We recently had a really busy fun-filled day out to Twycross Zoo, in Leicestershire. There was so much to see and do there. I’ve created a check list for your day out of the Top 15 things to do at Twycross Zoo. I hope you are inspired to visit soon. Twycross do some fantastic conservation work. I will tell you more about the zoo and include important information at the bottom of my review.
Growing up in Derbyshire I have fond memories of Twycross and my Mum and I were keen to see how it had changed since the early 1980’s. Neither of us really remembered the zoo. There seems to be a lot of recent and ongoing regeneration with new enclosures being built. Jamie is completely animal mad so he was beside himself with excitement. He was a little impatient during our drive from Lincolnshire but we arrived in good spirits. Twycross is our nearest wildlife attraction to see elephants.
Twycross Zoo review
You don’t have to wait to pay to use the facilities. Luckily they are near the main entrance, eating area, shop and soft play. All these things can be accessed before paying to visit the zoo, the soft play has an extra cost. This was great for us after our long journey.
So what is my Top 15 list of things to see and do at Twycross?
#1 – Ride a Safari car
Update – Sadly Twycross Zoo no longer has elephants, they have moved to Blackpool zoo in the hope that they breed…….so I have changed #1 from see the elephants to Ride a Safari car.
3-10 year olds can take the wheel and drive their own electric-powered, mini-vehicle on an adventure along an off-road track, as parents/guardians control the brakes from behind. See if you can spot our sheep, donkeys, birds and goats on your journey, and watch out for pedestrians crossing!
#2 Follow the Giraffes
Their enclosure is equally as impressive as the elephants. It is of a really good size for them and there’s a couple of places you can stand and watch them. We followed one into their very large indoor enclosure. It was nice to see them not behind an actual fence. They truly are magnificent animals and it was great to see them being treated as such.
#3 Play in the splash park
Did you know that Twycross zoo has a Wet ‘n’ Wild play area? What a great splash park it looks too. It was too cold for Jamie to venture over to play in but it looked really good fun and certainly something we’d return to do. They have full changing facilities – just don’t forget the towel. You can see from the photo that the adults can rest while the kids play.
#4 See the hairless Chimpanzee
We had been stood for ages just watching the chimpanzees. They were fascinating to watch and so human in their behaviours, especially sharing their food.
Then all of a sudden out popped a hairless chimpanzee. It was the oddest yet most fascinating thing I’d seen in a long time. I didn’t even know they could end up bald like us too.
#5 Spot the ants on the rope
Jamie found these ants walking along a rope in a place we really weren’t expecting to see a trail of ants. I’m not going to tell you where he spotted them! The challenge is on for you to find them and report back to me.
#6 Discover the love of straw
In nearly every primate enclosure we looked at there were monkeys of all types moving around the straw. They loved it. We watched them for ages moving it about, sitting with great big piles of it and even putting it on their heads. They simply love the stuff!
#7 Get up close to a Lemur…but don’t touch
Lemurs are my favourite animal. I love them! They are not only incredibly cute but they are so loving to each other. You will often see them all cuddled up and to see one sunbathing is entertainment in itself. The zoo has a feeding time for the Lemurs and we popped on over just after this to be sure that the Lemurs were in their main outside enclosure. We found this little fella on the path and spent rather a long time photographing him. He was making the cutest of noises.
#8 Feed a Lorikeet
This isn’t something you can do all year round as sometimes these birds don’t feed. I have been informed that the best time is in the morning so I was keen to pop to see them before lunch.
We bought a pot of food for them for £1 and in we went. Jamie was really keen to hold the container. The lady supervising was really good with him and she’d obviously had lots of kids drop the container when the birds land on them. Jamie was totally not bothered and was clearly in his element having them sit on his arm. We all had one on our heads at one point too.
#9 Play on the train in the picnic area
Plenty of opportunity for role-playing here.
#10 Play in the playground
Situated between the butterfly house and the farm is a couple of playgrounds with something for all ages. Jamie loved the slide here, especially as it was easy to get to. There’s a nice area in the middle for adults to chill out and have a rest.
#11 Watch the swinging Gibbons
Gibbon forest must be one of the zoos most recent additions. It smells and looks very new. Both the inside and outside areas for them are full of places to swing. Jamie was totally fascinated by how they could swing from place to place. He just couldn’t figure out how they could get about until he watched them do it.
#12 Visit the Butterfly forest
It was soooo warm in here. We spotted quite a few butterflies flying around freely in here. The star of the show was the Victoria crowned pigeon. It was just wandering around right next to us.
#13 Visit the farm at Twycross Zoo
There are quite a few animals to see over at the farm. There’s donkeys, goats, rabbits, guinea pigs and more. For Jamie, the highlight was the goat walkthrough. All he wanted to do was stroke a goat, never mind the rest. So stroke a goat he did. He could have stayed for ages!
#14 Spot the snow leopard
The snow leopard’s enclosure is right next to one of the cafes (Costa coffee) in the entrance hall. We had already sat here for some time in the morning with a drink and a slice of cake but no snow leopard was to be seen. In fact, it’s enclosure is so rich with vegetation I was wondering if they were having us on. At the end of our day, we sat down with a drink and an ice cream. Still, no snow leopard to be seen. But then after about 5 minutes who appeared? It looked like it had been asleep all day but it climbed up onto the wall to sunbathe and gave me a great photo opportunity.
#15 Take advantage of a photo opportunity
There are quite a few photo opportunities around the zoo. See how many you can spot. This was Jamie’s favourite. He wanted to climb back on as soon as he was off!
Here are some more photos from our day out to Twycross zoo.
Important information about Twycross Zoo
Twycross zoo is a fairly large zoo located in Leicestershire, east midlands. You can pre-book your tickets in advance online at a discounted price. You can also visit after 5 pm for just £5. Without gift aid our admission on the day would have been £16.80 for an adult, £12.48 for a 3-16-year-old and £14.68 for Mum as a concession. It is on the more expensive side for a day out for us however this is a large zoo and I feel the price is justified. They have a lot of expenses!. On the day admittance is charged at £19.45 for an adult, £14.45 for a child etc. Children under 3 can visit for free.
Soft play was charged at an additional cost and children with annual passes were charged less than general admittance. £4.50 for 3-12 year olds and just £2 for pass holders. There is a lot of seating in this area and a couple of options for food. This is a photo of their restaurant below. You get 10% off if you eat here with an annual pass. For further information please click here.
They also have animal encounters, events, keeper experiences and animal adoption packages.
Term time tip
We visited the zoo on a Thursday during term time. Mostly because we were looking to avoid the crowds. There was actually countless school trips there. It’s great that so many kids come to the zoo but it was all very overwhelming for my 3-year-old. I am sure it’s not always that busy mid week with school kids and we must have been unlucky.
Why am I mentioning this? The school groups headed right when they arrived and without thinking so did we. I forgot my number one rule which is to head left when you go somewhere to try and avoid the crowds. If you are visiting term time in the week head the opposite way to them all and get to the picnic benches early. The zoo is reasonably large in size and we had many lovely quiet moments watching the animals just by timing things well and hanging back.
If you enjoyed my blog review I’d love a comment below
Disclosure – We were gifted our tickets in exchange for an honest review. All words and photos are my own and must not be reproduced without my permission.
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