Magic Moments // The Islands Chester Zoo

Magic Moments Text

We have an annual pass for Chester Zoo and we spend quite a lot of our time there as a family.  So when I saw that Channel 4 had made a programme about The Secret Life of Chester Zoo I immediately had it on series record.  I have always been fascinated about what goes on behind the scenes and the programme does not disappoint.  Last weeks programme focused on transporting the tigers to their new enclosure on the Islands and the stresses and planning that went in to it.  So this weekend we decided to pay them a visit in their new home.

As it was Valentines weekend we invited Harry’s best friend along for a (play) date.  It is lovely to see them together because they are very caring towards each other, playful and – on occasion – mischievous.  Both were extremely excited about being together and also about going to the zoo, so today they were more animated than normal.

The Islands Chester Zoo

Thankfully the weather was kind to us – albeit on the chilly side – so we wrapped up warm and set off.  When we arrived at the zoo car park it appeared that every other family in the Northern Hemisphere had the same idea.  The overflow to the overflow car park was already in use when we turned up.

Parts of the Islands are still under development and I wasn’t sure how many animals had been re-homed, but there were more than I expected. And luckily for us the animals had all been brought out by the crisp dry weather.  We got to see so many of them up close  – African painted dogs, Orang-utans, Sumatran tigers, Crocodiles, Giant Tortoise – and the Macaques.  My favourites were the Aardvarks.  They were all asleep and cuddling together right up by the glass viewing window.  One was on it’s back showing all it’s under carriage to anyone that wanted to look.  I would have loved to jump in with them and join in for a cuddle and a quick tummy tickle.

The Islands Chester Zoo

Dotted around the Islands are little stations that the children can go in and explore.  Hollie and Harry dived in to every one of them to see what they could find (and to pose for a couple of photos). There is also a meditation room for the adults but I didn’t go in as it would have been too tempting to stay in there.

The highlight for me was seeing the Aardvarks, my husbands was seeing the Crocodile, and if their squeals were anything to go by then theirs had nothing to do with the animals and more to do with the thick cord ropes that hang down from the doors in the Monsoon Forest.  They are there to prevent the birds from flying out but that was by-the-by to Harry and Hollie.  They liked the feeling of running through them and the fact it was dark when they were in them and they could lose each other.

Love Chester Zoo

Our day to the Islands at Chester Zoo was really enjoyable and a lovely way to spend Valentines Day.  We probably spent close to three hours on the Islands – 45 minutes of which was in the Monsoon Forest.  We didn’t get chance to go on the lazy boat river trip because Hollie and Harry had tired themselves out by then with all their running around, so we will have to go back soon and try it out.  Who knows, perhaps we could double date again!


Harry’s Honest Mummy x

Life Unexpected

Magic Moments 14/06/2015

Things have been going at a million miles an hour the last few weeks so it was good to have the day off work on Friday to take my little cheeky monkey to Chester Zoo. Harry adores the “nanimals” and luckily we invested in a season pass so it is really handy just to pack a picnic and pop along for an hour or two.

Our adventure this week took us in to the building called the Tropical Realm.   Despite the giant tortoises, caymans, and the colourful big birdies walking around, what really sent him in to a state of delirium turned out to be nothing at all with wings or four legs.  You see, to keep the temperature tropical they must spray water in to the enclosure which in turn creates……..PUDDLES!  So yes, you have guessed it, cue small child jumping from one puddle to another shouting “muddy puddles”.  Picture the scene.  I am juggling the bag, the pram and the camera and trying to navigate around people and objects to try and catch a small screaming tearaway who is having the time of his life.  If the bearded man in camo shorts is reading this then I can only thank you for joining in and slowing him down so that I could catch up.  To the woman in the beige chino’s all I can say is that I honestly believe they looked better with the splash pattern detailing.  She definitely wasn’t a mum because

  • You wouldn’t stand too close to a puddle in light clothing
  • You accept that you don’t stay clean for more than a few hours
  • You learn to laugh off the small things
  • You would never give a fellow mum such a withering look

(During the chaos I managed to delete all the photos, including of the new baby giraffe, off my camera resulting in lots of silent swearing.  Hence no photos of our trip to the zoo).

GaGa's Garden
GaGa’s Garden
GaGa's Garden 2
Running away from the scene of the crime

The following day we went to see Ganma and Gaga.  Harry was full of beans and so we tried to tire him out playing chase.  It was very impressive how far

Game of chase
Game of chase

and how fast he could go and for quite some time too.  After we left Gaga also needed a little lie down to recover.  He also loves Gaga’s garden, in particular the greenhouse.  Gaga and Ganma are keen gardeners and Harry loves walking around all the seedling pots pulling them out whilst I follow behind him shoving them back in with my thumb.  If nothing grows next year then I am not confessing to a thing!  If there is an opposite to Mr Bloom then I have given birth to it.

Have a great week everyone.


Harry’s Honest Mummy x