We have made many memories at Whipsnade Zoo the last year. We have been informed by email when an elephant, giraffe, pygmy hippo, and red panda were born. We have watched the baby lemurs play with their mothers and aunties away from the males.
We joined the ZSL Whipsnade and ZSL London a couple weeks before the new Hullabazoo Farm with soft play facilities opened Easter Weekend 2014. There is large outdoor climbing structures and play areas for all ages. There is a play area for Little Ones with baby swings and slides but also challenging play structures for adventurous children. In the farm, you can feed the pygmy goats and attended "meet the animal" sessions. Every spring there are newly-hatched baby chicks.
The soft play area is rather small but caters for all ages. There is a designed area for 2 and under. Hot drinks and snacks are available to be enjoyed while the children play. I like this soft play because it is small enough that my daughter is visible at all times. There is no chasing after her around the equipment. There is a limited number of children allowed in the soft play area per session so I recommend you arrive early and put your name on the list. The soft play area is a great option if the weather is colder and you need somewhere to warm up.
My daughter enjoys the soft play area but there is so many other things to do at Whipsnade that we rarely use those facilities during the Summer months. There are daily animal talks around the zoo. When entering the zoo, you will be provided with a schedule of the animal talks. Our favourite one is the "Sealion Splash". Dominic, Lara and Bailey are Californian sealions and we love watching their swimming and jumping skills. Remember that the "blue area"around the pool is where you will get wet. My daughter is always memorised by them.
The Wild Bite Cafe is located near the sealions and the train station. The cafe is often very busy but have box meals for the children but also hot meals of several options including vegetarian. There is fish finger & chips available for the children most days but all the adult hot options are available in children portions. (I must admit that I order the children portions when pregnant.) During the summer months, there are food carts available for other meal options. Ice cream carts in the warmer months and a couple other smaller cafes around the zoo for warm drinks and snacks.
The Jumbo Express (train) takes you around the zoo to show you the herds of yaks, deers, and other roaming animals. There is also a bus that will take your around the zoo. No bikes are allowed but scooters often used around the zoo. All areas are stroller and handicap accessible.
The other animals that we always visit are the giraffes. There has been several baby giraffes born the last year or so. There is wooden "lookout" that my daughter loves to run around.
The other animal that has been very successfully breed at Whipsnade are elephants. There is an elephant talk daily but they are also moved from the enclosure to other parts of the zoo on their daily walk. Ask at the entrance what time and where the elephants are walking to on that day. If you miss the elephant talk, you can often get great photos during their walk across the zoo.
There is a new Visitor Centre opening this Easter 2015 and Butterfly Garden in May 2015. We have already taken Bumblebee Boy on a visit to the zoo but we look forward to many more new adventures and making more memories at ZSL Whipsnade.