Review: Zoo Lates at London Zoo

17:04 08 June 2012

Zoo Lates. Photo by David Jensen

Zoo Lates. Photo by David Jensen

© David Jensen 2010

The novelty of spending a summer’s evening wandering around London Zoo sipping Pimms can never wear thin.

I had visited Zoo Lates for the first time last year and it proved to be one of the most enjoyable nights of the summer, albeit due in part to the fact it was on one of only a very small handful of balmy, sun-drenched evenings in the capital.

And as I headed down to Regent’s Park on the opening night of this year’s run amid a deluge of rain, I wondered if it could possibly match up to expectations.

But the inclement weather wasn’t about to spoil an evening for me, or the hundreds of other excited adults unleashing their inner child and exploring the exotic, weird and wonderful menagerie.

Highlights included Penguin Beach Live, which saw an eager crowd pack into the enclosure for feeding time to see the cute creatures waddle over the rocks and swim and spin around the pool – the biggest of its kind in England and fronted with a glass viewing panel.

From monkeys, lions, gorillas and giraffes to all manner of peculiar bugs, sealife and reptiles, there’s something for every kind of animal lover.

Throw in a festival vibe with a host of food stalls, a carousel, cabaret and people bopping around in their own little party worlds at the silent disco – and you get many people’s idea of a perfect night.

The only downside is all the fun ends at 10pm – but I guess the animals need to get some kip ahead of the busy weekends. Just make sure you get there for the 6pm opening time otherwise you may find yourself running out of time to see everything.

* Zoo Lates, which is strictly for over 18s, is open every Friday during June and July and tickets can be bought online at zsl.org/zoolates

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