Lifestyle, London, Seasonal, Things to do

London Zoo Nights – Summer Bucket List 2019

For the third year now, I have managed to get to the Zoo Nights event held by London Zoo. This year was the first time I had ever been to the zoo in the rain and the first time I had ever experienced the Night Zoo festivities in wet weather. When I saw that rain was forecast for pretty much all of the evening I was disappointed but here in England you cannot be put off by a little rain. With this in mind, we donned summer waterproofs and umbrellas and off we went.

One of the biggest changes for me this year, from 2017 and 2018 was that this year there were a number of protesters outside the parameter of the zoo urging people not to go inside and instead get a refund. They were pretty obnoxiously yelling to people going inside the zoo which made things kind of awkward. There were also a number of (very brave) friendly faced staff members greeting visitors at the gates in light of the protesters.

Once inside, the same exclusions applied as in previous years such as the gorilla enclosure being closed to let the baby sleep. This year there were also a number of animals undergoing health checks on the day of my visit so were not partaking in the Night Zoo activities. These included the warthogs, which I was super keen to see, coming from The Lion King movie earlier that afternoon!

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Keeping with the Lion King theme, we did see meerkats and actual lions which were roaring their way into dinner time when we were passing their enclosure. Travelling from the African plains across to Madagascar, one of the first animals we saw this year were the lemurs. They were out and extremely active this year which was lovely to see as in previous years they had always been inside. Not too far behind the lemurs, we got to see some of the otters all curled up and about to sleep (I think), which were just the cutest. The otters are always so active at the zoo during the day, playing in the water and on a slide they just seem to love – it is oh so very cute!

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We were lucky enough to see the famous Elios, the new baby sloth at the zoo, who was cuddled up ever so cutely with momma for the evening in the rainforest part of the zoo. Also in this area was a number of very active bats (which I am not a huge fan of), birds, mice, shrews/weasles and small monkeys. Similar to the sloths and in the news on a regular basis are the penguins, especially the famous gay penguin couple at the zoo. Active as ever, the penguins always seem to make people smile come rain or shine.

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One of the most interactive areas of the zoo is the farmyard, where a number of large pigs, donkeys, alpacas, turkeys, goats, parrots, rabbits and much more can be found. Each time I visit the zoo I am fond of petting the goats (and always a little apprehensive of the angry looking turkey!)

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As still as an alpaca…
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Seriously. We walked right the way around the enclosure and the donkey and the alpaca just did not move?

One of the highlights of zoo nights, at least in terms of how it varies from the zoo in the day time, is the presence of all of the food stalls. A big fan of the souvlaki that is often there and the hotdogs, this year we opted for a change! We picked out an Arepa, a South American maize dough bun, filled with spicy chicken, spring onions and tomato salsa.

After more exploring, we reverted back to the waterhole for a savoury crepe, mine being filled with ham, cheese and a red onion chutney and my Mr opting for an egg and cheese variant. The crepe stand was also cranking out divine looking Nutella crepes so we grabbed one of these to split before heading for the train home.

It is a truly lovely experience at the zoo year after year, although I still did not get to see the warthogs! You can read about my Night Zoo experience of 2018 here. Have you ever been to London Zoo Nights or something similar in a zoo local to you/? What did you think?

23 thoughts on “London Zoo Nights – Summer Bucket List 2019”

  1. I’ve always wanted to do this! I went to an event ages ago at London Zoo where they were showing animal related films in an outdoor silent cinema and I saw March of the Penguins and got to see a 2 week old penguin! It was such a lovely night x

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    1. Oh wow, that sounds so cool – I would love to go to something like that! I love the atmosphere at London Zoo – it’s a lovely place to visit all year around! x

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  2. Amazing photos, I love the baby sloth so much!! I’ve been to London Zoo a couple of years ago and loved it but like I said I’ve always wanted to go at night! That’s interesting about the protestors though, I actually started writing a novel in uni based around a zookeeper dealing with protests (set in the future when nearly all animals are extinct) so that’s great research for me! I would have had a Nutella crepe too 😋 x

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    1. The baby sloth is the absolute curtest isn’t he? It was so lucky that he was so close and on the tree branches above where we were walking – he was so cute all snuggled up! That sounds like such a good novel, such an interesting idea! Nutella is the best on crepes and waffles – and basically
      everything else too! x

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    1. It is a wonderful zoo to spend the day (and the night) and I can’t recommend it enough! Zoo aside, the city itself has lots more too see and do as well. Hopefully one day you can visit (of course only if you would want to!) 😜 Thank you for reading 😘

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    1. I would definitely recommend visiting London Zoo. It’s a great day out (or even night!) You genuinely doing get feeling that the animals are depressed like in some zoos if you know what I mean! Thank you so much for reading 😘

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  3. This sounds amazing! I’ve never been to London Zoo, but I did have an overnight experience at a zoo in Australia called Dubbo Zoo. It has great open plains to mimic the savannas in Africa, where zebras, giraffes, gazelles and ostriches live and graze side-by-side. We stayed in a lodge that overlooked the plain and went on a night safari, waking up to see the silhouette of giraffes. There’s something so intriguing about seeing animals at night time! For many of the animals we saw on the safari it was dinner time. Also, those crepes look delicious! Lovely post x

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    1. 😱 overnight at the zoo sounds incredible especially how this is described, I bet it was brilliant!? Their behaviour changes doesn’t it, which sounds silly to say really becuase human behaviour changes after dark too I guess! Dinner time at the zoo is always super interesting as no two days are the same. The Lions were getting dinner when I passed which was part terrifying and part super cool! The crepes were super yum! Thank you so much for reading 😘

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      1. It was amazing! Very thankful for that experience. So true, I love watching the animals feeding 😍 Must have been so cool seeing the lions feeding! I love watching lion cubs interacting with their parents. At Dubbo the cubs were pulling their dad’s mane and getting him to play with them 😂

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  4. That was just as amazing as last year. I really hope that these ‘Eco Warriors’ come out of the box and leave the night zoo alone. It was so lovely to be there with you ❤

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    1. Yeah, the zoo have some wonderful staff who were very welcoming and happy to see everyone – it’s a shame about the protestors. I love going to the zoo by day or by night with you 😘

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  5. My best winter experience last Christmas Eve was at the zoo…magical evening….I’d like to go and see some animals awake next time….🐵🐴🐎🐂🐆🐅🦁🐶🐺🐶🐃🐇🐹🐤🐪🦎🐌🐙

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    1. That would be so awesome 😁 London zoo is the perfect place to spend the day – there’s so much to see and do and buy and photograph 😍🐭🐶🐱🦁🦡🦛🦌

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  6. I’ve never been to London Zoo(!), but I’m hoping to later on this year. Seeing the animals at night sounds like such a great, unique experience. The sloth and otters just look so cosy. 😍

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    1. London Zoo is one of my favourites – I can’t recommend it enough. I hope you get to go – I am already super excited for you. The baby sloth is the BEST – it is always so curled up and chilling on momma. I like to see the otters in the day time when they are out and playing in the water with the toys and on their slides ♥

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