You want to make the most of your summer evenings in London. Overcrowded beer gardens mean you end up having to stand whilst trying to awkwardly hold an overpriced Aperol Spritz, as every suit in the city seems to bash into you as they rush to the bar as though they haven’t had a drink in months, although they oddly smell like beer.
You want to be outside socialising and doing fun stuff, because before we know it, it’ll be November and nights in with Netflix boxsets will replace warm(ish) summer evenings. So what can you do which is a little different in London?
Zoo Nights is a FAB way to kick start your weekend. Running Fridays from 6-10pm throughout June and July, this adult only event will provide you with an evening of fun activities, entertainment and (obviously) animals.
As we entered the zoo, there was a very different atmosphere from when I’ve visited previously during the day. Instead of families and pushchairs, it was a far more laid back affair with music playing and a great buzz of excitement. Everyone who attended seemed to be in a good mood, and had that “Friday Feeling”.
It is the grown up’s turn to be big kids. You can have your face painted and ride the carousel (which was surprisingly fun, although slightly challenging whilst holding a cider).
As we walked around we were greeted by stilt walkers who were dressed in various elaborate animal themed outfits throughout the evening.
At this adult only event you can buy alcoholic drinks (and it’s weekend so you should TREAT YO SELF) as well as a vast array of tasty treats at the world food market. There was so much choice in fact that we struggled to decide which cuisine to opt for. Jerk chicken, Indian food, waffles, vegan options and my personal favourite which became my food of choice: RACLETTE FRIES (pretty much heaven on a paper plate). There were also a lot of gluten free choices including said delicious cheesy fries.
After we chose our food (there were 5 of us and each got something completely different so the choice was much appreciated and well explored), we headed to one of the many benches to sit down and dig in while admiring the beautifully decorated surroundings. It was an Instagram DREAM with lots of photo opportunities including a flower wall, a huge light up ZSL sign, swinging benches and various light up animal figures.
As well as seeing the animals in a more peaceful setting (no crazy school groups/toddler screaming), there were also opportunities to see some of the animals on the lawn with the keepers telling us all about them, including some more “fun adult” facts as they described them.
There was also the Mane Stage which featured various entertainment throughout the evening including a comedy performance.
After we explored the zoo, we opted for the comfort of the lawn which had bean bags and deck chairs with fairy lights draped above which made for a very cosy setting. We sat back with a drink and watched aerial acrobatics (animal themed of course) which was the perfect end to the night.
There were also activities like “wild yoga” and for an extra £10, a guided “Birds and Bess” tour which we didn’t have a chance to do, but we loved everything we did see (and eat). There is also a planner if you want to make sure you don’t miss out on certain activities.
So switch up your Nando’s date night, or your monthly Friday night drinks with the girls, and head to Zoo Nights.
Tickets £18.50 via ZSL website or £16.50 on Time Out.