usually worked for Jamie and Andy!’ – says Judy 

We play this in school in our nursery and the children love it! There are many giggles and lots of laughter but most of all energetic and healthy and doesn’t cost the earth to do. This activity also helps with their imagination as well.                                  

Double trouble:

Start off facing each other about 1 step apart and with one play ball each. Say 1,2,3 GO and both throw or kick at same time to each other. As soon as you have both caught (or trapped) the ball, say 1,2,3 GO and send the ball again. As soon as this becomes easy, start taking a small step backwards to increase the distance.

Tidy your room:

The purpose of the game was to make tidying up more fun while at the same time exercising and developing their co-ordination. We like to sing songs as we do this too 🙂

Race and chase:

Roll or kick the ball in a straight line towards a target. Child is alongside you as you roll/kick and starts to race the ball to the target. The aim is to get there ahead of the ball, turn round, stop the ball (with hand, foot or bat depending on the skill of the child) and send it back in a straight line to parent. The boys always loved to knock things down or score goals – such a boy thing…so this game became more appealing if the target was a “goal” (think football) or a stacks of cereal boxes.

DIY tennis – Judy and the coaches played tennis with the children and created their own tennis court (bamboo sticks to corner it off and chairs to act like the net)

A game that we have made up at home and one that is popular at children’s parties and holiday camps is Limbo, two adults and a broom is all that is needed! You could also change it the other way and use it as a high jump!

We’d love to hear about any games you make-up at home on the Set4Sport Facebook page, you can share images and videos on the‘Wall of Play’ – Why dont you have a go! Judy really likes to see how you adapt the games and create new ones yourself!

Read more about Set4Sport here on Their website www.set4sport.com

 

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