It is often quite hard for parents to find cheap and cheerful activities to do with their kids in the capital.
London is notoriously expensive and looking after young children is as well. However, there may be a solution.
The answer lies hidden away in a West London park. The unassuming location is home to reptiles, mammals and exotic birds.
Nicknamed the Bunny Park, because of the common sight of the small furry animals, Brent Lodge Park, in Hanwell, Ealing, is home to the Hanwell Zoo.
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Hanwell Zoo is the home to a selection of birds, mammals as well as other cheeky residents like Hatari the porcupine, a mob of meerkats and a flock of flamingos.
Lemurs also hang about and provide a lot of fun for the kids because of their strange look, striped tails, and cheeky attitudes.
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They recently welcomed Margay, a very active armadillo, new marmoset monkeys, and several species of birds.
The zoo welcomes visitors by telling them to ‘go wild in west London’ and that is exactly what reviewers say they have done.
(Image: Hanwell Zoo)
The Zoo is rated highly on TripAdvisor with commentators saying it’s ‘perfect for a family day out’ and ‘cheap fun for all’.
One even warned, ‘try not to let your children become as naughty as the meerkats’.
The zoo has a reptile house, but the aquarium and butterfly house are being repaired.
The zoo educates about conservation efforts, helps the community and welcomes school trips, day visitors and even volunteers.
Adult entry to the zoo is £4.50 and kids over 3 years old are £2.50. Carers and under 3’s go free.
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Hanwell Zoo shared their aims and responsibilities and said: “The Zoo is a world leader in community involvement. We believe that a zoo has a moral obligation to be inclusive to all in our community.
“Our education and conservation messages are designed to reach and be reached by all. We work with a large number of community groups and individuals in mutually beneficial partnerships.
“We also regularly hold community days and events where local people can get involved and learn more about what we do here at Hanwell Zoo.”
How to get there
You can find the zoo at Hanwell Zoo, Church Rd, London, Hanwell, W7 3BP. It is only a 12 minute walk from Hanwell station, accessible by TFL rail.
The zoo’s opening times are: April 1 – Sep 10, 10am – 5pm. Sep 11 – Mar 31, 10am – 4pm.
You can book tickets to the zoo online, via their website or in the gift shop at the zoo. You can access the booking site here.