Christmas arrives at the Zoo!

With only 25 sleeps until the big day, animals at Bristol Zoo have been getting into the festive spirit.

Of the animals to embrace Christmas included the Zoo’s conspiracy of crowned lemurs and mob of meerkats who were given presents and stockings full of delicious vegetables.

But jolly lemurs and merry meerkats are only a tiny snapshot of this year’s upcoming celebrations.

Paul Pritchard, the Zoo’s head of marketing, said: “Entry to the Zoo from 1-23 December is the cheapest it has been all year and our festive offering is the strongest it has ever been – it’s a win, win!

“Our Christmas lights look beautiful against the backdrop of our award-winning gardens, the smells of mulled drinks fill the air and the Christmas spirit is infectious. We are also excited to be revealing our revamped, magical grotto as well as invite people in to watch some classic and much-loved films.

“The lead up to Christmas is such an exciting time to visit Bristol Zoo Gardens. Visitors are sure to leave having created some amazing memories and feeling happy and ready for Christmas.”

Santa’s Grotto

On Saturday 1 December, doors will open to the Zoo’s revamped Christmas grotto where children will be transported to a magical winter wonderland.

Inspired by the enchanted world of Narnia, Santa’s Grotto will feature pixies and elves who will take children and their adults on a journey through a wooden wardrobe to meet Santa and receive a special gift!

Tickets to the ever-popular event must be pre-booked and will include Christmas arts and crafts activities and the chance to explore the Zoo and say ‘ho, ho, ho’ to around 400 animal species.

Children will also be invited to colour in a letter to Santa and post it off to the North Pole.

Tickets, which start from just £5, can be purchased here, or by emailing Bookingsteam@bristolzoo.org.uk 

Film screenings

For movie fans, the Zoo is running exclusive Sunday afternoon cinema screenings, showcasing the Christmas classics - Elf and Frozen.

Tickets to the screenings, which take place every Sunday throughout December, must be pre-booked and include all day Zoo entry.

A selection of confectionery and refreshments will be available to purchase on entry to the cinema in the Zoo’s Pavilion building.

For more information, click here

Follow the star

For those who fancy a seasonal night of stargazing to get them in the Christmas spirit, the Zoo is celebrating all things astrological by teaming up with the Bristol Astronomical Society and Explorer Dome to host a star party on the Downs. Be amazed as you look at the Orion Nebula through a telescope, learn how to spot the main winter constellations and enjoy hearing the stories written in the stars with a unique festive twist.

Event is run in conjunction with the Friends of the Downs and Avon Gorge.

The event, which runs from 7.00pm - 9.00pm, will take place on either 11, 12 or 13 December (participants will need to be free for all three evenings as the weather may be unsuitable on the 11th or 12th).

Tickets cost £7.50 (adults) or £4.00 (children). It is suitable for children aged 8 years and above. Ticket price includes a hot drink and a star-shaped cookie!

Book with the Avon Gorge & Downs Wildlife Project, at Bristol Zoo, on 0117 9030609 or e-mail mleivers@bristolzoo.org.uk

Delicious treats

And if all this doesn’t make you feel festive enough, the Zoo’s café restaurant, The Hide, will be offering a selection of tasty treats from Wednesday 5 December, including mulled drinks, mince pies and festive cakes. 

Gift the memory of experiences and memberships

For the animal lovers in your life, why not treat them to a unique gift for Christmas including animal adoptions and experiences, where they can get up close to our lion brothers, feed our red panda couple, tend to our award-winning gardens with our expert gardeners or be a Zoo keeper for the day.

There’s an experience or adoption to suit everyone and your gift will come complete in a beautiful gift wallet.

We also offer memberships for either Bristol Zoo Gardens or Wild Place Project – or dual memberships for both!

These are always hugely popular and come in a variety of options, including annual memberships from just £25 and dual attraction memberships from £42. Our memberships are jam-packed with amazing features including discounts around the attractions, free entry to other wildlife parks, invitations to special members-only events and discounted entry for friends and family.

To find out more, and to surprise a loved one with an once-in-a-lifetime present this year, contact our bookings team on 0117 4285/419, reception on 0117 4285 300 or email bookingsteam@bristolzoo.org.uk 

Shopping delights

And after all the festive frivolities why not drop in to the Zoo’s gift shop to finish your Christmas shopping. The shop is bursting with books, animals, games, sustainable products, nic-nacs and souvenirs.

You needn’t have to have visited the Zoo to go Christmas shopping. It’s located at the entrance so just drop in next time you’re passing. 


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