One of the things about not being able to get out and about is it made us realise how much we enjoy it. As soon as we were able to, so many of us were desperate to get out there with our family and friends and just enjoy doing things together. The trouble is that finding new activities or ones that everyone wants to do is not always straight forward. Our group might include different age groups, different interests, so how do we find fun things to do and interesting places to visit in the UK?
Doing something related to nature is sure to please many people, particularly if you live in a city. Not everyone wants to go trekking around the countryside, though, especially if the weather’s not great, and kids and teenagers will probably moan that there’s not enough to do. Parents will often want something educational for the kids, while the kids themselves want some action and adventure. So, where can you find all of the above? The answer is Blackpool Zoo!
Why Blackpool Zoo is a great place to visit in the UK
With animals from all over the globe, you’re surrounded by the natural world at Blackpool Zoo. From our herd of endangered Asian Elephants, fearsome lions and tigers, and majestic gorillas to colourful exotic birds and super-fast sea lions and penguins. You can travel the world without leaving the UK.
For those who love to learn, it’s an ideal choice, too. We love to share about our fascinating creatures, so from informative talks and interesting demonstrations to interactive experiences, you’ll find you learn all kinds of things while having amazing fun. Parents and kids alike will expand their knowledge and understanding of this beautiful planet and the kids certainly won’t be complaining that they're bored!
Learn about and interact with the animals
If you’re looking for things to do in the UK with a bit of excitement and adventure, we’ve got that too. Our Animal Experiences give you the chance to go behind the scenes and help out our keepers, getting face to face with your favourite animal and having them take food from your hand.
The activities range in length and scope. You can go for the full Keeper for the Day experience and enjoy a full 6 hours working alongside our experienced staff with a variety of different animals. You could be mucking out the aardvarks, feeding the giraffes or shaking hands with a sea lion and, all the while, our knowledgeable keepers will fill you in on all the juicy animal gossip and little-known facts.
Have you ever wondered what an elephant’s skin feels like or what it’s like to have a Lemur take your hand? With our Animal Experiences, you can! Shorter encounters involve one particular animal, so you could choose to Meet the Penguins or the Lemurs, or have an Elephant Encounter.
You don’t need to book an Animal Experience to learn about our animals, though. There are daily talks and demonstrations across the Zoo. With the latest technology, you can tap into our Podcasts and get the low-down at your own pace as you walk around or you might catch our keepers feeding the animals and answering questions. You’ll certainly not want to miss our Active Oceans: Sea Lion Exhibit, particularly the demonstrations that take place at least twice a day. We’ve got the largest sea lion pool in the UK and our energetic, intelligent Californian Sea Lions love to demonstrate their natural behaviours and interact with their keepers.
Get even more involved with our Courses and Work Experience
If your visit to the zoo inspires you to want a career working with animals, then our Courses and Work Experience are for you. We have three programmes for three different age groups. For the youngest aspiring keepers, aged between 8 and 11, there is Keeper Kids. This is a one-day programme that will give youngsters a taster of what it’s like to be a zoo keeper. They’ll get to work with the animals and learn lots of new and interesting facts. Even if they decide they don’t want to be a keeper in the future, they will leave enriched and inspired.
For pre- and young teens aged 11-14, there’s the Keeper School. This is also a practical, hands-on one-day course aimed at inspiring young people to learn about and care for the natural world. It also directly links in with the school science curriculum, so will give students the opportunity to shine at school.
Keeper Academy is for those aged 15-17 who are seriously interested in pursuing working with animals as a career. It runs over 5 days and combines theory sessions with practical work experience. They’ll learn all kinds of things that will help them in their future career with animals, whether that’s in a zoo, research or as a vet, and it’s a great plus to have on their application for further education.
Get green and get involved with conservation at Blackpool Zoo
There aren’t many places to visit in the UK that enable you to help the planet at the same time as having fun. When you visit Blackpool Zoo, not only will you have a fantastic time, but you can also be assured that you are, through us, helping to support conservation projects across the globe.
This is one activity in the UK in which you can enjoy seeing elephants, gorillas, orangutans and tigers knowing that you are actively participating in conserving these beautiful creatures' existence on our planet. Through our support of the Biodiversity and Elephant Conservation Trust (BECT) and through our own Project Elephant breeding programme, we are particularly involved in preserving the Asian Elephant, whose population has fallen by 90% over the last 100 years. When you visit our elephant enclosure, you can learn all about these gentle creatures and see, first-hand, conservation in action.
If you would like to get even more involved, you can even Adopt an Animal and directly support one of the species at the zoo for 12 months. As a thank you, we’ll give you two tickets to come back an visit your animal, a fascinating factsheet to learn more about it and a personalised Certificate of Adoption. You’ll even have your moment of fame and get your name on our Adopters’ Board for the year.
A Day Out at the Zoo is not ONLY about the Animals
The animals are the most important part of a visit to Blackpool Zoo and the reason you come to visit us, we know. However, we also know that, when you’re looking for places to visit in the UK, you are looking for some other things, too. That’s why we’ve made sure to provide you with all the services you need to have a truly fantastic day out. Starting with areas for chasing and chilling. Our more active visitors will want to use up their energy, so we’ve got a fabulous Orang-U-Tangle play area, where the young can climb and swing just like the orangutans themselves. We’ve also got lots of seating areas around the zoo for those who want to take a break and contemplate life for a moment (or two, or three, or four…).
We also know that having fun can make you pretty hungry and thirsty. That’s not a problem at Blackpool Zoo, though, as we’ve got some great cafes where you can sit together and enjoy a nice drink, some delicious food, ice cream or even a Starbucks. There’s indoor seating for if it’s a bit chilly and outdoor terraces to take advantage of the sun, if it decides to put it’s hat on that day!
For those who like to do a bit of shopping on a day out, or simply must take home a souvenir, we’ve got something for every taste in our gift shops. Whether it’s the ubiquitous ‘T-Shirt’ (You know: “I went to Blackpool Zoo and all I got was this….”) or your own cuddly version of your favourite animal, you can happily ‘shop ‘til you drop’ and find the perfect thing.
So, if you’re looking for places to visit in the UK, make sure you put Blackpool Zoo at the top of your list and get planning your visit today. You won’t regret it!