You need to pre-book to see the Pandas and are given a separate ticket (no additional cost). We decided on the 11 am slot and headed to see the Pandas first (they are fairly close to the entrance). Unfortunately the Pandas were sleeping during our visit (I am told this is their favourite hobby) however it was still lovely to see them and there was a guide there who provided lots of information.
A trip to Edinburgh Zoo is very educational and as we left the Panda enclosure we learned all about their habitat and the bamboo that they eat.
My four year old is not keen on walking up hills so we caught the courtesy bus from the main reception up to Dinosaurs Return. My children are dinosaur mad and were thrilled with this exhibition - walking amongst moving dinosaurs that towered above them was certainly memorable! We loved the fact boards too.
At the top of the hill we enjoyed the view and spotted zebras, lions and tigers. Although they were mostly sleeping it was still an amazing experience to see them in real life. We also got to see the cutest koalas which I believe are the only ones in the UK.
There are a few experiences that we could walk through and really get close to the animals including the wallabies, pelicans (although closed for maintenance on our visit) and some of the monkeys. Yes we are the family that had to hop past the wallabies and pretend we were one of them!
Another real highlight for us was the Budongo Trail. The chimps were captivating to watch and there was so much information to read and learn and compare how human-like they actually are.
The Penguin Parade
The Penguin Parade was the highlight of our day. I loved how the Penguin Parade is completely voluntary. The keepers explained that they would never coerce or entice the penguins out with food and it is 100% their choice if they would like to take part. There is currently one parade per day so make sure you head down to Penguin Rocks early to get a good vantage point. We loved watching the penguins toddle past.
After the parade we decided to explore Penguin Rocks a little further. The Penguins at Edinburgh Zoo are housed in Europe's largest outdoor penguin pool and there were plenty of spots to watch the penguins and learn about their behaviour.
There are a fair few dining choices at the zoo including picnic areas if you wish to bring your own food as we did (you can hire a locker for £1 deposit at reception if you don't want to carry it around with you). There are also a few play parks dotted about which are perfect when the grown ups need to stop for coffee.
For the rest of our day we enjoyed watching baby Rhea's, the Capuchins, Drill, Meerkats, Lemur, Reptile House and Birds of Prey to name but a few.
You can check out more of the fun we had in our short video highlights below:-
Need to Know
*On site Car parking is charged at £4 per day.
*Tickets are priced at £17 per adult, £12.50 per child and under 3's are free. Family discounts are available (click here for details)
*The Zoo is open daily from 9am-6pm throughout the Summer (times here)
*Make sure you check out the daily keeper talks
*Pick up a zoo map from the Zoo reception as the signage can be confusing at times
We loved our day at Edinburgh Zoo and hope you enjoyed this post. As you may be aware we are one of six blogs to make the finals of this years MAD Blog Awards in the BEST FAMILY FUN category. We would really appreciate your vote if you can spare 20 seconds -