whathappensinlondon

Did you hear the one…

In Day to Day on July 24, 2011 at 1:01 pm

CAMDEN/REGENTS PARK

About the boy who went to the zoo, put a penguin in his rucksack only for his dad to find him washing said penguin in the bath later that night? This urban myth was spouted by almost everyone I told I was going to the zoo on Friday night, it’s not true but this did not stop my friend loudly pondering the logistics of such  a scheme whilst watching the penguins being fed ‘Right guys, we need a diversion…take your top off’ did not impress fellow zoo goers.

Thanks to the wonders of Groupon and it’s gradual takeover of the whole world, myself and hundreds of other coupon crazies went to The London Zoo as part of their Zoo Lates sessions on Friday evening. For £9 instead of over £20, childish excitement got to me as we walked the ten minutes from Camden Town station to the park where we headed straight to the bar. It feels weird to walk round a zoo with a beer but is in fact ingenious – making our way round, looking at tigers, gorillas, giraffes and hyenas on a Friday night makes for a nice break from paying the same amount to go to the pub/cinema/club.

Starting at the tiger bar, we went straight on to the new penguin pool where it was feeding time – unfortunately ZSL tried to turn throwing fish into water into some sort of show with a compere, shouting to the audience ‘Who likes penguins?! …I caaaaan’t hear you, I said WHO LIKES PENGUINS??!!!’ It was entertaining but not for the right reasons; I think everyone watching started to feel for the poor girl with the microphone, a bucket of sardines and 70 penguins charging at her.

We also saw the otter feeding and the spider monkey section but missed out the bearded pigs, comodo dragons, tortoises and quite a few other animals. I think the trick of Zoo Lates is to enjoy ambling round rather than try and tick off every animal because there is so much to see. The animal houses all close at 9, so going straight from work means that you only have a few hours to look at animals. However, don’t worry, there is something you can do after 9.

The pairing of the hugely successful Silent Disco and the zoo seems, like beer and the zoo, very strange. Yet it works so well. After we saw all the animals we wanted to, we headed back towards the main food area where there is also a carousel and a huge lawn area dedicated to Silent Disco. Pay a £5 deposit and dance the rest of the night away in your own world; underneath the trees and fairy lights, there is something very unsettling about stumbling into a mass crowd of silent (but energetic) dancers. With ten minutes to go it started raining, and instead of looking like a sexy J-Lo video, hundreds of drenched, muddy, covered-in-facepaint dancers hurried to get their headphones back and my new shoes got ruined.

Other than rain, it was the perfect night.

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