London Zoo & Zoological Society 

London Zoo and it’s iconic birdcage is quite the landmark of this city. You can see it from the top of Primrose Hill and most people will recognise it, even if they’ve never been there. We’re lucky enough to have The London Zoo on our doorstep.

When we first moved back here, I bought their membership for myself. S was still free (under 3) and it was a great thing to have. During term time members can park in their car park for free so very often it was something we did after nursery or on Sunday mornings.

Fast forward 2 years and I decided to get their annual membership again. This time for one adult and one child. While you hear of many Zoo’s that don’t treat their animals well, one thing I love about ZSL is all that they do for their animals. You can feel the love the Zoo Keepers have for the animals they look after. 

And every time I visit there, I learn something new. I also love that from such a young age, S is absorbing it all as well. 

More recently, ZSL embarked on protecting Sumatran Tigers and back in June, two tiger cubs were more at the Zoo. They are adorable!

All the funds raised by ZSL go back into the Zoo. They recently revamped their lion enclosure and it is amazing! You really feel like you’re in India. They designed it to give Zoo goers a very realistic take on the lion’s  original environment. Being of Indian origin myself, I can tell you they got it down to a tee. I have to admit I was surprised they haven’t got any backlash for having various idols dotted around the enclosure but personally I feel it all adds to the charm.

At every opportunity around the Zoo they provide information for learning as well as information that let’s you know more about their animals. At all feels very personal.

The gorilla loves to put on a show and you can get quite up close and personal with their jiraffes during feed times. 

If you plan your day right, you can feed the meerkats yourself and watch the penguins being fed. If it’s a hot summers day, don’t forget the sprinklers at the back, kids love running through them. They also have a lovely little playground, a carousel and in the summer, a bouncy castle.

ZSL obviously enjoy their work, they recently had a naked fundraising streak event to raise money for the tigers! You can read more about that here

If you’re visiting London or even if you live here, I totally recommend visiting and supporting the Zoological Society of London. You can read more about what they do here

London in the summer

London in the summer is one of the best places in the world! Scrap that, London any time is one of the best places in the world BUT the warmer weather and the lighter days sure make it a lot better to look at!

With the days getting warmer and this week being half term, I’ve put together a list of some of the great child friendly outdoor places this city has to offer.

1. The Diana Memorial Playground – set in the picturesque Hyde Park, this playground is a must visit on a warm day. It’s got a huge ship cast adrift on a massive sandpit as well as a sensory trail, tee pees and a play area. S is recently into pirates and so this is one place we’ll definitely be visiting this half term. It allows children to explore and follow their imaginations. All aboard?!

2. Bekonscot Model Village – Although we’ve never been here, it’s on my list of places to visit this summer. Only a short train ride from London, Bekonscot Model Village will appeal to all train (and history) lovers. As the name suggests, it’s a model village based on 1930’s England. Travel back in a time warp to see how the people of the time lived and got around.

3. London Zoo – I’m putting this on there because it’s THE London Zoo but I have to say, having been to Taronga Zoo in Sydney and a couple of other’s around the world, London Zoo is overpriced and doesn’t live up to the name. However, it’s lovely in the summer because you don’t just go for the animals, you go for the petting zoo, the water splash area and the scenery. If getting to Whipsnade is easy for you then I’d buy a years pass because not only do you get to visit London Zoo but a pass includes Whipsnade as well (which is meant to be much better). And what’s even better than that apparently is Chester Zoo (it’s on my list!).

4. Southbank –  I absolutely love it down by the river, it’s my favourite part of London. I don’t go there as often as I like but every time I do, I come back loving this city a little bit more. There’s lots to see and do along the river bank but if the weather changes and you need to dart in doors, there’s the London Aquarium, Tate Modern (which offers a range of free activities for families and children) and the Southbank Centre.

5. Regents Park – This is one of our summer favourites. It has a huge playground, massive sandpit and if you’re feeling adventurous you can take your little ones boating on the lake. If you walk along the edge of the park on the outer circle, you may catch glimpses of the giraffes at London Zoo if they’re out.

6. Belmont Farm – We’re heading up to Belmont Farm on Friday so I’ll be able to let you know what I think then but this has come highly recommended. With tractor rides, cow milking, lamb feeding and petting sessions, it’s bound to be an exciting day out.

From Kew Gardens in Richmond to Coram’s Fields near Holborn, London offers so much for kids to see and do but this is a good start.

Mums' Days

The joys of leaving my phone behind

Oh what a bit of sunshine does to us Londoners!! Yesterday was the most beautiful winter day. If you live in the UK, your most common topic of conversation most probably revolves around the weather. And if you’ve been in the UK for the last few weeks, you’ll know how miserable the weather has been. It’s rained almost every day this year (it’s even raining now). But oh, yesterday was beautiful!! The sky was clear and blue with a few fluffy white cotton wool like clouds dotted around. The sun was shining and it felt like the summer (just a tad cooler!) I even saw some people driving around with the roof down on their convertibles.

I’d been waiting for yesterday all year. Bright and early, S and I left for the park. We try and go for a long walk through the parks most Sundays but due to the weather it’s not something we’ve got to do a lot this year. We strolled through our local park and then headed on down to London Zoo. I’m a ZSL member and S goes free. We saw all his favourite animals and because there were no crowds, unlike in the summer, we got to see each of them up close and personal. Mr. Gorilla came right up to the glass then turned around and showed us his bare bum before swinging away on the ropes. The tiger sat on the wall proudly and after roar’ing his way through the Zoo, S finally spotted the lion. He loved it!

But what was the best part of the morning? I left my phone at home! There is much to be said about leaving your phone behind. No checking Facebook, Instagram or Whatsapp. And no taking pictures. Sure, there were lots of picture moments but instead when I think back now, all I remember is the quality moments I spent with S. We spotted aeroplanes because the sky was clear, we saw lots of animals and petted some of them. We then stopped off at the playground and S went on the swings before finally walking home with S stopping off to say hi to all the dogs along the way.

I put a picture up on my Facebook page not long ago about putting your phone down and going outside and so I decided to take my own advice and it was liberating. I did have to stop and ask two people for the time because no phone and no watch left me literally lost for time but they were happy to oblige. Think I might make it a weekly thing 🙂 You should try it sometime…

Happy Monday everyone!

busy meme

Cuddle Fairy