Friday, 25 October 2019

Making The Most Of Chester Zoo During The Winter

The thing about the Winter is, let's face it, I don't want to be anywhere that isn't either inside or serving alcohol; but the thing is, I also love the zoo. The zoo doesn't seem the optimal place to go in the winter though - it seems logical that the animals would be inside, there is a lot of open space for wind chill and, in the case of Chester Zoo, it closes a lot earlier than it does in the Summer. Having said that, it can be a great Winter day out if you know how to make the most of it, and luckily I'm here to help with that. So, without further ado, here's how to make the most of Chester Zoo when it comes to the Winter months this year.

Photo; @joshparkersnaps

1: Know what you can see and you can't
With the fire that happened at Chester Zoo in December 2018, the Monsoon Forest exhibition is still closed. It definitely doesn't affect the sheer amount of animals that you can still see, but it might change the route that you want to take if you don't have time to travel around the entirety of the zoo. Make sure you know what you can see, and where, to make the most of your time there. There's also a lot of animals moving exhibit and so make sure that you take the time to check that your favourite is still where you thought it would be.

2: If the animals aren't out, try and find feeding times
It's not always easy to see all animals in the winter because, much like me, they really want to be inside where it's a lot warmer. If you've looked both inside and outside their enclosures and you've seen neither hide nor hair? Make sure to see if they have a feeding time that day. Obviously the feeding times are there to, you know, make sure the animals eat, but it does also draw them out to an area where you'll likely be able to see them, and so it's definitely worth your time. Similarly, animal talks will likely ensure that the animals are within viewing distance so keep an eye out.

3: Download the app
Nobody wants to be messing around trying to find the nearest toilet on a paper map when you're already freezing, so make sure you download the app ahead of time. Not only does it show exactly where you are right now to avoid confusion, you can also search by things like toilets or restaurants for that much needed wee or coffee. Just trust me on this, it's a lot easier than trying to scrunch a paper map back together in a pair of gloves.

4: Dress for the weather
As aforementioned, there's a lot of open space (naturally), and so make sure that you're dressed with this in mind, and make sure to take advantage of as many indoor enclosures as you can. Also, not to sound like a nan, but if you are going to be indoors for a long period of time make sure you take off your coat, scarf and any extra layers that you can because you're going to be hugely thankful for feeling the benefit when you get outside again.

5: Pack a thermos
As part of their waste reduction programme Chester Zoo is no longer providing plastic lids for your disposable cups, which means that if you're going to want to carry one round, you're going to also want to make sure that you have a thermos or your own reusable coffee cup. This definitely helps even more with the environmental factor anyway, and so take the time to do your part if you're in a position to do so, plus you'll be thankful for it when your hot drink stays hot for longer (and you inevitably don't end up spilling it on your hands)

6: Most importantly, set your expectations
It is going to very cold, there likely are going to be less animals readily available to view; but that doesn't take away from the experience if you're ready for it and you have a plan in mind. Also do remember, as aforementioned, the zoo closes around 4pm/4:30pm in the Winter, and so you might have to get a lot more done in a much shorter space of time; so definitely plan for that the best that you can.

We went to the zoo last week and it was brilliant (not sponsored, we paid for our own tickets), winter is a beautiful time to be there and we really enjoyed ourselves, but it definitely helped that we set our expectations, and so here's hoping these tips  helped you to do the same!

Sammy xo.

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