“ Address: East Park Drive / Blackpool / Lancashire / England „
A couple of weeks ago I got a very rare Thursday off work.
As my little girl only goes to nursery Monday - Wednesday (while my wife works), we found ourselves with a nice quiet term-time weekday to ourselves and the world our oyster!
We narrowed down to a couple of cheapish and fairly local options for a day out and tossed a coin between the Sea-Life Centre and Blackpool Zoo.
Sadly, the zoo won!
We live near Bolton, so it's a fairly straight forward ride up the M61 and across the M55 into Blackpool and takes us 30-40 minutes. Setting off between 10.00 and 10.30 meant we missed 90% of the rush hour traffic and got a nice clear run to arrive there around 11am.
Blackpool is right up on the North West coast and covers a good area. The zoo is less than a mile from the sea front.
Once you find yourself within 7 or 8 miles of Blackpool signs begin for the zoo, so it's easy to find.
It has its own car park - pay and display (of course!) - and is walking distance (again, under a mile) from the closest railway station. The zoo is just off a main road with excellent public transport links.
At peak time there can be a decent queue here I gather. Best bet is to book your tickets online and print them at home. Not only does it let you bypass the lines, it saves a few quid as well!
Tickets cost a fairly meaty £15.50 each (under 3's free), but booking online gives a discount to just under £14 each.
As you pass the turnstyles there is an option to buy a programme. Sadly, as with a lot of attractions now, this is fairly essential if only for the zoo map, so another £2.50 parted with.
Because we visited mid-week when schools were in term time we had a good run of the place. There were a lot of older visitors there, a few similar aged (pre-school) families and a handful of large school trips but the zoo can't have been at even half capacity and it was quite nice not having to fight to see the 'big draw' exhibits.
There isn't an obvious set route around the zoo, it doesn't 'flow' particularly well but that's not necessarily a bad thing. Since it was approaching lunch-time we opted to stay fairly close to the food court which is quite near the entrance, so we did the Dinosaur Safari - one of the biggest draws to the zoo so I gather.
Well, what a disappointment.
The 'safari' is a winding road with plastic dinosaurs placed randomly, some with a little description and some just plonked there. Poorly hidden speakers emit weak jungle noises but really, it is hard to lose yourself in the ambience. Some of the trail passes over a large lake on wooden platforms and the lake is full of beautiful Coy Carp - sad to say, that was the best bit. The dinosaurs were old and faded looking, a lot had holes in them or peeling paint and the streams and little lake had all sorts of rubbish in them (crisp packets and empty bottles). It was just very cheap feeling I'm afraid.
Still, it killed half an hour or so, so we decided to eat.
Probably the worst eating experience in a theme park ever, and I've been to Euro Disney!
The choice was laughable. Cheese and onion pie, home made lasagne or cold sandwiches.
My wife was brave enough to try the Lasagne, but I got a sandwich each for me and my little girl. After paying for our meagre tray of food (which involved a pound of flesh and some forms involving the re-mortgaging of our house) we chose a table inside to eat.
The table was dirty, so we moved, and the new one was even more so! We must have been one of the first sittings since the place was quiet and we were eating early, but the tables had old sauce on them and felt sticky to the touch. We eventually moved outside to take our chances with the seagulls.
The food wasn't horrible after all that, but scandalously overpriced and not very satisfying. I honestly wish we'd taken a picnic now, an idea which I'd shot down earlier as it was another hassle we didn't need.
After eating we thought about grabbing an ice-cream, but the map showed half a dozen little fixed sweet and ice-cream kiosks dotted around the park, so we plotted a little route taking in all we wanted to see and estimated that we'd happen across one of these kiosks within the hour, so left it as a bit of a treat to look forward to.
Another mistake! Because the zoo was only half full, they had evidently decided not to open the kiosks. We eventually found one open (the only open one in the entire zoo!) on the kids play area at about 4pm.
I was pretty annoyed about that frankly, if they advertise amenities then I expect to be able to use them.
Luckily, the zoo managed to get this right! While every single one of the amenities managed to get it wrong on some level, the animals always raised a smile.
The zoo doesn't have a huge range of animals due to its size, but each animal has plenty of room to which is always nice to see.
I think we took in just about everything. Our favourites, as with most I imagine, were the big cats (we watched the lions being fed) and the other 'big game' like the Elephants.
There are a few custom built enclosures with great viewing platforms above them. Wolf Ridge was great - watching them stalk, observe and even just lounge around was fascinating and they have loads of space!
It's always nice to see hands-on attractions as well. The petting zoo was a big hit with all three of us, as was Lemur Wood - a gated enclosure with a set path to walk with the cheeky little creatures hopping all over you in search of food (you're told not to touch them but it's tough when they are rummaging in your pockets!)
If there was a disappointment, it was the reptile house. It was damp and dirty and not very pleasant. I know it has to be a certain climate for the creepie crawlies within, but there is no excuse for old spiders webs and rotten, peeling wood along the tops of the displays.
Oh, and another one. While we were there they were rebuilding the monkey houses - we knew about that so had braced for partial disappointment, but all there was in the end was a small building with spider monkeys and more lemurs. Gorilla Island sounded promising, but after 20 minutes of watching we only saw one, and at a ridiculous distance.
The Sealion pool is good fun, the largest in the UK if the signs are true, and with a 200+ seat theatre to watch them play and view the trainer displays!
Lots - apparently. There is a little soft-play centre next door called the Playbarn, but we were a bit taken aback to find it wasn't included in the ticket price. It was only a couple of pounds extra, but with only half an hour before closing when we left we decided to skip it.
The gift shop is quite attractive, but we didn't end up buying anything. We were rummaging for a soft toy to remind Mia of her visit, but nothing really resonated with us as 'Blackpool Zoo' other than a dinosaur, and we wanted to forget that little experience really! The staff in there looked downright miserable too, and I can't bring myself to part with money in a place that doesn't look like it wants it, so we left empty handed bar a balloon we bought out in the zoo.
There is a free play area and a nice open park for picnics inside the zoo that we found all too late, but it was a nice little rest when we did.
Dotted around the place are childrens ride-on-animals at a reasonable 50p a go, so we played on a few of those and got some lovely pictures. Also scattered around are games like water cannons - but they were dreadful. Half the features on them were defective or missing altogether and actually took away from the experience rather than adding to it.
Well, it's the first time I've been to Blackpool zoo so I'm quite glad we tried it. Sadly, Chester zoo is only an extra ten minutes driving the other way and our next zoo visit will definitely be there - it's ten times the experience, clean and friendly and a pleasure to visit.
Blackpool zoo was quite dirty, poor at catering to its customers needs and (I feel) a bit expensive for what it delivers.
Now, I know they do a lot in terms of animal conservation and education so I sincerely hope they continue to do well, but after my visit I have to say it'll be a long time until I visit again.
In my opinion the base is there for an extremely pleasant day out, but I'd suggest that the whole place needs a good clean and a damn good painting, the facilities need to be open all the time the park is or else advertised as "closed between x and y times and days", and the staff need to be taught how far a friendly smile goes.
A generous three stars because you can see the effort that goes into the welfare of the animals, but it could have very easily been a 2/5 review this one.
Blackpool Zoo was officially opened in 1972. The Zoo is set across 32 acres of land which is home to hundreds of animals.
~Location, Opening Times and Prices~
Blackpool Zoo, East Park Drive, Blackpool, FY3 8PP
Blackpool Zoo is approximately 2 miles from the seafront of Blackpool and located a short walk from Stanley Park. During the peak season, buses run from the town centre straight to the zoo. The Zoo has a car park which can accommodate a good number of cars.
Blackpool Zoo is open everyday except the 25th of December. The Zoo opens at 10 am each day and closes at either 4.45pm or 5.45pm depending on season. The last admission for the Zoo is 45 mins before it closes.
There are lots of different pricing options offered by the Zoo and you can save around 5% by booking online.
*Adult - £15.50 (membership £38.75)
*Child (3-15yrs) - £11.00 (membership £27.50)
*Concessions - £13.50 (membership £33.75)
*Family of 4 - £48.00 (membership £120.00)
*Family of 5 - £57.00 (membership £142.50)
It is worth noting the facilities before I discuss the animals at the Zoo. The main foyer of the Zoo includes toilets (disabled and baby changing available), a cafe with small play area, the Zoo shop and also areas for corporate events. The foyer is where you can purchase your tickets before heading into the Zoo.
Within the Zoo, there are toilets located in various areas, a nursery (see website for fees), educational areas and various food chalets which are open during peak seasons to offer ice cream, drinks and sweet treats. There is a cafe known as the Lake View Cafe which offers light bites and refreshments. There is a small, outdoor play area to the far end of the Zoo and a small train which runs around one end of the Zoo (£1.00 per person). There are feeding sessions and also the opportunity to become a zookeeper for the day etc.
There is a huge playbarn located around the corner from the main entrance of the Zoo which costs from £1.75 upwards. There are picnic areas and benches dotted around the Zoo and also drinks machines. There is plenty of grass to roam or relax on during warmer months. The Zoo is fully accessible for prams and wheelchairs (these can also be hired) as the pavements are flat all the way around the Zoo.
The animals who live at the Zoo have their own areas - huge enclosures, barns, large grassy areas and also indoor sleeping areas. There are a few lakes around the Zoo which are home to the more aquatic animals that live there. Most of the animals can be viewed by walking around the Zoo. Others are most likely to be in their indoor space. There is a Wallaby Walkabout allowing you to get up close to the animals.
The Elephant and Reptile House is home to the elephants and snakes. The Amazonia dome is home to some fish and small monkey type animals which roam about free. There is a childrens farm which has set times for petting the animals and is ideal for those who are a little scared of the bigger animals within the park.
The visitor guide book is priced at £2.50 and can be purchased from the main reception. This book gives plenty of info about the animals you will see and their temperment. There is also a map to give you an idea of where to go to see each animal. The animals at Blackpool Zoo include tigers, gorillas, tortoises, flamingos and penguins plus many more. Each enclosure features information plaques which give an insight into the animal you are watching.
Despite having visited Blackpool more than 30 times since my childhood, I had never visited the Zoo. We had decided to take our toddler son to the Zoo on our visit to Blackpool last week. We arrived by taxi (£10 from the seafront - ouch!) last Tuesday morning and were there for the Zoo opening. We arrived a little earlier than 10am but were able to walk around the foyer and have a peek in the shop.
My review is based on our visit during an 'out of season' day. Personally I would recommend visiting during the Summer as the park was pretty quiet and not as buzzing as it should have been. This did mean we could wander around freely without bumping others out the way to see the animals but the chalets weren't open and only part of the cafe was open during our visit. It was quite a dreary but dry day so we couldn't play at the play park or relax with a picnic either and an ice cream was a no no!
My son had a quick play in the small play area before entering the Zoo. We had planned on taking him to the playbarn afterwards but a 'tired strop' resulted in us missing that part out. The entrance foyer is very modern and well adapted to handle busy crowds. The shop has quite a varied range of merchandise including little items such as pencils and rules, juice and sweets. They also stock more expensive items including toys, ornaments and clothing. We had forgot to purchase a disposable camera so ended up buying a Fujifilm at £7.00. My son wanted to buy a small train set (£5.99) and we paid nearly £3.50 for a bottle of Coca Cola and a Fruit Shoot - not cheap!
We didn't have any vouchers for the Zoo so paid full price. We made a purchase of a guide book and the total for our visit came to just under £44 which I paid by debit card. I believe this is a fair price for 2 adults and 1 child though it would be incredibly expensive for larger families to visit, dine and buy shop treats at the same time! The staff members that we encourtered were very friendly. We did see a few out feeding the animals during our visit and they were informative if information was requested.
We were able to go around the Zoo ourselves with complete ease. The Zoo is huge and very spacious. The various animal areas are clearly signposted and there is a little walk between the different sections. I would say we got to experience all of the animals but this review would be too long to discuss them all. I will mention our favourites in a bit more detail. I would say the guide book is an essential purchase - more so for the map!
~What Can You See?~
The animals all appeared happy and healthy in their 'home'. The enclosures were incredibly spacious in most cases and the animals had plenty of space to roam, sleep and eat. I did notice electric fences around some enclosures but in most cases, large wooden or metal fences were in place with strict instructions not to feed or touch the animals. I love animals - well looking at them but I certainly wouldn't want to be in 'close' contact with any as I value my life too much - that being said, they were all very well behaved and none acted up during our visit.
My son was a little scared of the animals to be honest but this was his first time at a Zoo of this size. We did try to calm him but certain loud noises would scare him even if the animal was behind a massive fence! Anyway, most children will appreciate the variation of animals but some will be appreciated more than others. A lot of the animals have their own names but as a game, we made up names for some animals based on animal characters in my sons favourite shows!
The first area that we witnessed was the tortoises. The huge tortoise barely moved and I believe it had moved an inch or two by the time we returned to him a few hours later! I was amused by two other tortoises as one was trying to 'nudge' the other out a bit of mud it had became stuck in. My son was not keen on the Dinosaur Safari complete with huge, realistic dinosaur exhibits, water and greenery.
The tiger we met was kept inside as he was being trained but normally ran wild in a huge play area suited to his needs. He was beautiful in terms of colour but his teeth did nerve me somewhat! The lion/lioness were absolutely stunning. The lion relaxed and allowed the lioness pride to pose - he looked like the 'big daddy' who had the ladies flocking around him and was quite a sight with this stunning mane. Nearby we met the Giraffes who had wandered indoor for a bite to eat. I believe there were 5 giraffes and by walking up the ramp to 'Giraffe Heights' we were able to view them from above - it is amazing how tall they are!
Some of the smaller animals didn't appear to be willing to come out to play or pose which was disappointing. A short walk around the park, we met the orangutans. These were our favourites! The orangutans had a huge enclosure with glass panels around it. They had a swinging apparatus and a water and grass area to play in as well as an indoor area where they could also be viewed. The orangutans were very cheeky and playful and we couldn't help but visit here a few times. One had hidden himself inside a bundle of hay which was funny whilst another inside on sending me and my son kisses through the glass inside.
The gorillas were located opposite the orangutans and were equally as fun to watch especially during feeding time. I was amazed by how 'human' like these animals actually were! One gorilla took all he could to eat (including holding a cabbage between his feet) whilst the big gorilla sat proudly in the corner and didn't care who saw him eating his meal. There was an adorable baby gorilla who enjoyed playing hide and seek which was amusing to watch.
We were on time to witness the penguins being fed. The penguin pool has a viewing area which was very popular. The seagulls were perched on the rock watching for the fish being distributed and I am very surprised that the penguins actually got anything to eat! It was interesting to witness though we didn't get to see any other feeding sessions during our visit. As we wandered around the Zoo, we were able to see the gorgeous flamingos, several camels and even reindeer (who by the way, didn't look like Rudolph!).
The elephant enclosure was huge but due to the positioning of trees and bushes, it was difficult to get a good picture of the elephants. From what we could see, there were 2 elephants and they were absolutely massive! We wandered into the Elephant and Reptile house which stank to high heavens but wasn't particularly of any interest to us. The Amazonia wasn't amazing either. I expected it to be like the Amazonia in Scotland but it wasn't very populated with animals. There were small monkeys here which looked rather cheeky and my son wanted to speak to them as they were cute! There was also a parrot enclosure near Amazonia - absolutely stunning and colourful birds here.
The Childrens Farm terrified my son despite me assuming he would love it! There was a small climbing frame and drinks machine in there but not somewhere you would want to sit long as it smelled quite bad due to the different animals. There was no handling sessions whilst we were there but they are normally held twice daily. I personally found the barn the perfect size for the smaller animals but the donkeys did not look impressed about being in such a limited space. The barn had lots of animals and we named them all and encouraged our son to speak to them. There were a few sheep, donkeys, goats and one massive black pig! The llamas were very cool and 'relaxed'. I personally went daft for the rabbits and guinea pigs. They had huge rabbits and I so wished I could have held one! This area (and several others) had soap and water to clean your hands after handling the animals which I feel is very responsible.
~Grabbing A Bite To Eat~
We chose to have a bite to eat in the Lake View cafe. This cafe was very spacious inside though had a canteen type ambience. During the warmer months, there is an ice cream and burger bar open but the main part of the cafe is open all year round. The choice of food wasn't amazing but acceptable all the same. There were prepacked sandwiches, kids boxes, drinks and sweets. Hot meals included chilli, baked potato and corned beef hash with veg etc. There was a chiller with salad items and yoghurt.
My son wanted sausage and chips (he had an addiction to this meal last week for some reason!) which came in a big portion. I went for a baked potato with cheese and a side of coleslaw and tomato - quite filling and tasty. My fiance had some sandwiches and we had two drinks between us. The total cost was around £15.00 (paid by debit card).
Before leaving the Zoo, we popped into the other cafe (in the entrance foyer) for some cake. They had a good selection of cakes and biscuits and served Starbucks drinks. The drinks were expensive but average for this type of establishment (£2-3 a drink). We had a slice of Victoria sponge filled with jam and fresh cream - absolutely delicious and well worth £2.95 a slice in my opinion! Our son had some of our cake and also a pack of Bourbons and a banana which were fairly cheap to buy.
We did visit the toilets at the far side of the Zoo which were spacious, well stocked and clean. The park in general is well maintained throughout and kept very tidy.
~Conclusion and Recommendation~
We can highly recommend the Zoo. Despite spending nearly £100 in total, we had a fab time. I have no doubts that my son may be less afraid for our next visit and we will return in the future. There is lots to do and see here and the animals are so engaging and welcoming. We spent around 3hours in the park but could have spent longer had our son not been exhausted from all the walking!
I would give Blackpool Zoo 5 stars as it exceeded our expectations and we will be back! We captured some amazing memories during our visit.
Thanks for reading x
As an animal management student I am required to visit various zoos and animal exhibits as part of my course and one of my trips recently was to Blackpool Zoo.
On entering, the first area that me and my friends explored was the "Dinosaur Safari," this attraction basically entails following various paths and coming face to face with large models of dinosaurs, which I thought looked a bit shabby in all honesty; the paint was faded and peeling off some of them and they were hardly realistic looking. There were some impressive water features granted, such as a large volcano that water erupted from, a couple of pools and also a waterfall that you could walk behind. On paper this sounds rather impressive but in my opinion it is a waste of space in the zoo; apart from some naff models and a bit of water there was little else apart from grass and a few plants. There were no interactive displays or anything to get you involved and in my view it would be so much better if the space was given to the animals - they certainly need it.
The first animal that we went to see was the tiger, I was bitterly disapointed in the enclosure and felt that the space was extremely small; even for a zoo. The entire outside area consisted of grass and nothing more, from what I could see there was no enrichment of any kind available and if the tiger had wanted to do so much as run, it would have found it difficult to do so in such a confined area. There was a path worn down around the perimeter of the enclosure close to the fence, and the one tiger I could see was relentlessly pacing up and down. There was nothing for it to climb on, nothing for it to hide in, no trees or foliage at all. It was plain to see that the animal was stressed - in my opinion, enclosures in zoos should be as near to the wild as possible, for a tiger this means that lots of trees and cover should be available as well as a lot of space as they are naturally creatures that love to roam. This of course would make viewing more difficult for the public but why should an animal's welfare be compromised just for the benefit of visitors?
Other enclosures that really made my blood boil were the giraffes and elephants. The giraffes (of which there were at least five or six of them) were standing in a small yard huddled together, they are huge animals and barely had the room to walk about and I am not exagerating here! They also had an indoor house that consisted of metal and concrete with some hay scattered on the floor; I thought perhaps that this might be temperary and that they would have some grassland or another area to roam in, further exploration of the zoo revealed no, that was all the space that they had. The elephant enclosure was frankly a disgrace. The zoo has five asian elephants and the outside area that they had could barely fit 2 of them in it; it was an extremely small paved area that left room for little more than a slow amble. The other 3 elephants were inside their house, most of which was closed off for reptile and inveterbrate exhibits. The little space that the elephants had in their own house was bare concrete and metal bars; the only enrichment they had were a few small sticks of wood on the floor. I am no animal rights activist but is this any life for an elephant? A life were they are unable to do so much as run about or even move freely.
Some exhibits were better, the sea lion tank was pretty to look at and was certainly a lot bigger than most enclosures I had seen there. This I am sure, is due to the fact that shows are performed daily and of course, it has to look good to the public. The "beach" area that the sea lions had was simply painted concrete and the water wasn't particularly deep so diving properly would be difficult. However, even so, this was by far the best enclosure the zoo had to offer. One of the funnest parts of the day was being able to walk through an enclosure of various monkeys and birds; the squirrel monkeys were very curious and loved jumping on people! Though keepers were always at hand with bottles of water to squirt them with and shoo them away.
I realise that this review may seem incredibly biased but I am not particularly against zoos at all, some zoos and safari parks such as Chester Zoo and Longleat are incredible, it's only visiting other places like Blackpool Zoo that make you realise how much better the other establishments are. Blackpool Zoo would be so much better if they just utilised the space available to them; are a load of fibreglass dinosaur models really necessary when the space could be used for the animals? Other bits I was not impressed with were the dining areas that looked really shabby and cheap but expected £2.90 for 1 slice of limp pizza! The gift shop was extremely overpriced as they often are in these places and the whole zoo gave the impression that it could do with a tidy up, a lick of paint and a serious re-plan! At £14.99 to get it, it's certainly cheaper than some zoos, but I would recommend saving your money and giving it a miss!
East Park Drive,
T: 01253 830 830
ACCESSIBILITY AND PARKING
There is a large pay and display car park outside the zoo. The cost for this is £2.50 per day, which is quite reasonable. Alternatively, you can park for free at Stanley Park car park, and walk through the park to East Park Drive, then up Woodside Drive to the Zoo entrance. This is a walk of about a mile and is a pleasant alternative, if you wish to visit both Stanley Park and the Zoo. The walking route to the Zoo is well-signposted throughout Stanley Park and is very easy to find.
You can also get a bus - route 20 stops at the zoo. The timetable can be found here: http://www.blackpooltransport.com
The Zoo opens at 10am daily. Closing times vary throughout the year depending on what time it gets dark. Check the zoo website to find out when it closes when you want to visit.
ADULT (16 - 59 years): £14.99
CHILD (3 - 15 years): £10.75
UNDER 3s: Free
CONCESSIONS (Senior/Student - with valid ID): £12.99
DISCOUNTED FAMILY TICKET FOR 4 (2 adults and 2 children): £46.00
DISCOUNTED FAMILY TICKET FOR 5 (2 adults and 3 children): £56.00
Local residents with an FY1 to FY5 postcode get a discount of 20% off admission on production of a proof of address, eg a recent utility bill or driving licence. This is valid for up to 5 people per household.
BLACKPOOL ZOO EXPERIENCE
As a local, I have been to Blackpool Zoo many times. I try to take my children there at least once a year during the summer holidays. I have seen it grow and develop from a series of little concrete enclosures to a far more pleasant living environment for the animals.
As you enter, the first animals you see are the giant tortoises directly opposite the entrance. They are quite friendly and will often come over and look at visitors peering at them over the fencing.
Next you have the option of visiting the Dinosaur Safari. Until recently this was subject to an extra charge, but it has since been incorporated into the entry fee. It is a trek through time, through several different eras of saurian evolution, finishing with the prehistoric creatures that lived after the dinosaurs. There is a dino-egg hunt for the kids also. It's worth a look and it is a unique start to your zoo trip. I don't know of many other zoos that have dinosaurs in them!
Once in the zoo proper, you will walk past the display arena which has daily bird displays at 11am and 3pm. There are talks throughout the day at various animal enclosures - you can either follow the guide around, or make your own way around the Zoo Park.
Recent returnees to the Zoo include the penguins and giraffes, both in all-new habitats, far more suitable to their requirements than their previous enclosures.
Other old favourites include: otters, penguins, sealions, which are fed twice daily with a fantastic display or water acrobatics, elephants, orang-utans, chimps and gorillas on Gorilla Mountain, lions, tigers, camels, porcupines, emus, zebras, the beautiful and striking African Bongos, The Reptile House, and Lemur Wood, where you walk over a wooden bridge and experience lemurs coming right up to you. Touching the lemurs is forbidden, but it is hard to resist trying to stroke these furry beauties! Santa also keeps his reindeer here out of season, and they can be found opposite the zebra and bongo house - last time we went they even had baby reindeer!
One fab new addition is Amazonia, where you can walk through a recreation of an Amazon jungle with various species of birds and small primates. Cheeky squirrel monkeys will happily jump all over your bags and pushchairs and even all over you, hunting for food. If you do have any food on you, tuck it tightly away in a zipped packet or bag, or you will lose it!
Wallaby Walkabout is another recent addition to the Zoo. It is home to the wallabies and kangaroos which have for years been a favourite exhibit at the zoo. Now you can get up close and personal with them and walk right through their habitat. It's as close as you can get to Australia! My kids loved this!
Near the ape house and the new penguin enclosure is a children's playground, which is always popular. There is ample seating for picnicking and for adults to keep an eye on their own little monkeys as they play. If you haven't brought your own food, there is an excellent café located near the display arena.
One perennial favourite is the Zoo Miniature Railway, which starts and finishes from near the children's play area and takes you on a tour of the outer perimeter of the zoo, and back again if you buy a return ticket, enabling you to see some of the exhibits from the other side of the fence. There is an extra charge for this of £1.50 single to the Aardvark exhibit, or £2.50 return back to the playground, but it's always popular with the kids.
Quite simply, Blackpool Zoo is a fun family day out. If you want to get away from the buzz of the town, take a day to visit the Zoo and commune with nature. And they have ice-cream!!
I am a massive fan of Blackpool, as much as people say its cheesy, dirty, expensive etc, i still love it there and go quite a few times a year. During my many visits, i had never actually been to the zoo there, and as a massive animal fan too i thought it was finally time to go - taking my daughter was the perfect opportunity to go!
Our trip to the zoo - we planned our day out (me, my friend and our children) quite a few days in advance so we were both happy and disappointed when the day arrived and it was extremely hot - pleased as it was a lovely day to be out, but disappointed as we were dreading the amount of people that would be there. When we arrived we saw that we were correct about the amount of people there and ended up on the far car park, which wasn't all that bad as it isn't too long a walk, but we were shocked to see that the car park is pay and display which we had no idea so had no change for the machine - this meant a walk all the way to get some change and back again, then back to the gates to get in. Not a great start!!
On entering the zoo we were provided with a map of the whole area along with a list of activities such as feeding times which was brilliant as that was something i really wanted to see and for my daughter to see for the first time.
When we got into the zoo itself i was really surprised at how big it is, i really didn't expect it at all so that was a bonus. There is a wide range of animals in the zoo - Gorilla's, Orangutan's, Lemur's, Spider Monkey's, Lion's, Tiger's, Giraffe's, Sea Lion's, Elephant's, Reindeer, Donkey's, Meerkat's and Penguin's to name just a few. There is also a range of birds and reptiles, so almost every animal/mammal you can think of you will find in this zoo.
The Penguin enclosure was only opened in 2009, it was just being built when i visited so although i haven't actually seen them yet i think this will be a real highlight of the zoo visit.
It is brilliant how close you can get to the animals, just a glass screen seperates you from the likes of the lions and tigers and this is a fantastic photo opportunity in my opinion. The feeding sessions are exciting to watch, we were lucky enough to get a really good spot to watch the sea lions perform and being fed, that was maybe the best part of the day.
As well as the animals to see, there is a dinosaur safari trail where you come face to face with the huge dinosaurs - tyrannosaurus rex, marine reptiles and over 30 other amazing prehistoric creatures. Going on the trail will take you under an erupting volcano, past spouting water, running streams and misty lakes. There are some awesome sound effects which brings the whole prehistoric era to life. This is a brilliant trail and the children seem to love it - as well as many of the parents!!!
There is also a walk through indoor area where there are loose monkeys but this was pretty much my idea of hell, i was absolutely terrified and couldn't wait to get out of there but for people who aren't afraid of monkeys i would say they would love this section of the zoo.
Other activities in the zoo include face painting for children which is £4.00 so not too expensive and there are kiosks to buy ice cream around the park. I was glad to see there were plenty of tables throughout the zoo, as we took a picnic so it was great to be able to have different areas to choose from. The large entrance area to the zoo houses a modern coffee shop, a large gift shop, a soft play area for the children, a lecture theatre and toilets. Next to the elephant enclosure is a large cafe which serves a good range of food which i can't comment on as we didn't eat there but as we passed it was packed out so i can only presume it was good! The gift shop has a large range of souveneirs to take home, these include soft toys of many of the animals, clothes, stationary and many many other things. My daughter chose some zebra ears (a headband with little ears on) and a toy elephant.
Talks and feeding times are at set times during the day - these are as follows:
10.50 Spider Monkeys
12.00 Sea Lions
2.00 Sea Lions
2.20 Red Pandas
2.45 Big Cats
3.30 Sea Lions
4.30 Creepy Crawlies
4.45 Sea Lions
I would say to try and arrive early to these as they fill up very quickly and it can be disappointing not to get a good view.
Prices: Adults £14.50
Children £10.25 (under 3's are free)
Concessions/Senior Citizen £12.50
Family ticket (2 adults/2 children) £44.00
Discounted family ticket (2 adults/3 children) £53.00
There are memberships available until the end of the year if you would be a regular visitor, these are reasonably priced at £29.00 for an adult and £20.50 for children. Another good point is that Tesco Clubcard vouchers can be used here (the ones you trade your vouchers in for) however please note they do take quite a few days to arrive so order in plenty of time!
Finally, outside the zoo you will find Arnie Aardvarks playbarn which is a fantastic indoor play area set on three levels and there is a good sized area for toddlers also. There is a huge four lane tiger slide in the barn along with ball cannons and a large sports area. The playbarn is at a seperate cost to the zoo.
Blackpool Zoo is extremely easy to find, it is situated on East Park Drive and is well signposted on the way into Blackpool whichever route in you take. If you are coming from the motorway, follow the M6 to junction 32 and then follow the brown signs. If you are using sat nav, the postcode is FY3 8PP. The zoo is extremely clean and we found the staff to be very friendly too which adds to the experience of the day.
Overall i think a trip to Blackpool Zoo is a really good day out, the children (and adults) love it, there is such a large range of animals to see, the talks are good to watch so there really is something for everyone. I can't wait to go back again during this summer, and especially can't wait to see the Penguins!!
I've been to Blackpool zoo several times a year for the last 3 years now and have always had a great day.
Although it's not the biggest zoo you will ever visit, it does have most of the impressive animals, such as lions, tigers, giraffes, gorillas and sealions, along with lots of other smaller animals like otters, kangaroos and monkeys.
The zoo is really nicely laid out in lovely grounds, so it's got a nice spacious feel to it and in the Summer there are plenty of places to spread out a blanket and have a picnic.
The cafeteria has quite a lot of tables inside and several outside. Only on the busiest days (school Summer holidays for example) have we ever struggled to get a table. The food in the cafe is pricey, as you would expect in a place like this, but the hot food has always been really nice. Even my extremely fussy kids have always cleared their plates!
There is a great penguin enclosure (new in 2009) and feeding time is well worth watching just to see the penguins battle it out with the seagulls for their dinner.
There's a childrens area of the zoo with lots of farmyard type animals and also a small petting zoo area which is great for young children.
Although I'm not an expert, to my eye all the animals looked happy and well cared for and the enclosures looked clean and well maintained.
You can easily spend a whole day there and you feel like you have seen everything - in some ways an advantage over the other bigger zoos where it's a struggle to get round the whole place in one day.
If you are a Tesco shopper, it's worth noting that you can use your clubcard vouchers to buy admission tickets (you have to do this in advance by ordering them online).
For any family with young children this is a great day out.
I went to Blackpool Zoo for my birthday last year, in mid-September, and I can't say that it was the most impressive zoo I've been to, though perhaps this wasn't entirely the zoo's fault.
First things first, I have a severe phobia of wasps. Extremely severe. I can't be in the same room as one, or somewhere that a wasp is able to reach, without panicking. Blackpool Zoo, in September, had more wasps than animals in actual enclosures, leaving me spending the whole trip on edge and (I'm not afraid to admit it) leaving in tears.
Back to the start, then. Blackpool Zoo is, like much of the rest of Blackpool, fairly run down. Anywhere else, this would put me off straight away, but it's the run-down aspect of Blackpool that makes it quirky, and I was happy to overlook this at the zoo. However, the zoo itself also seemed fairly empty, and the animals (other than the lions, giraffes and monkeys) looked thoroughly bored - not surprising, since their enclosures seemed void of anything entertaining, for the most part.
My two favourite animals being lions and (I'll let you guess why!) meerkats, I was also disappointed to find that even in the height of meerkat fame, their enclosure was hidden at the back, behind another building, with only a tiny window for viewing. I caught a glimpse of a meerkat, admittedly, but was hoping at least to spend ten seconds watching them. Larger spider monkeys playing together made a wonderful view, and the giraffes behind a glass screen allowed me to get extremely close up and look them in the eye as they bent to say hello, but other animals, particularly the penguins, lay still in their empty enclosures.
If it weren't for the wasps, my favourite enclosure would have been the walk-through monkey house. Tiny monkeys run free, and visitors to the zoo can walk amongst them and enjoy a unique viewing experience, but those yellow and black pests were everywhere. The enclosure was crowded with guests, even on a quiet day, and once you're in you can't back out. I was left fighting my way through people, unable to escape, panicking as wasps came near me every few seconds - embarrassing, but how I looked to others wasn't my concern at the time.
I know bugs aren't the concern of Blackpool Zoo, but I really felt that they could have done something to reduce the number around the park. That said, the staff looked just as uninterested in the park and visitors as the penguins had.
An animal lover, I'd expected a lot from my day at Blackpool Zoo, but to me it just wasn't up to standard. The animals didn't seem happy, the park had very little to attract attention, and the staff looked truly bored. Thank goodness for the lions!
The zoo is very easy to find and is sign posted well within blackpool. When we got to the Zoo I felt that having to pay for the car park was a little cheeky and being in August the car park was very busy. It was only £2.
They do offer discount for special needs and I think we got one carer in free, make sure to ask if there are any discounts available for your party.
I dont think I would go often as the admission into the zoo is quiet expensive, you can check prices on the zoo website.
we went with a lady with learning disabilities and in a wheelchair, the changing/toliet facilities were of a good standerd and the the Zoo its self was quiet flat and very wheelchair friendly.
They have a small gift shop in the main entrance.
We found the zoo well laid out and didnt miss any of the animals. The lemar walk is very good as they are free to roam around you and you can come within inches of them. They provide antibac spray as you go into the walk to prevent any cross infection for both humans and animals.
The restaurant sells a good variety of food for all the family and prices are quiet resonable. There is a large setting area inside and picnic benches outside.
I went to Blackpool Zoo back in November. When we got there we had to pay for the car park which we were a little disappointed about but luckily it was only £2. When we went in to get our ticket for the zoo the lady serving us was very friendly and helpful. The zoo has all the main animals that you want to see, elephants, giraffes, monkeys, lions, tigers to just to name a few. I particularly liked seeing the lions on tigers as you can get close to them and see them from behind glass, this enables you to get some good pictures, unlike other zoos where you can only see them from behind a fence and can't get any good pictures. It also has smaller animals such as Meer Cats and reptiles. When I went in November a baby giraffe had been born not long before and that was nice to see the older giraffes protecting it.
The zoo also has a childrens play centre attached to it which we went in after. The price was cheap in there and my step daughter loved it. It is by far the biggest one we have been to and I even got to go on the slides and jump in the ball pool myself!
The food prices at both the zoo and the play centre are reasonable too. I had a jacket potato in the play centre.
I would recommend this zoo very highly, I have only been to 3 other zoo's in my life but this was definately comes out on top.
On a recent visit to Blackpool we visited the Blackpool zoo for the first time, although we have been to Blackpool twice before in the past few years we didn't go to the zoo during these visits, we read about the zoo on the internet and a few friends had told us it was really good.
Unfornately we went to Blackpool for the illuminations and the weather wasn't great but we still went to the zoo and had a great day, the zoo opens at 10am and there is a bus running from Blackpool prom (outside the Tower) that takes you right to the zoo, however we didn't realise this so we got a taxi to the zoo.
The entrance to the zoo is a building with the payment area, a kids play area and a cafe, above the tills there is a list of prices, for an adult the price is £13.99 and for a child the price is £9.99, although they also do family tickets for two adults and three children it cost £50.
Once the payments have been made you then go through a small gate and are then into the outdoor area of the zoo, here is were there are large tortoises and a few other outdoor animals like peguins.
Looking around the zoo I soon realised that all the animals were quite close together and there were no hills to climb, unlike the Belfast zoo. anyway there was and indoor insect area and an indoor bird area. Other animals included elephants, giraffes, monkies, tigers, lions, penguins, and many others.
Upon entrance we were given a map of the zoo along with a list of activities going on in the zoo throughout the day, which was really useful.
We were able to listen to a short talk about each animal, the talks lasted around 10 minutes and after this we watched as the animals were fed, later on we watch a short bird show which we seen a parrot fly through hoops in the air.
Other activities that were going on in the zoo were face painting, which cost £4.00 for each child, a gorilla poo throwing competition, which cost 50p per child, my kids didn't fancy this though. In the insect enclosure there was a short period of time were we could hold certain insects.
During the time walking around the insect enclosure we seen quite a lot of insects but one that really got my attention was the hissing cockroache, it looked creepy, however we held the cockroache it wasn't as creepy as it had first looked, we also held a stick insect and we stroked a lizard.
Around the zoo there were plenty of areas to sit and and rest or have lunch. Although there was a cafe but we had already packed our own lunch so I'm not sure of the prices.
Other things to do around the zoo was a trampoline and a bouncy castle, both of these cost around £2.00 each for a 5 minute go. There was also a park which was suited to toddlers. In the entrance building there was also a play area for kids, it was like a small version of Jungle Jims, the kids could play in ball pits and play on the rope bridges etc. There was a sign on the entrance to the play area saying that for 15 minutes it would cost £1.00 per child, however we were not charged for this, so I'm not sure if the charge applies or they made a mistake by not charging us.
Also around the zoo there was also stalls were you could buy ice cream and juice etc, although the stalls were quite expensive we bought one bottle of juice and four ice creams which cost £8.00.
All in all the zoo was really good, we were able to spend the whole day in the zoo and we all had a great day. We arrived at the zoo at 10am and didn't arrive back to our appartment until about 5.30pm.
Another thing I should mention is that the bus stop is just outside the front entrace of the zoo, which is pretty handy. The bus cost us £2.00 each and £1.00 each for the kids, so altogether our fare was £6.00.
On our trip to the zoo we spent around £75, which is quite expensive, however the zoo was excellent and as I said we were able to spend all day there and if we ever return to Blackpool we intend on returning to the zoo.
I go to Blackpool regularly. I have been in most of the attractions & this is no exception.
I would descibe the Zoo as mid size. This is a good thing. You can get round it quickly if you like spending a few minutes at each enlosure & get out in half a day. Equally, if you want to know more about the animals you can comfortably spend an entire day inside.
There are lots of animals from different places around the world. These include Big Cats, Hoof animals, Sea Faring Mammals & Birds also things that you won't see often like Lemurs, Kangaroos & Wallabies.
There are lots of plus points. Loads of animals for starters. The talks second. These are informative 5 minute chats on specific animals. Most of the animals in the park are covered. Also the tend not to overlap so it is easy to plan your day around them & get to know the animals a little better. They are also a good length. Not too long or short. The entrace fee is reasonable. I wouldn't call it cheap, but equally it isn't expensive. Especially by Blackpool's standards. The food court is also very good value for money, with very large portions at fair prices.
There are some small downsides. The Zoo is in central Blackpool, but you will need to get a Bus from the prom. This was £3.50 return for an adult. It didn't take long but it's a shame it isn't a bit closer to where the tourists are. Also, there are no behind the scenes tours or encounters. These are normally optional extras in zoos & you pay for the, but I can't help feeling the zoo are missing a trick here. It would be a good moneyspinner & the visitors do go for them. Plus, they also help to pull in people who have already visited.
I would definitely recommend it to visitors to Blackpool & residents alike. It is one of the best attractions in the town, for me, bettered only by the Tower. I'm not sure if you want want to re-visit regularly, but you will really enjoy a visit here. It is one of the best zoos that I have been to worldwide.
For the last two years my daughter and I have enjoyed a few days in Blackpool, and on both trips our favourite of all the attractions was the zoo, in fact it was only 3 days since our recent visit and my daughter is still talking about it. Situated just a couple of miles from The Golden Mile Promenade I believe it is easily accessible and sign posted for cars from the M6, and has a large car park. However as I don't drive and we were staying in Blackpool, we took the open top sightseeing bus from the tower, which stops at all the big attractions and the nearby Haven and Pontins holiday parks, and takes you right up to the Zoo entrance.
Set in 32 acres of parkland and lakes, Blackpool zoo isn't huge, but I definitely think it is one of the best zoo's I have ever been too. It is home to 1500 animals from 400 different species, with every continent of the globe represented.
The zoo is open every day of the year, apart from Christmas day, from 10 am with last admission at 5pm and park closing 45 minutes later. Admission prices for our recent visit where £13.99 for myself and £9.99 for my daughter, which I feel is bordering on expensive, but as we knew we really loved the zoo felt it was worth the cost. There are discounts for various family groups, concessions and other group bookings, and a 10% discount can be applied if you book in advance online. Full details can be found at the Zoo's website.
As we arrived at the zoo you enter a large airy building which houses reception, toilets, children's soft play (at an additional cost to the zoo admission charge), gift shop and ticket booths. Wheelchairs and pushchairs can be hired at reception, and indeed I did decide to hire a pushchair. My daughter is 4 and a half, and actually hasn't used a buggy for almost a year, however it was the last day of a very busy break, very hot and I was carrying a quite large rucksack. I had nightmares of her crying to be carried halfway round, and the £3.50 hire charge with a refundable £10 deposit seemed a worthwhile price to pay! (and gave me somewhere to hang my rucksack). I was very impressed with the pushchair, it was a dream to push, far better than my daughters old thing we used to cart about everywhere, and it even had a nice sun shade over it. It turned out to be £3.50 well spent, and an absolute day saver! Wheelchairs are free of charge, but require a £10 deposit. Both can be pre-booked, with information on the zoo website.
You can purchase a guide to the zoo for £2 although I have never bothered as I find it very well signposted and I don't think we've missed anything. What I would recommend you pick up or take note of are the animal feed and talk times. These sessions are held throughout the day and really do give you the best views of the animals, especially the elusive lions and tigers who are difficult to spot if snoozing in the long grass and behind tree's. You can find them on a leaflet at the ticket booth, on chalkboards as you enter the zoo or if your ultra organised, on the website before your visit.
I am always impressed on entering the zoo at how lush green and clean it is, in contrast to Blackpool itself! The zoo is very easily navigated and very well signposted and the terrain is pretty flat, if a little stony and dusty. There are far too many animals to talk about individually, so I'm going to keep to the ones my daughter and I particularly enjoy.
The Sea lion display is quite near the entrance and is our first port of call with shows running a few times a day. There are around 6 sea lions who have a good sized pool and land enclosure. This year we were lucky enough to see a cub that had been born just 2 days beforehand. The keepers do a feed and display with the sea lions, who seem to really enjoy entertaining the visitors with their tricks. I was pleased to learn that not only are they taught to the sea lions to entertain us, but primarily to emulate behaviors they would have in the wild. I find them fascinating!
The elephants live in an outdoor and large indoor area you can walk through, which also houses the creepy crawlies (in glass tanks, thank goodness!). There are 3 female Asian elephants, and I highly recommend you attend the elephant feed and talk where you come almost face to face with these huge animals. I did feel very sorry for the elephants. They have a large area, but they are massive and it's not big enough. They looked quite sad, but then elephants often do, don't they? However as we learned in the talk, they were rescued from a circus, I am pretty sure they have a better life now at the zoo where the keepers obviously care very well for the animals and are incredibly passionate when talking about them. As I mentioned the elephants share their indoor area with the creepy crawlies. There are snakes, tarantulas, giant cockroaches, locusts, stick insects and more, who you can even meet and handle in the creepy crawly experience that runs daily at certain times. We decided to give this one a miss!
There are 17 different types of primate at Blackpool Zoo, and of course they are every-ones favourite, including my daughter. In the Amazonia indoor enclosure and the Lemur woodland walk the lemurs run freely...and they aren't shy!. My daughter was delighted when one ran over my shoulders. You can see the Gorillas extremely close up in a viewing tunnel with glass windows, which is amazing. I was shocked at how huge they actually are. Some monkeys were more shy than others though, and a couple of enclosures seemed empty while their inhabitants slept out of of the way of gawking people.
The parrot and bird show is fantastic. The parrot keeper was so passionate about the birds and they are amazingly clever and amusing, and beautiful to look at.
My favourite section is the big cats. Home to a pride of African Lions including 1 male, 3 lioness and 2 adorable cubs!, meer cat and 1 Amur Tiger. This is another talk I really recommend you go to, although I have seen better feeds at South Lakes Safari (the Cats here knew where there food was and didn't seem that interested) finding out about them was really fascinating. The lion and tiger enclosures are really big, and at times during the day they are really hard to spot. However about half an hour before feed times, they are brought into indoor cages, and you can see them threw glass really close up. The cubs where fascinating, so cute and playful! The mother lioness was ferocious, as 2 keepers walked by the cage you could really see she was agitated, although I'm unsure whether it was due to knowing it was coming up to feed time, or to protect her cubs. She jumped up and roared at them, only just a couple of meters away from where my daughter and I where watching. She was huge and beautiful, and so loud! My daughter was terrified. The Amur tiger was also pretty spectacular, although a bit thin and tatty looking. We found out in the talk though this is because he is very old...18 years in fact. Wild tigers usually only live until around 15 years old. The Amur tiger faces extinction with only 200 left in the wild. It was devastating to find out that there are more Amur tigers kept as pets in America than there are in the wild.
Finally the Giraffes, and my daughters favourites. These are new residents at the Zoo, as they weren't there last year. Giraffe heights lets you see these stunning animals within meters through glass, or you can go up a bridge and see them outdoors. I have never seen a Giraffe so close, and they really are beautiful and looked very very well cared for. There was even a baby giraffe which pleased my daughter no end!
As well as the more exotic breeds of animals Blackpool Zoo also has a small children's zoo which is home to rabbits, donkeys, goats, pigs, chickens and other small animals. You are allowed to pet some of these animals who live in a really lovely woodland area of the zoo.
There is a large cafe serving hot and cold food, which while we never ate in, looked extremely clean and nice. Toilets are situated in 3 areas of the zoo, so you are always near one and there are plenty, however they are a bit grotty and none had toilet roll so I would advise you take tissues. There are several ice cream and drink stands dotted around the park, at £1.50 for a bottle of Pepsi it is quite expensive! Picnic areas are also available around the park, with a large area next to a play park. My daughter found this a bit disappointing, with only 2 small climbing frames and 1 slide and tens of kids wanting to play, it's pretty inadequate. Beside the play park are a mini golf course and bouncy castle, both cost £1.50 per child and annoyed me slightly after paying £24 to get into the zoo. I caved in and grudgingly allowed my daughter a bounce which she enjoyed. Another additional cost is a small steam train which runs from the children's zoo to the big cats and costs £1 for a single journey or £2 return...per person (anyone over 3 years old!) I actually really like these little trains though so didn't mind forking out, and it is very scenic and sweet.
The final additional attraction to mention is the dinosaur safari. Once an additional cost, it is now included in the general admission price and it's a good job too as I'd have been pretty upset if I had to pay. It's a walk around prehistoric periods with huge models of various dinosaurs complete with sound effects. The models however have seen better days and look quite shabby and neglected, although it was interesting to read about some of them.
Finally, after 5 hours of wandering around being fascinated and educated by all the wonderful animals it was time to go home. Of course we had to make the obligatory stop at the gift shop. The products in there are pretty typical zoo souvenir, Ranging from expensive to extortionate and we bought a ridiculously priced soft giraffe, or rather my daughter did and with her own money as I am a mean Mummy.
Overall, we both really enjoy visiting this zoo. I wondered if my daughter might find it a bit boring on her second visit, but we both found new things to discover, there were new additions we hadn't yet met, and this time we attended every feed and talk. I would really recommend that anyone visiting does the same. They are really very insightful, and my 4 year old daughter was fascinated and asked lots of questions at the end, when offered to do so by the very friendly and approachable staff. I also leave feeling happy that the animals are very well cared for and are given a natural environment as possible. It is incredibly clean and well maintained and the animals really do look happy and well. Blackpool zoo claim to be committed to the conservation of endangered species and research and it is pretty clear that really is the case.
While it is on the expensive side, I personally think it is worth paying to go, although I would advise you to take your own food to keep costs down, and try and bypass the gift shop! The only disappointing areas are the dinosaur safari and the play areas, however seeing such wonderful and amazing animals so close and attending the fabulous feed and talk sessions more than made up for it. My final advice to anyone considering a visit would be to wear comfortable shoes, as there is quite a lot of walking to do and to take sun cream in the summer! The zoo always seems to have a cool breeze blowing round and for the second year running I burnt through not realising how hot it actually was.
I would highly recommend a trip to Blackpool zoo to anyone who finds themselves in the area, it really is a great day out.
You can find out more at www.blackpoolzoo.org.uk
I love the zoo. Im lucky enough to be able to go anytime as I live in Blackpoomand it never bores me I love it more each time I go LOL
Prices are £13.99 per adult and £9.99 per child aged 3-15. They do do family tickets which are 2 adults and 2 children £41.00 and for 2 adults 3 children £50.00. There is an online offer where you can get 10% off so tickets are £12.60 for adults and £9 for adults. Bargain!
The zoo is open every day of the year except christmas day-everyone needs a day off even the animals. The zoo is open 10am till about 5:30pm.
There is a large car park which is charged at £2 for the day. There is also a bus that goes to all the attractions like the pleausre beach and the promenade that drops you off right outside the zoo-just look out for the red open top bs driving around Blackpool!
They also have a dinosaur park seperate to the zoo which is great to walk round and look at the (large) life like models of the dinosaurs and also learn a bit when wandering round.
They have a lot of animals on show and are all very well looked after. Everything is sign posted and there are maps availbale. There is a large food hall and shops situated all over selling memrabilia and toys.
They do special feedings where you can go and watch the animals be fed, pose and the staff do educational talks on the animals which is great especially for the kids! The staff are lovely and very very helpful.
There is a newish, modern entrance which has a lot of facilities including conference room, huge shop, toilets, cafe and childrens play area.
There is a lovely petting zoo which is great for anyone of any age with smaller animals like rabbits, gunie pigs, goats and donkeys.
Animals arund the zoo include elephants, apes, sealions, lions, tigers, giraffes, camles, lemurs, monkeys and also creepy crawlies.
They also have the creepy crawly experience where you can go and hold some of the ones they have-not for me but i know kids love to hold the cockroaches and spiders-yuk.
Also from June 2009 the penguins are back with an all new underwater enclosure.
I definetly recomend this for the whole family!
I went to blackpool zoo with 2 other adults, 3 children under the age of 6 and a small baby.
We all loved it. The enclosures are close together so there's not lots of walking. The park feels spacious so its easy to navigate with a pushchair/ wheelchair. Although it was a Tuesday in June when we visited so not a bank holiday/ school holidays or weekend.
When I went there was some new enclosures being built so maybe next year (2010) there will be more animals.
Theres elephants (all females). lions (2 females, 1 male and 3 cubs). 1 male tiger, orangutans, giraffes, reptile house, birds of prey, sea lions, meerkats, zebras, various breeds of gazelle and a few gorillas. theres also many more.
We went into what you could describe as a large greenhouse called AMAZONIA. We were told by the keepers to hide our picnic food because the marmsets would pinch it. These animals were roaming free in there not behind glass or in cages. They were very interested in us and not shy. Although the children were at first bothered by this after a minute or so weren't frightened. It really was brilliant to be so close to these animals. There was also a LEMUR WOOD with a couple of species they too were also roaming free.
We made special effort to take notice of the feeding times of animals which is worth it. We saw the elephants being fed, tiger and lions, the camels and sealions. Each of those sessions were accompaned with a 10 minute briefing on the habitats, feeding, breeding and lifestyle of the animals. This was very informative. The sealions at this time did a performance of jumping, spinning balls, clapping etc. The children especially loved this.
On the fronts of each cage were brief but quick and easy to digest information plaques.
Out of everything we saw at the zoo we got incredibly close within twelve feet of the elephants, lions, tiger and the giraffes. My advice is when you get to were the giraffes are go upstairs in the giraffe enclosure to get extra close its magnificent.
We found the food and drinks a liitle expensive but you'd expect it at a place like this. We took a picnic and there's plenty of benches and grass to sit on.
there's also a playground and railway. Do when you pass a toilet pay a visit as they are few and far between.
The admission cost us £13.99 for adults and from memory it was about £9 for children over 3's have to be paid for. Theres concessions for over 60's. They also do family tickets which work out slightly better value a family of 5 is £50. I had some clubcard vouchers and were unable to use them on family tickets. Parking is £2 all day.
Overall we thought it was excellent day out but we virtually had the park to ourselves and had prime views for the feeding times. So if at all possible avoid the peak holiday times.
This could the only reason for the family to go to Blackpool these days!
Its a fantastic day which isn't over priced. I have to admit I judged the zoo by the standards of Blackpool myself thinking it would be a run down, tacky tourist attraction. I couldn't have been so wrong.
The zoo is about 2 mile from the sea front an is about £14 for adults, £10 for children but if you go on the website you can now get unlimited visits for £28 for the year which is excellent value especially if you live close by. They do family tickets as well so I recommend buying your tickets online.
There are many attractions including the Adventure play barn, the dino safari which is a walthrough garden full of lifesize dinosaurs which is great for kids!
The zoo itself is very well looked after unlike the seafront. My particular favourite is the area where you can walkthrough where all the spider monkey's are running loose it's great fun. There is also gorilla mountain which is an island where I think four gorillas live, there is several viewing points where you can get a closer look. There is over 1500 animals to see and the park is a fair size with plenty of areas to sit and eat.
I really enjoyed this zoo the animals didn't look distressed or sad like they do in some zoo's but I think this may be they have a little more room to roam. I do think it is cruel keeping animals caged but I love to see different species and as long as they are looked after properly and are content I don't see too much harm is being done and it can offer an opportunity to breed endangered species.
Great day out for Adults and children.
2 miles from Blackpool. Home to over 400 animals. Open every day of the year except Christmas day.