I visited the spectacular Blackpool Zoo and danced with a real life gorilla Strictly Come Dancing style

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Blackpool Zoo has always been a childhood favourite of mine.

I love a visit to the zoo - who doesn’t right?

But during my recent visit to Blackpool Zoo I had a surreal experience when a dance with my little girl turned into a dance with a real life gorilla - Strictly-style....

Blackpool Zoo has always been a childhood favourite of mine. Ice cream, outdoor fun and animals - what more could you ask for? But in recent years it has become much more than that.

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Blackpool ZooBlackpool Zoo
Blackpool Zoo | Blackpool Zoo

Huge investment has seen the animal enclosures upgraded and the visit experience enhanced tenfold.

I have three young children, a one-year-old, three-year-old and a four-year-old and they love all things animals.

The zoo offers something for everyone. The eldest loves the interactive dinosaurs and it took us ages to get passed the water spitting T-Rex that comes out of nowhere.

Blackpool Zoo’s DInosaur SafariBlackpool Zoo’s DInosaur Safari
Blackpool Zoo’s DInosaur Safari

The elephant enclosure is also wonderful and is a firm favourite for my middle child. Except she hates the smell and walks from the outside enclosure to the inside with her fingers clamped on her nose the whole time.

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Blackpool Zoos herd of elephantsBlackpool Zoos herd of elephants
Blackpool Zoos herd of elephants | Blackpool Zoos herd of elephants

Our visit came just after the wonderful news the elephant herd is expecting not one - but two calves. Staff made the announcement by posing with giant pregnancy tests. The children loved to watch the elephants playing outside before going inside to watch them work to free their food tied high up.

Blackpool Zoo keepers celebrating the wonderful newsBlackpool Zoo keepers celebrating the wonderful news
Blackpool Zoo keepers celebrating the wonderful news | Blackpool Zoo keepers celebrating the wonderful news

A nice little touch was the ability to grab a Starbuck hot chocolate at a kiosk at the beginning of the dinosaur safari before starting our wander through the zoo.

After the dinosaurs we arrived the cafe and stopped outside for a picnic. There are loads of benches to sit at but you have to be careful because there are also a lot of diving seagulls.

On a previous visit a seagull landed on my shoulder to grab the sandwich out of my hand. Scary but I escaped unscathed. For those who don’t feel like braving the diving seagulls or those who go on a day when the weather is bad, the cafe offers everything from burgers and fish and chips to Subway.

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From the cafe we made our way to Gorilla Island and monkey world. It was a little windy so the Gorillas were not outside but we were able to see a variety of monkeys swinging and laying in their indoor housing.

After a brief stop at the otters we made our way to the brand new lion and tiger enclosures - and they are impressive.

African lion - Credit Alison AllenAfrican lion - Credit Alison Allen
African lion - Credit Alison Allen | African lion - Credit Alison Allen

A vision of wood and clear glass, the new enclosure looks bigger and better than ever. The huge glass windows get you within a metre of the fabulous creatures inside.

Amur tiger - Credit Alison AllenAmur tiger - Credit Alison Allen
Amur tiger - Credit Alison Allen | Amur tiger - Credit Alison Allen

You can also walk most of the way around the enclosure so if the lions or tigers are hiding or sunbathing you can sneak up for a closer look.

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Amur tiger - Credit Alison AllenAmur tiger - Credit Alison Allen
Amur tiger - Credit Alison Allen | Amur tiger - Credit Alison Allen

Next we visited the giraffes - a personal favourite of mine - they really amazing up close and at Blackpool Zoo you really get to appreciate their size at Giraffe Heights. The enclosure has an entry at ground level as well as one at giraffe head height.

During our trip we also saw the orangutans, flamingos, penguins, Red Pandas, sea lions, a petting zoo as well as having loads of fun on the play park and ride on diggers.

But the highlight of the trip was the fun we had in the gorilla house. A little dance and twirl with my youngest spurred a friendly gorilla into joining in the dancing fun much to the delights of the crowd.

Overall, Blackpool Zoo is a fantastic family day out with something for everyone.

For more information or to book tickets visit the website here.

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