Family Fun Days

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I love to combine things in life and save time. When I’m in the gym, I superset. When I’m out of the gym, I like to combine family time with as much fresh air and exercise as we can.


We had the opportunity to visit Blackpool Zoo recently which was super exciting for the whole family. The kids’ school was closed while it was used as a polling station so we decided that was the day to have our family fun day.


After what can only be described as a horrendous, wet journey where we even considered turning back, we arrived in one piece. The kids put their Mountain Warehouse walking boots and rain coats on while I stood staring at my camera in the boot of the car. There was no way it was going to be dry enough for photos. How wrong could I be? Literally ten minutes after we arrived, the weather was beautiful and I was so glad I’d put my camera’s anorak on!


The parking charge was £2.50 for a full day visit which is quite reasonable, especially as it all goes back into the animal conservation pot. After the long journey, the first thing we needed were to use the facilities and they were easily found in the foyer of the zoo entrance. Clean and spacious, which is absolutely what you need when taking the kids in with you.


The tickets were via email and a quick flash of my iPhone to the helpful lady behind the desk and we were in along with a handy map and summary of the day’s feeding times and shows.

Family Fun Days - Blackpool Zoo - Monkey

Blackpool Zoo is excellently laid out and nice and flat so you know you’re going to be able to revisit favourite parts throughout the day. I had no idea there were so many varieties of monkey and we saw loads within minutes of our arrival. The kids were beaming as they saw the cheeky faces looking back at them!


The Penguin feeding was next. There was a lady on a microphone which was great as the kids got to learn about the penguins, while one of the zoo keepers did the feeding.  Some very rude seagulls escaped with some of the fish but the penguins didn’t seem too put out.


We’d packed picnic for our trip because me and Emma (youngest child) are terrible if we’re not fed at regular intervals! One thing my wife commented on straight away was the number of benches and picnic tables to sit on around the zoo. It was so nice to not feel obliged to eat at the restaurants and cafes on site and picnics were definitely welcomed. Ample bins around the site too so no need to carry rubbish around with you.

Family Fun Days - Blackpool Zoo - Elephant

The kids were really looking forward to see the elephants. It was a shame there’s only one living at the zoo at the moment however they are investing heavily in a new enclosure and will be welcoming new elephants this summer. We can’t wait to return to see it!

Family Fun Days - Blackpool Zoo - Giraffes

The viewing area for the giraffes was really good with the opportunity to see them at ground level inside and a chance to go up a decked ramp outside and view them at full height. My worry as we drove in the rain is we wouldn’t be able to see the animals without getting soaked if it rained all day. This would definitely not be the case. The Great British weather has been considered throughout the zoo with shelters to stand under, inside viewing areas and lots of seating under shelter too.

Family Fun Days - Blackpool Zoo - Orangutan

The orangutan and gorilla area was amazing. The faces the orangutans pull is enough to make anyone smile. Again this has an upper and lower viewing area so you can get a good close up view of all the monkeying around.


We had an afternoon pit stop at the cafe for a drink and the kids to have an ice cream. Pleasantly surprised that the food and drink on sale was not over priced as sometimes with a captive market these places can be.


We watched the 2.15pm sea lion show which the kids loved. Really informative, light hearted and it certainly kept the kids entertained. A great chance to see the sea lions playing together, there was even a mischievous young one who was determined to distract the older ones from their routine!

Family Fun Days - Blackpool Zoo - Lemur
Family Fun Days - Blackpool Zoo - Lion
Family Fun Days - Blackpool Zoo - Tiger

The variety of animals at the zoo was so impressive from tiny reptiles to a huge elephant, fluffy friendly lemurs to ferocious lions and tigers. My children are 7 and 5, for them this was the perfect day out. Throw into the mix the petting farm, dinosaur sculptures and a huge play park and we were onto an absolute winner with Blackpool Zoo.


Final stop of the day was (of course) the gift shop. So much to choose from and whether your child has a pound to spend or twenty, there really was something to suit every budget.


We had a fantastic family fun day, making memories with the kids and are already planning our next visit. If you’re looking for a family fun filled day that doesn’t cost the earth, this could be for you.


Can you recommend any other UK day trips? 


About The Author

Following the birth of his son in 2009, Paul was unfit and sluggish. Since then he's been training using a range of exercise techniques and gained some valuable information over the years. Events he has completed to date are Total Warrior, Pier To Pier, Bamburgh 10k, Hamsterley 10k, Blaydon Races, Newcastle Stampede and over 50 parkruns. In 2012 he created his own challenge called the '12 Days of Christmas.' He raised over £1000 for Percy Hedley by running 60 miles to celebrate their 60 years. In 2013 he ran the '12 parkruns of Christmas' with friend Lee Nyland. The pair raised over £1400 for the Tiny Lives Fund.


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