So every Friday night in June and July, ZSL London Zoo opens its doors to hundreds of over 18s, all flocking for a night out with a difference. It’s fun, cheap (if you get a Timeout deal as we did) and a laid-back, but far more social, alternative to your usual night in with Netflix.
I’ll be honest, I was (literally) like a child at the zoo. Hopping with excitement as we waited for the doors to open, and racing like cheetahs to be first in line at the face painting stand (we actually made it too). My favourite thing? Definitely the Ibiza Zoo Party-style face paint. Who needs Ibiza when you have Regents Park to strut your stuff as a tiger?
This adult-only event didn’t just offer a beautiful array of animals. Sure, you were able to wander around the zoo with your own private viewing of tigers, meerkats, penguins and (my personal favourite) giraffes- but it’s the extra entertainment that makes Zoo Lates so special. There’s the chance to take a walk on the wild side with improvised comedy in the aquarium, enjoy twisted Cabaret in the amphitheatre or simply watch the vast choice of animal shows on offer. You can even practice your dance moves next to the Flamingo area in the…wait for it…. Silent Disco! And of course, the crème de la crème of any night out, check out the street food festival! All this whilst listening to the sound of some of London’s finest acoustic musicians. There is no doubt that you get a lot for your money. The carnival atmosphere works wonderfully in the setting, and throw in the recent sunshine we’ve been having, and it made for a perfect night.
The only down-sides? £10 deposit for the Silent Disco headphones (which we only discovered after spending most of our money) and no food and drink allowed in (so students, save up as a Rekorderlig cider will set you back a fiver, and the street food even more – around £6-10). Oh, and a date night alert. The zoo was full of couples, trying to relight some fire into their relationship through chattering monkeys and the sweet smell of animal dung. Romantic, right?
But on a less sharp note, rope in some friends, keep an eye on Timeout for half price tickets (£17) and make Zoo Lates one of your definite ‘bucket-list’ London things to do next summer. Trust me, the silent disco is calling your name…
Zoo Lates runs every Friday night in June/July. Find out more info here: http://www.zsl.org/zsl-london-zoo/whats-on/zoo-lates-0