Family Days Out – Edinburgh Zoo

We often say mealtimes in our house resemble feeding time at the zoo, check so where better to take the nippers for a recent day out but Edinburgh Zoo, Scotland’s largest wildlife attraction.

Upon arrival, both my son and daughter had very specific requests to see their favourite animals, flamingos – because they are pink- for our five year old and monkeys for our youngest, as I sense he fully embodies how close in nature us humans are to them!

As luck would have it, our trusty map showed us the flamingos were just round the corner from where we had arrived.  Imagine our giggles when our son squealed with delight “I see them” at the picture of the flamingo on the side of the ice-cream kiosk just beside the real birds themselves.


We were in the monkey house only briefly (well, they might have wanted to keep my youngest) but the antics and indeed cheekiness of the different monkeys had us in stitches. The Budongo trail, a modern and state of the art home to some celebrity chimpanzees (the stars of a BBC2 Natural World programme) is a must. It’s both a great experience in itself with lots of interactive learning activities for the kids to participate in, and being indoors it’s also a good place stop when the rain comes on.

The safari reserve is at the top of a very steep hill, perfect for those who are happy to stride it out and work up a sweat, but we took full advantage of the zebra striped safari truck (complete with commentary and humorous stories about the animals from the driver) and took the walk back down. The wooden walkway half way down is a good resting spot for little legs and gives not only a great view of zebras and gazelles but also stunning views over Edinburgh and the Pentland Hills.

The penguin parade, which takes place daily, is good fun though disappointingly on the day we went there were only three penguins in the mood to participate.

A visit to the sun bear enclosure was new for us, and the interactive area with height chart provided a hilarious view of how long a humans tongue would be based on their height if the same rules applied to us as the sun bears. I could probably lick an ice-cream in the freezer without having to even get off the sofa!

There are plenty of spots to unpack a picnic, and two restaurants / cafes if you’d rather go for a hot option.  We found the various play parks dotted around the site great if the kids fancied a stop off, and the tree trekking attraction looked great fun for the older children.

We’ve not yet been to see the giant pandas since their arrival  last December but we’re sure they’ll be as delighted with their new home as we were with our day to the zoo. We didn’t manage to fit everything in and are planning another visit soon. In fact, ‘we’re all going to the zoo tomorrow, zoo tomorrow, zoo tomorrow…’

The views expressed in this review are my own and no sponsorship or payment was made for this review.

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