On Friday night we were invited to the preview evening for the amazing The Snowman and The Snowdog Bricklive Tour that launched at Banham Zoo this weekend.
Banham Zoo is the first zoo in the UK to host this new brick trail inspired by The Snowman and The Snowdog. The tour is running until the 5th January 2020 so you’ve plenty of time to pop along and see it.
We’re big fans of Banham Zoo, living just down the road ourselves and this year was the first since L was born that we haven’t had an annual pass. A decision I have come to regret. For me the zoo was a bit of a lifeline when he was born, a place I could go and walk him for miles in the buggy with ease along the lovely smooth paths and see not only the amazing animals but also other actual adult humans! Ones who would talk to me! The keepers and staff are all so lovely and they came to recognise us after so many visits. It wasn’t until L started school I let the membership lapse, knowing that our time to visit the zoo would now be taken up with school.
Anyway I digress, we love the zoo. Fact.
The preview evening for the trail started at 5pm and the zoo stayed open until 8pm. So we were all very excited to see the animals at night and have a look at all the lights they have put up and just enjoy a different kind of night out.
We started of with a visit to Santa, a very jolly Santa who spent a lovely amount of time with us and had a real chat with L. Beware though, his good nature does mean that the queues can be a bit long, snacks will be your friend if you have smaller children. It’s all worth it though and we got a great gift as well as a lovely photo opportunity. Santa is at the zoo weekends until the school holidays start on the 19th when he can be found daily until he needs to go back home on Christmas Eve, obviously. He’s an additional £6.95 per child but well worth it and you get a free child zoo ticket in with your gift.
L loved his ticket best as he’s missed his visits to the zoo and Santa gave it to him on a giraffe card as he knows that giraffes are his favourite animal (lucky!) and it means he’ll get to go back and see his giraffe friends who he has missed so much. See what I mean about regretting not having the annual passes anymore.
We then went off to find the models. There are 16 in total, 4 large ones and 12 small ones, all based around The Snowman and The Snowdog theme. There is a quiz to complete as you go round, finding information about each display and build. It was a lot of fun and they are all brill. I have to admit the big ones stole the show for me, they are immense and the work that has gone into them is just stunning. It was lovely seeing the illuminations too, the zoo is staying open until 7pm on Saturdays until the 21st so you can enjoy them too.
A lot of the animals were asleep, which was to be expected but some really were not. We got to see the owls being a bit more active and the sea lions were a treat, they are so vocal at night! We got a great view of one of the sloths who had come out for a feed and loved seeing everything that had changed in the year since our last visit.
I honestly had the best night. Every aspect of the evening was brill. The only little niggles were understandable, the queue for Santa and not having full access to the whole zoo, L had wanted to see a snoozing giraffe but it would just be too dark and you can’t safely monitor that large of an area at night so I get it. The magic of the evening meant that didn’t even matter though. L couldn’t believe he had got to go the zoo in the dark, he was so happy to have seen Santa, he loved finding The Snowman and The Snowdog sculptures. A mince pie stop was a real treat for him and the fact we were serenaded by carollers only added to the magic, oh and did I mention they made it snow?! Utterly magical. It was L’s first Christmas outing of the season and I doubt anything I else I have planned for him will stand up against this brilliant event. He wants to go again to see the models in the daytime so that says a lot.
If you fancy a trip to see the display and have an explore of the zoo then you will not be dissapointed, just head to their website for more information and take lots of photos to share with me. Also be prepared to spend the day there, with so much to see and do you can easily make a full day out of it.
Disclosure – we were invited to the zoo as guests to see the Bricklive event. We were not charged for entrance or to see Santa and were provided with light refreshments. All thoughts, opinions and images are my own. We were also paid annual pass holders of the zoo for five years so do genuinely love it.