23 July 2018

Exploring Twycross Zoo

*Complimentary tickets provided

Is there anything more fun than spending the entire day exploring Twycross Zoo, a great place for families and children of all ages and a really fun day out for all the family. Like most toddlers, Willow adores animals and a lot of our day is spent reading about animals, playing with animal toys and watching programmes about animals, too (any David Attenborough fans?). With Willow now 2.5 years old, a trip to Twycross Zoo, which we're lucky to live quite local to, was the perfect way for her to learn more about animals, see them up close and personal and also learn a bit more about how we can protect endangered species.

A review of Twycross Zoo
A review of Twycross Zoo
A review of Twycross Zoo

We're big fans of Twycross as each visit has impressed us; the enclosures are always kept clean and tidy, animals look happy and content and there is always someone around to answer any questions you might have. Of course, it would be wonderful if all animals could live in the wild, but I truly believe the conservation efforts which Twycross Zoo make alongside running the zoo itself are beneficial, particularly in the research carried out at Twycross and huge contribution The Conservation Welfare Fund has made, no less than over £350,000 since 2006, to over 55 conservation and welfare projects around the world.

Twycross Zoo also has a huge education programme, which encourages children of all ages to learn more about animals, with 60,000 children taking part each year. Teaching younger generations about animals, ways we can work together to protect endangered species and overall learning more about all the incredible species at Twycross Zoo is hugely important and a truly great aspect of the work Twycross Zoo do 'behind the scenes' of the usual zoo life you'd expect when visiting.

We started things off with a visit to one of our favourite places at Twycross Zoo, the Butterfly Forest exhibit, which for someone like Willow who adores seeing butterflies fly around our garden, was an absolute delight to explore. She's a big fan of The Very Hungry Caterpillar (like most toddlers!), so getting to see the process up close for herself was a bit of a surprise and she was captivated as the lovely Twycross Zoo team member explained everything to her before she set off around the exhibit to spot as many butterflies as she could. Our world is full of creatures big and small, so I think it's really important that Twycross cover creatures of all sizes like this, it shows little ones how important and special every creature is.

A review of Twycross Zoo
A review of Twycross Zoo
A review of Twycross Zoo
A review of Twycross Zoo

Since our last visit to Twycross, which I shared back in 2016 with my feature on Family Fun at Twycross Zoo, there's been a lot of changes, especially with the new development of Chimpanzee Eden. A new home built especially for all the chimps at Twycross, it has been specially designed to replicate their natural wild environment with smaller, more discreet viewing points for visitors, meaning more privacy for all the chimpanzees. It's three stories high, with outdoor climbing frames, spanning a 1,160sqm semi-translucent habitat with areas built for visitors and researchers alike to watch and learn. It's a really fun new aspect to Twycross Zoo and we loved exploring, finding some hidden away viewing windows and seeing the chimps so relaxed and adventurous.

There were a few animals that Willow really wanted to see during her big visit to the zoo, including all the usual favourites; the Asian elephants, giraffes and zebras were top of her list. We decided to let her take the lead and gave her the detailed yet easy-to-navigate Twycross Zoo map, which she insisted on carrying for most of the day. She found all the animals she wanted to see and was surprised by a few new animals she wasn't aware of yet, like the bush dogs and the yellow-throated martens. Everywhere she looked, there was something new to explore and more for her to learn, a visit to the zoo really is the perfect day out for inquisitive toddlers.

A review of Twycross Zoo
A review of Twycross Zoo
A review of Twycross Zoo

For us, both as animal lovers ourselves and parents, a visit to the zoo is a chance to give Willow a closer look at all the animals she loves, introduce her to new ones and ultimately, keep her love of animals growing strong. It's a special day out for all of the family and seeing her face light up with wonder as she met new animals, saw some of her favourite creatures and even got so close to some animals she could almost touch them, made it a truly magical day. You can also keep the kids entertained over the summer holidays with the school holiday Zoo Club, which aimed at 8 to 14-year-olds, with fun and engaging activities for them to take part in over the summer break.

If you wanted to make a really special day of it, then over the summer you can catch the Summer Sundown events, which are taking place over four Saturday nights throughout July and August. Featuring local live bands and acts performing until 8:30pm, there's even a chance to catch your favourite animal during their evening and bedtime routine, with the zoo staying open later than normal until 8:30pm. You can find out more and book your tickets to Twycross Zoo at twycrosszoo.org.

*Complimentary press tickets were provided for the purposes of this review; I have not been financially compensated for this feature. Please see my disclaimer for more information.

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