If you’re eyeing up the end of the summer holidays and counting the hours, we feel your pain/joy. Maybe you just want to make the most of your precious moppets – or maybe you’re opening that bottle of wine a little too early each day. But whatever you’re feeling, there’s still plenty of time to do stuff and get out and about. In fact it might just save your sanity.
Title’s Gemma Windham took her two boys to Drusillas, and we thought we’d let them tell you about it in their own words. Well, a bit anyway.
“It’s often a challenge to find a day out that appeals to kids of different ages, (mine are three and seven years old) but that isn’t the case at Drusillas. The zoo, which now has over 100 different animal species was great for both with plenty for the littlest to see clearly and lots of facts about the various animals that were written in a way that was easy for his older brother to read and understand. The ‘Zoolympic’ challenges set for the kids as you go around keep them engaged and help put the facts they pick up into perspective – Harry now proudly tells anyone vaguely interested that he weighs the same as a porcupine and can nearly shout as loud as a lemur. We didn’t make it to any of the keeper talks but the boys loved that the walk through enclosures allowed them to get so close to some of the animals.
“The new rides at Go Safari! are well worth a visit, we went round the park on the African-themed Safari Express which was a firm favourite with my youngest but the Hippopotobus and Flying Cheetahs looked really good fun too.
“We very easily filled a whole day! In addition to the zoo and the new rides there’s an interactive maze, a state of the art soft play complex and 2 really well equipped playground areas, Go Wild! and Go Bananas! which have been thoughtfully separated for different age groups – an additional adult is handy for this part if your kids are younger but fall into different groups, not so much an issue for older families. Definitely worth taking swimming costumes too, Get Wet! used up the last of their energy and would be great for cooling them down on a hot day after queuing for rides in the sun.
“Aside from the variety there were some pretty big boxes ticked for me as a mum, firstly the fact that so much of the zoo is under cover, which means that you don’t have to rely on a dry and sunny day to enjoy it (allowing you to take advantage of the discounts available for early booking online) and secondly the food. There’s the usual fast food, chips and doughnuts, but you can also get a decent lunch bag including fruit, and to be able to find a reasonably healthy meal without carting around soggy sandwiches is a bonus and that they had decent coffee available was a definite plus for me! Thirdly and most importantly, two children fast asleep as soon as you you leave the car park is the mark of a good day out in my book but in case you’re unsure we asked Harry, 7, about his day.”
Tell us about Drusillas
It was fun, it’s not just an ordinary zoo and it’s got a park in it. There are snakes and a farm part, a dangerous animals part (no children were harmed! – ed) and a challenges part. The challenges are how long you can stand on one legs for, how long you can hold your breath and how fast you can run and you compare them to the animal’s abilities.
What was your favourite part of the visit?
Seeing all the animals because some of them I haven’t seen before.
Give us your favourite three facts about the animals there
A group of meercats is called a mob or a clan
Owls can turn their heads nearly all the way round
Flamingos can stand on one leg for a whole night without falling over even when they’re asleep!
If you could work at Drusillas for the day which animal would you look after and why?
The rhinoceros iguana because I think it’s quite calm.
What else would you like to see there?
A real lion, a clouded leopard and a cheetah. They’re my favourite animals.
And just to make sure he’s not left out, here’s three year old Archie’s take on it…
“Mummy I like the flamingos and the monkeys but I don’t like the bats because they’re stinky” (To be fair, there are warning signs preparing you for this, and he’s not wrong)
It’s a good day out, whatever age you are. And could save you from going mad / drinking all the gin / running away with the milkman *delete as appropriate
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