It’s been a creature feature month for us with recent trips to London Zoo, Madagascar Live and at the weekend, a visit** to Chessington World of Adventures.
We went by train, just about 25 minutes from Waterloo to Chessington South and then easy walking distance, well sign-posted to the park.
The babes were bubbling over with excitement while I was a bit ‘lion, schmion’, having been to the zoo just a couple of weeks before.
But I was soon caught up in the wonder of seeing some of these fascinating and even magical creatures up close — especially as there were many we hadn’t met at London Zoo.
The last time we went to Chessington, Jed was just starting to walk and I remember thinking this was a very toddler-friendly theme park. It’s not too busy or overwhelming, with gentle rides for little ones and patches of green space to roam and tumble.
The boys were only mildly disappointed that most of the rides weren’t open for the season yet as there was so much to look at and explore.
What we loved at Chessington World of Adventures:
Gazelles frolicking and playfully locking horns while zebras ambled in the backdrop.
Ostriches giving us the eye. Watchoo looking at, fool?
Out-of-season reindeer, apparently they shed their antlers at different times of year and males lose theirs at winter. So turns out the hardest working reindeer on the planet (Santa’s) are all female. Quel surprise.
Carnivore feeding time. This leopard wasn’t joking around at all with its hunk of meat, only pausing a few times to check out its onlookers.
The zookeepers use feeding time as a chance for the big cats to get some exercise too – it was amazing to see the tiger climb up a pole to get its lunch!
We saw penguin chicks swimming – they’re a browner shade than their monochrome mamas and papas.
It was fun walking through a glass tunnel in the Sea Life section, surrounded by stingrays, sharks and other creatures swimming all around…
… and watching the sea lions paddle, dive and flop onto the ‘shore’ at Sealion Bay. I think Jed could have stayed there all day! Shame we missed the actual Sealion shows.
We ate a fairly greasy and over-priced lunch (around £22 for 1 adult and 2 kids) at the all-you-can-eat pizza and pasta. I’d recommend packing your own edibles although there are a couple of cafes and munch spots around that don’t look too bad.
It was the Sunday after half-term which would account for the lack of crowds and the feeling of oodles of time and space to wander about.
Chessington opens for its 2013 season this month, with its brand new Zufari experience kicking off Mar 20, so it’s bound to get loads busier but at least you’ll be able to enjoy the rides.
A great day out for babes.
**Chessington Holidays provided us with free tickets to visit and write about our experience.