Every summer, London Zoo hosts a series of Zoo Lates– an after hours chance for ‘grown ups’ to see the animals, have a few drinks and nibbles and…playtime? The Playroom area hosts a silent disco, ball pit, giant Twister and every big kid’s favourite game, Beer Pong! So on a warm evening on Friday, we made our way through Regent’s Park for a trip to the zoo!
London Zoo is huge, so a handy little tip- grab one of the maps as you walk in the entrance. They’re not obvious as you come in but they were a life saver trying to find our way from the Tiger Territory to the Giraffes. As Zoo Lates only goes on until 10pm, you have to really plan your route to try and fit everything you want to see as well as have a bit of fun in the play area!
Visiting all the animals as the sun began to set was really something else and a little surreal. Like having permission to trespass and be naughty! We managed to get to the Giraffes at feeding time and they were absolutely beautiful up close.
In fact, most of the animals were getting ready for bed as we made our way through. Disappointingly, we had just missed feeding time for the tigers and all I saw of the magnificent Jae Jae was this:
Belly up and fast asleep!
Luckily, a few others were still up. Like these beauties.
We then made our way to Penguin Beach to watch their feeding time, but it was rammed. I think if you made it there 15 minutes early you would have been able to bag a spot but I was busy gawping at baby monkeys- how could you not? It was also feeding time for the humans, so we followed the delicious smell of food to get our grub on.
I was delighted to see Anna Mae’s Mac n Cheese had a stand, as it was one of the highlights from my visit to Truck Stop London. There was paella, burritos, pulled pork sandwiches, sausages, curry…oh the smells had my tongue licking the air!
Bellies full, Pimms in hand, we made our way over to the festivities. First up- HULA HOOPS
The 10pm curfew meant we could never queue and make it to the Silent Disco, but the whole experience of being at the Zoo at night nearly made up for it. There was loads of other things to do. In fact, if I had allowed myself another stick of candy floss, I would have willingly gotten into the blow up boxing ring and TAKEN YOU ALL DOWN! If boxing in giant pink gloves isn’t your thing, there was plenty of space on the grass to stretch out and enjoy a drink under the stars…maybe with a lion’s roar occasionally blaring in the background (but not the tigers, those sleepy little lumps!)
Tickets for Zoo Lates have sold out for this season, but it is definitely worth doing next summer. In fact, every summer! Make it a tradition. It was like stumbling across a bizarre but secret carnival- people roaming around in kigus and face paint, candy floss, (silent) disco dancing, street food, Pimms, a giant ball pit to swim in…what more could you ask for on a Friday night?