Saturday, 7 September 2013

Tropical Wings Zoo

This week, a friend had decided she wanted to go back to Tropical Wings Zoo with her 2 year old and 4 month old.  I had never visited before, so I decided to tag along.

Tropical Wings is a zoo in Essex, where the main attraction is probably the indoor butterfly house, hence the name.  But I'll get to that later.  We decided to start with the 'furry friends' session.  Here they had a guinea pig and a rabbit in a long run that the children (or adults) could pet.  Next to this was the enclosure for the goats, and the visitors were given food to feed them - they were very friendly indeed.  Up in this farmyard section there were also a number of chickens and other rabbits and we spent a little time looking at these.

Rabbits

Chickens

We started a slow walk back.  The next thing we came across were the Meerkats.  They were having a lot of fun digging holes and looking around with their inquisitive faces.  Always fun to watch.  Just around the corner and the next thing on the schedule was the Lemur feeding.  The 2 year old was a bit apprehensive at first, but you are able to go right inside their enclosure.  They had bags of energy and there were quite a few youngsters jumping around.  When the zookeeper came out to feed them they walked along a rope right in front of us!  There were also some giant tortoises in the enclosure.

Lemurs

The next thing we knew, it was absolutely throwing it down, so sadly we had to give Tractorland (there is also a Diggerland) a miss as they were all locked up.  Instead, we decided to eat our picnic.  We found that there were quite a few areas outdoors for a picnic, both out and undercover. We stopped in the area next to the huge playground - a real shame that it was too wet to go on as it looked like a lot of fun.  There was also a sandpit with many plastic toys.  There are also toilets nearby so this was indeed a good place to stop.

Outdoor Playground

Sandpit

Following lunch, we had a look at the many birds.  There were a wide variety of colourful birds chirping away and we probably spent about 10 minutes looking round them.  Then the rain was starting to get heavy again, so we headed back to the main building.  There is another seated area next to a lovely kids softplay with areas for both the younger and older children and a coffee machine to revive the adults.  According to the website, there is a largish looking cafe, but we didn't stumble across it as we were going round and we didn't need it since we brought lunch with us.  There is also a fairly large shop in this main building selling stuffed animals, toy bugs, books, and snacks.

The 2 year old currently has a fascination with bugs, so next to the indoor play area we stopped in Discovery Kingdom to look at the cockroaches, millipede and other creepy crawlies.

Finally, we definitely saved the best until last - the Tropical House, with its fish pond and butterflies. Absolutely beautiful with lovely flowers and heaps of butterflies fluttering by and a couple of caterpillars walking around.






Overall, we had a lovely day, despite the weather.  There is still quite a lot to do which is inside, although I think we could have made a much longer day of it had it been sunny as there were a few animals we didn't see and the outdoor playground would have been fun - however because of the weather I think it was fairly quiet which was great!  There are loads of signs giving info on the animals which is really useful and the whole place looks really well looked after and neat.  Everything is accessible for buggies and wheelchairs, which makes life easier. If I lived closer and had children, I think it would definitely be worth buying the annual pass that they offer.  I'm definitely looking forward to visiting again!

3 comments:

  1. Love the butterflies, looks like a fun day out.

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  2. Sounds like you had a great time despite the rain!! I can really recommend this book for your friend's child, it's by a local (to me) author called Kevin Price. It's all in rhyme and very amusing.

    http://www.waterstones.com/waterstonesweb/products/kevin+charles+price/robin+carter/crazy+creepy+crawlies/8987929/

    Actually, Kevin isn't a million miles from Essex either!!

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