Friday 26 October 2018

Halloween Spooktacular at Bristol Zoo Gardens REVIEW October 2018

So Sunday 21st October in spectacular weather we headed off to review what Bristol Zoo has to offer this Halloween for their Spooktacular. Bristol Zoo Gardens have their pumpkins on and creeping it real from 20th October till 4th November. During that time kids go free - one kid per paying adult. Terms and conditions apply see website for details.
So upon entering the zoo reception you are given a leaflet to stick stickers on and a sheet of 4 stickers, both for the Halloween Mystery Trail. Shortly after accessing the zoo you stumble upon DRACULA DRIVE which you can't miss as you'll see below. If you are lucky and time it right the Witch, Winnie the Witch will be on Dracula Drive itself to meet and greet you. If not, attend her story time at 12:30 1:30 or 2:30. It was one of the highlights of our day for sure.

It was hard to get Aaron to concentrate on ANYTHING as he kept saying "when can I do Zooropia?" even though he's done it every time we've gone to the zoo since he qualified to, aged 5. He's now 8 years old and in year 4. He only went to the Witch's story time at 1:30 on the condition that he was doing Zooropia straight after.

He didn't expect to enjoy story time but loved it as the witch was so captivating and because of the many spooky artefacts that she showed us at the end. All the sort of things she'll be dropping into her spell making cauldron at some point. Aaron's favourite thing was the REAL snakeskin!

Before you go on Zooropia you go to a building near it to pay and for Aaron it cost me 7.50GBP which is reasonable considering how long and enjoyable the course is. There are qualified instructors manning it and I have never had any concerns whilst Aaron's been up there even when he was only five! It was touch and go as to whether I would let him do it, so look how absolutely MADE UP he is to have his ticket in hand below. One of his 2 dimples firmly on show. Oh he's the cutest sometimes.

It's fantastic if you have kids of different ages as Zooropia is above the playground so I was able to watch Lottie playing in the sand while Aaron literally climbed above our heads. Only trouble is I couldn't convince Lottie to go and watch him come down the zipwire at the end, so I missed the chance to video that and for the 1st time he landed on his feet and was utterly chuffed and thrilled with himself.

I wish I'd seen him actually come down the zip wire. He was THRILLED as it's the first time he's ever landed on his feet and was stoked with himself as 2 teenagers hadn't managed to and he normally doesn't. I may not have been over there to video it as I was with Lottie but I caught his joy in this pic for posterity just after. So lovely to see my son back to his normal go-getter confident self.

The zoo is simply bursting with photo opportunities at every turn so make sure you bring a camera that is charged and good to go. I didn't even need to ask Aaron to climb into this turtle but I did need to take Lottie's rucksack off for her when it was her turn bless!

I'd completely forgotten that Bristol Zoo has an Aquarium and it even has the new tunnel you see below that the kids were absolutely fascinated with - Daddy too!

We spent a lot of time in the wooden outdoor adventure playground, continuing to be in there after Aaron did Zooropia. There is an excellent outdoor cafe and seating in the entrance to the playground so I got them each an ice lolly and myself a welcome latte as I'd well and truly earned it by that point and Daddy had gone food shopping.
It's a really nice space as the equipment is challenging enough for Aaron even though he is a very athletic sporty capable 8 year old yet so much of it is small enough for my brave (not so typical) tall 2 year old Lottie. They actually even played nicer whilst I was at the cafe as Aaron helped Lottie with everything which you'll see when I get chance to edit my video footage. With facilities such as this phenomenal playground which caters for such a broad age range and is so relaxed and open plan, you can understand why so so many local Bristollians have the annual membership to visit as often as they like.
I just had to photograph this bumblebee as the attention to detail in the zoo is just beautiful. The grounds themselves are stunning from a horticultural perspective too hence the zoo being called Bristol Zoo Gardens.

After spending a considerable amount of time in the adventure playground they then wanted to play in the water in the SPLASH area. Unfortunately we timed this wrong as it was no longer nearly as hot as it was earlier but it didn't stop them taking socks and shoes off and despite Lottie getting soaked it was just warm enough that she didn't catch a chill and of course at her age I had a complete change of clothes...

After they got warm and dry when they finished playing in the water we went to the Lorikeets area which we all loved. It's an enclosed area where they can fly around really worth a visit.

Straight after that we headed for Gorilla Island as Bristol Zoo is well known for its gorillas and they didn't disappoint I have some brilliant footage of them all moving around and playing. There's this great vantage point to view them from too:

There are photo frames like the below throughout the zoo and my two were such good sports, typical blogger kids and posed in each and every one of them:

The zoo has a lovely spacious airy feel to it even when busy so Lottie was like this most of the day and I have finally learned that they can have a rucksack each so for the 1st time EVER Mummy did not carry everything yay (a trick I learned from Mum Under Pressure):

I love these metal sculptures that signify you are near BUG WORLD:

Oh when you first arrive you see the lions on the left and there is this button that sprays water which of course Lottie had to play with until there was a puddle on the floor. He fascination with puddles of course aided by her Peppa Pig addiction:

We were at Bristol Zoo Gardens Sunday 21st October and largely October is turning out to be a great month weather wise so for the whole day the sky looked like this. The husband and I loved the architecture on this Water World building which signifies that you are right by the Zoo's Aquarium.

Bye bye Bristol Zoo Gardens:

This is us waiting for Daddy to collect us as he'd popped out to do the weekly food shop after enjoying some time in the zoo with us:

Thanks for hosting us Bristol Zoo we had an incredible day and were blessed with the weather.

Bristol Zoo Spooktacular is on from 20th October to 4th November and during that time kids go free, one child per paying adult. See website SPOOKTACULAR for terms and conditions. There is also craft and face paint, for a small additional fee but everything else is included, such as story time with the INCREDIBLE Winnie the Witch. If you go let me know what you think.

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