Having spent the day at Chester Zoo yesterday with my ten month old, I am pleased to report that she got a lot out of the experience, despite not yet reaching the one year milestone. I was surprised by how much she enjoyed the day, and was so exhausted she had to have a long nap to recuperate! If you are looking for somewhere to take your baby over the next few days while you are off for the Queen’s Platinum Jubilee and unsure whether the zoo is the right choice, here are some reasons why you might want to make it a contender for one of your family day’s out. 

Kirill Ryzhov / Alamy Stock Photo

Kirill Ryzhov / Alamy Stock Photo

Baby friendly: Zoos are generally geared up for all ages, even the smallest family members. There are multiple changing facilities dotted about the site, plenty of benches with parasols to shade your little one from the sun which are perfect for feeding times and flat walkways that are ideal for if your baby needs a nap with minimal disruption. Plus, you can always find them a little memento at the end of your visit in the gift shop. 

Babies go free: Most zoos will not charge for children under the age of two so your baby will get in for nothing and all you have to worry about is the price of your adult tickets. If you look out for vouchers and money off codes you can get the price of your ticket down too- making it a cheaper day out for all. 

Change of location: While baby massage, baby sensory, messy play groups and generic baby days out such as to the supermarket or to your local cafe serve a purpose, they can become quite repetitive. A day out at the zoo on the other hand, offers your bundle of joy new sights, smells and sounds. Remember- it’s not all about your baby- it gives you and your partner a change of scenery as well. New surroundings will not only engage your baby but get you out of the rut of samey baby days out.  

RELATED: What does it mean to dream about a zoo?

Fresh Air: One thing a zoo is sure to offer you and your baby, whichever one you go to- is some fresh air. If your baby still isn't sleeping through the night this will certainly be a welcome way to wake you up, but it simultaneously helps your baby sleep better when they are ready for their nap. Walking in your local area is one thing- but why not do it somewhere where there is something more exciting to look at then pigeons and squirrels?!

Interaction with their surroundings: While your baby will not know what they are looking at as you pass by all of the enclosures- a zoo still provides visual stimulation for your little one all the same. Hold them up to the glass as the penguins swim past in their tank, show them the fishes in the aquarium, let them enjoy the birds flying about their head in the aviary and they are bound to be fascinated by these rare and active creatures. 

Picture opportunities: One thing you will come back with after a day out at the zoo is a load of photographs- either on your camera or your phone. Zoos provide you with multiple picture opportunities to put away in your album of baby firsts. While they won’t be able to remember the day out in years to come, you and your partner certainly will and you can show them the snaps once they are old enough and use them to create a narrative about your day. 

Encouragement from a young age: If you want your child to grow up to be enthusiastic about the outdoors, embrace new experiences and feel comfortable around different animals- it’s important to start them early and make sure they are exposed to such opportunities as often as you are able to. A baby who enjoys the zoo, will become a toddler, preschooler, preteen, teenager and then adult who gets a kick out of going to such places. Best to instil this early on to put them at ease in the environment ready for later life.     

RELATED: Seven reasons to take your toddler to the zoo

by for www.femalefirst.co.uk
find me on and follow me on