Visiting London Zoo with a Toddler

Visiting London Zoo with a Toddler

This is my guide to visiting London Zoo with a toddler. For us, a visit here is a special treat. But although the entrance fee is high, I think that it is good value for money. You can certainly spend the whole day here.

ZSL London Zoo is run by the Zoological Society of London, an animal and habitat conservation charity. It is the world’s oldest scientific zoo. It is right in the heart of London in Regent’s Park and first opened in 1828, but not to the public until 1847. Today it has many themed areas, such as Gorilla Kingdom, Tiger Territory and Into Africa. We particularly liked the Land of the Lions, with the decor leaving you in no doubt that these were Asiatic lions.

Visiting London Zoo with a Toddler

It was a bit of a nippy day when we visited, so we were glad of the indoor areas, such as the butterfly paradise, bug house and the aquarium. I didn’t realise that this is actually the largest aquarium in the UK. My toddler particularly liked the reptile house. I’m not really sure why as snakes aren’t the most active species!
Visiting London Zoo with a Toddler
 I was particularly impressed with the number of opportunities to get up close to the animals. Daisy enjoyed the children’s area where she could pet dwarf goats. And it is definitely the closest she has been to a lemur!

There are also a great number of talks throughout the day. I recommend picking up a map and guide at the entrance so that you know what is on where. Watching the giraffes being fed some leaves managed to keep Daisy transfixed for a whole seven minutes. Which is pretty good for a very active toddler.

Visiting London Zoo with a Toddler: The Facts

Make sure you book in advance online for a significant saving on the entrance fee.

We travelled by tube – either Regent’s Park or Camden Town are the nearest. But there is a car park if you need to drive.

The zoo is bigger than I expected, so I was glad that we took the buggy. It would have been too much for little legs walking all day. Our backpack carrier would also have worked well, but I don’t think Daisy would have been able to see well enough from a sling/soft carrier.

There are lots of picnic spots so take your own food if you are on a budget.

We went on an autumn weekday and it was pleasantly uncrowded, so I would recommend that as a good time to visit.

The exit is of course through the shop. Most stuff is expensive, but if you hunt around there are some reasonable souvenirs for your little one. We got a couple of small toys and a sticker book for under a tenner.


19 thoughts on “Visiting London Zoo with a Toddler

  1. This was a nostalgic read for me as I had membership of London Zoo when my daughter was a toddler and it was such fun. Might be worth it if you live in London, don’t know how much it costs nowadays. I found out later that the C2 bus goes straight there from Victoria – that would have saved me hassle with the buggy on the tube!

  2. We always go to zoos when we travel, it always surprises me how different each of them are. We live in Los Angeles, so we have a membership to the LA Zoo which cuts down on cost, but if/when we visit London I will keep these tips in mind. Thank you! #wanderlustkids

    1. Membership of a zoo sounds like a great idea, but unfortunately we are not close enough to make the most of it

  3. London Zoo sounds fab. We’d love to visit it one day. It still amazes me that there’s a zoo in Central London. And interesting that they have the largest aquarium in the UK! Thanks for linking up to #wanderlustkids last month x

    1. I sometimes run in Regent’s Park and it is funny if you catch sight of a giraffe or something over the fence!

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