If you’re looking for an easy but engaging day out with the children, then Twycross Zoo is definitely somewhere you should consider visiting this year. Located in central England, you’ll find Twycross tucked away in the countryside in the middle of some major cities: Birmingham, Leicester, Derby and Coventry. It’s really easy to get to, and you’ll not believe you’re just a stone’s throw away from those big cities as you drive through the rural views on the approach.
Small though it may be, or perhaps once was, Twycross is definitely creeping up the must-visit list. In 2022 they expanded and opened The Gruffalo Discovery Land, adding even more things to see and do during your visit. We can now easily lose more than 6 hours in the complex, without even realising it.
We are local to the zoo, and I remember visiting when I was the age that my kids are now. Twycross has always had a fantastic reputation and us locals are proud it’s our local zoo. We don’t need to travel to any of the big-guys, knowing we have an amazing collection of well-cared for animals on the doorstep. It’s only got better, and now I absolutely love bringing my four children to the zoo, too!
My family and I were invited back to the zoo this April to check out their Easter activities. We enjoyed their giant bird puppets on arrival, enjoyed an interactive show at the Gruffly Glade, then followed the special trail for the egg-citing Easter egg hunt (and got a prize at the end!), as well as generally mused around the zoo to learn about their beautiful collection of animals.
At Twycross, you will not be short on things to do, ever. In fact, we have been a number of times in the last few years and I can honestly tell you that we have still not managed to get around everything, especially not in one visit! They have 3 on-site eateries, a large soft-play, an outdoor splash playground, a sandpit, playground… that’s before we even consider the menagerie (!); the list goes on.
On our recent visit the children thoroughly enjoyed their walk through the “deep dark wood” (Gruffalo trail), pushing the buttons to listen to the story snippets as they go. We also stopped at the Gruffalo Glade to watch one of the regular performances the zoo staff put on throughout the day. This had all of my (able) kids to get up and dance, shout out some answers and have a wail of a time. It made such a good video!
Later, when we were admiring the pair of giraffes at Twycross, a staff member arrived to give a talk. This too was very interactive, as she gave opportunities for the children to answer questions, and she taught us some amazing facts (I mean, who knew that in all that neck, giraffes only have 7 bones?!)
We had such a great time, again, that we stayed until closing time. We always find the staff at Twycross to not only be knowledgable but ultra friendly and helpful too. Whenever we have asked for help, directions or something, someone has always been very happy to help. In particular, Bernie has always been a superstar!
So if you are in the midlands then definitely head over to Twycross, as you will certainly have a grand day out. One bonus: the shop sells some lovely brands, including a favourite: Lanka Kade!
The highlights for us individually:
Me: The leopard and the tiger. Honestly there’s just something so majestic about being so close to big cats. If you love big cats too, check out our Big Cat Activity Pack here! (Do you know your leopard from your jaguar?)
Benedykt: The penguins – he loved to see them dive into the water as Twycross have a special underwater viewing space so you can see them gliding underwater before hopping back out into their large outdoor space.
Sylvester: certainly Sylvester’s highlight was meeting the resident tigress! Despite going to the members-only preview when she arrived 4 years ago, this most recent visit (April 2023) was when we finally got to see her really close!
Otylia: she absolutely loved the Gruffalo Discovery Land (the reason for this is possibly because as a Montessori family, we do not generally have any character stories at home, so she found all the creatures, videos and interactions very new and interesting.)
Olympia: Olympia quite enjoyed the chips, before a little crawl around the lawn near the chimpanzees.
A family (of 4) day ticket costs between £58 and £75 depending on the day you visit. If you would potentially be interested in joining their membership, the price for an adult annual pass is £70 and for a child (2yrs+) is £55, and if you decide on a day you’ve paid to visit, your annual pass cost will have the day ticket price deducted. Perks of membership include: 50% soft play discount, 10% off in the on-site eateries and gift shop AND free entry to partner zoos around the country.
Disclaimer: we were gifted tickets to visit the zoo as a family in exchange for social media content.