Thursday 12 June 2014

Bristol Zoo Review

It involved waking up at a ridiculous time of the morning and get ready quicker than we ever have, but on Sunday morning Aaron and I took made the long journey to the zoo. We LOVE zoos! 

He was happy before we even got inside because he loves playing with those barrier thingy-me-jigs:
The minute we got inside we sat down on the "lawn" for the 10 a.m. puppet show being laid on by Mama Bear's. This was a selfie I took on my phone:
Aaron was captivated all the way through and answered all of the "puppet's" questions.

Aaron thoroughly enjoyed the puppet show and only showed a desperate need/excitement to see the animals once it was over. It lasted about 45 mins and he did not budge till it was finished.

Shortly after we got on the move, we bumped into Bristol Zoo's new mascot Kuki (he's the conservation superhero):

The Mascot of Bristol Zoo.
There are LOTS of 1 pound ride on toys so make sure you have some pound coins with you...

The zoo is FULL of photo opportunities like this one below so make sure your camera is charged and you have space on your memory card. My camera memory card has been full for weeks, so I have been using my phone...... I know, blogger fail! I took so many at the zoo, on my phone, that now that memory card is full too. Double fail. If I put them all from both onto the computer that will be full too. What's a girl to do? :-(

My favourite thing about the day, was stumbling across ZOONIVERSAL STUDIOS as it meant we got to make this (video below), and have this beautiful souvenir of our visit. 
You get the time with the green screen and the film to take away for only 5 pounds. The text (SMS) with the link to the video (which can be forwarded to friends and family and shared on Facebook) pops up on your phone within minutes of leaving the "studio" i.e. while you are still at the zoo - how cool is THAT:

What truly had me amazed though was the go ape type of thing that runs all round the zoo above your heads. Aaron and I were fascinated at the bravery of the people climbing on it and a lot of them children - you only have to be 5 and over. We need to go again to get Daddy to do it, as I am too scared and Aaron is too young!

Could you do this? It's called ZooRopia

After Zooniversal studios we headed over to the carousel which Aaron was dying to go on. He had a turn driving the bus and another turn riding on top, as it was an open topped bus like one of those tour buses you see tourists on:
More expense after that, as adjacent to it is a bouncy castle slide, which of course he also went on twice (poor Mummy's purse):

I'd say Aaron's favourite part of the day was splash, where he got incredibly wet, which was ironic, considering the massive thunder shower, that little did we all know, was on its way. I will never ever trust the forecast of again, ever! It promised me it would be 22 degrees all day, not even cloudy let alone raining, let alone thunder! Suffice to say neither of us had jackets or umbrellas, so I had to buy him one.

This was him getting wet in the sun, before we got wet in the rain LOL!

Yes, he is sitting on a wet step and yes, he did get soaked, and finally yes, I luckily DID have a change of clothes with me, which was lucky considering he never has "accidents" of the toilet variety. Must have been psychic to pack that!

This is how his clothes ended up, while he wore the changed ones, 

and this is the jacket I had to buy in the Bristol Zoo souvenir shop, to brave the storms home. Don't ask me about how the rain stopped 90 seconds after I bought it!

Actually truth be told, him getting wet in Splash was his second time getting wet. We realised we kept doing a circuit of the zoo, passing the same things, for several hours, so we spread our wings to go off on a different path to find new things and prior to stumbling across Splash we found the adventure playground! (below)

Aaron got straight to playing with other children (with more children climbing on ZooRopia literally right above our heads), when all of a sudden the rain started. I've included some of the WET shots above!

All the kids ran for cover leaving just Aaron and another boy continuing to play in the rain. I felt so sorry for the people on Zooropia above as they had to continue to climb through it, and in summery clothes too. Nobody had foreseen the showers and as quick as it came, it went again.

So much so, that he played for a very long time over at Splash; him and a lot of other kids, and they never got cold. We weren't looking up though, so we weren't to know another storm was on the way. Splash is perfect as they are SO occupied with playing with the water, you really do get chance to relax. Make sure you have an empty bottle (I had my Lipton Ice Tea) as they spend a long time filling and emptying bottles, on the water fountain thing and onto the "stream":

This really reminded me of the Princess Diana Playground in Hyde Park as there is a similar water area there and last time we were there, Aaron was the same, shoes and socks off immediately!

I wasn't joking when I said there are LOTS of photo opportunities there:

The part of the zoo he by far and large spent the most time was the eating area where there are loads of coin operated cars. I spent probably 12 pounds there alone, but to be fair he wasn't often asking me to put money in, and as the "bus" held a driver and about 3 passengers, others always benefited from me putting a pound in. In the whole day only one Mum said thanks though. 
Which brings me onto a sad tale. We stopped at this car area featured above probably 6 times as we kept coming back to it. On the last occasion, Aaron hopped into the front of the bus, as was his habit to do so. As you can see, bottom left he always asked his passengers where they wanted to go. They were always younger and totally taken with their interactive talking driver. So much so, nobody really cared if the bus was moving or not. Anyhow on our last visit to the bus, Aaron was no longer in his Iron Man costume and whilst sitting there was eating an ice cream cone. I was standing on the side that faces the entrance to the driver's seat and another Mum was the other side facing me. She kept GLARING at me, and I kept making eye contact with curiosity in my eyes, giving her the opportunity to speak and she never did. I kept looking at Aaron = happy and her little girl, passenger in the back = happy. In the end I decided to sit down and leave them all to it. No sooner was my back turned, than she came round to the driver's side, leaned in over, thus blocking my view of Aaron and proceeded to talk to him for ages. She was asking him to get out of the driver's seat, and he said he was sitting there to eat his ice cream. She told him to go and eat it somewhere else. Anyhow I came over, and said she should have spoken to me, not him. She said she did not know I was his Mum, and I said, yes you did, which is why you only spoke to him when I walked away. (1) she didn't even bother to see that I could still see them (2) she didn't care and (3) how dare she lean in over a child like that. I never ever would. I'd expect a right royal ticking off if I did too. What comes next is stunning. Did she take a pic of her daughter in the driver's seat = no! Did she put a pound in? = NO! Did her daughter cry at being PUT in the driver's seat = YES! It was all so unnecessary and took me about an hour to get over it. She said quite a few sentences to Aaron, it wasn't at all brief. Quite frankly I don't know who she thinks she is. I am glad I spoke to her, but I wish I was a bit more firm or shouty, because I don't think I was scary enough to stop her doing it again, sadly!

Anyway, back to the zoo. If you get there, do not miss "animals on the lawn at 12" - wow that was goooood. Here's a collage but I need to show you some footage too! So funny how Aaron starts off in the back row and then pushes his way to the front! Both times getting a seat.

Turns out it is 2:20 a.m. now and I got a bit carried away with this review, working on it for THREE HOURS, so I will finish it and upload the videos tomorrow.

So hopefully in the collage pics above you can make out a parrot. He is called Rio and really put on quite a show:

The links are follow links as this is not a review of the paid type. I did pay entrance and Bristol Zoo do not even know I am writing this. 

How appropriate is this pic, with Aaron and his long tangled curly hair that requires a lot of patience on Mummy's part:



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