It takes a very …special kind of situation to result in my fifty-something year old father -a serious, alpha-male type -to wear a backpack on both shoulders and skip excitedly along the street with an imbecilic grin on his face. Also, to make my serious, alpha-male type thirty-something year old brother -who’s a policeman -say the sentence “Ooh, lets get sweets to share between us all for the day!” I could go on listing the mind-boggling transformations upon every member of my family -but I won’t. All I’ll say is that ‘special situation’ I referred to? Two words. THE ZOO.
What I love most about going to the zoo -is that it gives adults permission to revert back to being a kid again. It’s ok to scream “he’s such a hairy fella!” accompanied by an excited clapping of hands, because the zoo is a safe zone and we’re all in the same boat of childhood dreams. Behave as you will, adults of the world -animals don’t judge.
London Zoo is the perfect stage for such a big-kids days out. It’s the ultimate zoo. All other zoos quake in ZSL’s presence because they know they’re the big guys.
Naturally, we did things properly: With military organisation, we started the day by going through the Zoo’s guide of free talks and demonstrations and putting little smileys next to the ones we each wanted to do. We then cross-referenced these with geographical zoo-location as well as what time they were on, to create a timetable by which to carry-out our visit. No, really.
Hey, what can I say? We’re not amateurs. We take this Zoo stuff seriously.
To put it plainly, London Zoo is flipping’ brilliant. They’ve got everything you’d want from a zoo. All the good animals. The demonstrations and talks were also really interesting and entertaining. The spider one, in particular, was my favourite and struck a personal chord with the lot of us -a family who universally hate the things. We sat on the carpet, cross-legged, head-and-shoulders above the actual children who surrounded us and we learnt about spiders. Man, did we learn.
We saw everything we wanted to -and more than we’d bargained to -including monkey love. I’ll say no more. We had an absolutely brilliant day and loved every liberating minute of leaving our starchy jobs and sensible-behaviour-laced adulthoods behind. Whilst we did all step out of the zoo and back into reality, we were left with hilarious memories …and a collection of priceless photos which prove that our infantile personas had made an appearance.
‘Childish day out at London Zoo’. WE WERE THERE.
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