Friday, 7 June 2013

Edinburgh Zoo party!

by Roz, with a little input and a lot of pictures from Bex ;)

Last Friday Bex and I went to Edinburgh Zoo for one of their summer Friday Party Nights, organised to celebrate the zoo's 100th birthday.  We went with D, who kindly organised the evening, tweeting about the event and sorting out the tickets for us, and Claire.  It was lovely to finally meet Claire in person as Bex and I have chatted to her via our blogs, twitter etc. for ages.  We had so much fun!!

The event is advertised on their website as follows "Edinburgh Zoo Nights is a brand new event launching this spring. It is an adult only after hours event on Friday 24 May and Friday 28 June, 6-10pm. At this ‘night out with a difference’, you will not only be able to enjoy a drink whilst visiting your favourite animals, but you can also enjoy the array of entertainment laid on just for you. Including - a vintage cocktail tea party, silent disco, comedy, music, street performers, champagne and Pimm’s bars, and food stalls including tapas, sushi and seafood."

Having read that we were all very excited to be heading along and personally I hadn't been to the Zoo since a school trip at primary school!  (Me too!)  As if by magic, the weather was beautiful and the sun was shining all evening.  I can imagine the experience being somewhat less fun in the tipping rain.  Unfortunately, despite not arriving till 6.15pm after we'd all travelled from our various places of work, the queue to get in circled all the way down to the main road.  By the time we actually made it in, it was 6.40pm.  Perhaps they will start to let people in a bit earlier for the event in June.

It was a lovely evening with some gorgeous light on the flamingos.

There were staff giving talks on some of the animals.

We wandered around a bit to start off with, not really sure what to go and see first!  We checked out the penguins sunbathing and realised that the panda enclosure was just around the corner.  We joined the queue (as both pandas were inside dozing) so they were taking in groups of around 40 at a time to see them.  Two of their keepers were in the viewing area and were happily chatting away, pandas are solitary animals in the wide, so Tian Tian (which means Sweetie) the female and Yang Guang (Sunshine) the male are kept separately only meeting in mating season, which lasts about 36hrs!! 

Tian Tian started off a bit shy

And Yang Guang was very sleepy

Behind the panda enclosure is the monkey house, complete with a Diana monkey and Rafiki from the Lion King!  Bex took so many fab pictures with her nifty fifty lens, I wish I could go out and buy one for my camera.

(Here is the note Roz left for me!  Haha, she knows me so well!  And I DID love the baby monkeys!!)
<BEX PHOTOS> I'm restricting you to FOUR monkey pictures!!!  Ha, good luck with that ;p  Of course you can put more pics in than that, just remember about the other animals. 

It was tough trying to avoid reflections but I am really pleased with some of these so I'm ignoring Roz and adding in all my faves ;)

Cheeky Monkey

And the baby one clinging on!!...

Looking right at me :)

Roz must have been making scary faces, haha!  ;)

We then decided to get some food.  There were a few food options, we ruled out the sushi as it was quite expensive (£5 for three smalls rolls) and joined the queue for the noodle bar.  When we finally got our noodles they tasted great and the portion was generous but I was frozen from standing in the queue for about half an hour.  

We headed back to see the penguins again, munching our noodles en route and made our way round via the Tapirs to see the Rhino who took a quick dip before heading to bed.

They were fascinating to watch, stealing each others' nest rocks and squawking at one another, guarding eggs and chicks.

There was also some random pole dancing en route.

Unicorns DO exist!

Sadly because of all the time spent waiting, when we headed up to get to the top of the zoo to see the lions, tigers etc., sadly it had already closed at 9pm.  We wish we had headed up there first but thought we had till 9.30pm to see that part of the zoo.

Instead, we explored the other side of the zoo and found more monkeys and other creatures and creepy crawlies!

Super cute eyes

Evil eyes!

Trying to see the popcorn in the cup

We hit the gift shop on the way out, cuddled the panda and penguin toys and fell in love with the cute animal bags!  Bex bought a pig one to use as a lunch bag for work!

Despite the time we felt was wasted in the queues, I highly recommend you buy a ticket for the second event at the end of June, we are seriously thinking of going again!

Roz xx


Unknown said...

It looks just brilliant! I love the lates events. I need to get to the ones at the Greenwich Obervatory this winter (hot chocolate or mulled wine and stargazing? Yes please)

Amanda said...

I love zoos so much, and nights at the zoo are the best (specially now that there is light). Mark and I went once to Amsterdam's Artis Zoo and Natural History Museum on Museum's night and it was nice (also cocktails, food, and explanations, including how during WWII some people hid in the enclosures).
Most of the animals were difficult to see, but it was nice.
I would so love to go to something like this! Specially in such good company. I love the monkey sticking its tongue out :) And flamingos!

Claire said...

Love the photos!! The baby monkey is just too cute :). Thanks for having me tag along, was great to meet you all in person!

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