So we took Ella to Chester Zoo for her birthday outing! There was really no other choice we needed to make, this girl just LOVES her animals! We knew she'd have a great day!
It was 4 degrees though, so we made sure we all wrapped up super warm!
Even from the second she arrived! it was hi-5's all round for being at the zoo!
I'm not sure you can see but behind Ella there are some Meerkats sitting on the Warthogs! I think they were trying to cosy in and keep warm!
The Elephants were impressive, there was a whole family including some baby Elephants...
but I think Ella had more fun riding her own!
The Monkey's were of course a favourite of the day, there were about 6 different kinds around the zoo and she loved pointing and making her cute little noises when she's interested in things 'oh, hm, ah'!!
If you look closely this Orangutan has its baby holding on around it's body, it was very cute to see!
Another favourite of the day was the Snakes! Since one of her favourite animal noises to make is the hiss, so she loved being able to do it through the glass!
She never gets tired of looking at Fish! especially as she could lean on this exhibit herself and check them out!
I thought she'd be more excited by the Lions, we could hear them roaring halfway across the zoo! but you couldn't see them too close by the time we got to their enclosure and there were Ducks waddling around right beside them...which apparently was more entertaining for Ella!
We popped her down on the ground next to them, and she kicked her little legs and was so happy to see these guys up close and personal!
Despite the cold, the sun shined the whole day and it was actually a really pleasant day to be out considering it's still winter! Our hats kept us nice and warm! We had to pose by this Monkey Puzzle tree, one of By's favourite trees!
There goes that little pointer finger again! it just didn't stop!
This little Monkey was very aptly named Lion Mane Monkey!
As Ella was pointing and watching them, I got her own Monkey out to show her that they were both Monkey's and the same, and she thought that was pretty fantastic! Monkey's all round!!
The Gibbon Monkey house was a hive of activity and noise!
Smiles all round!
We found this cute little Ella sized window! there was nothing for her to look at - none of the animals wanted to be outside in this weather! but she enjoyed standing against it anyway!
Hugs with Granny in the Monkey house!
Granny also snapped this pic of the 3 of us! or should that be 4...spot Monkey!
We stopped for a spot of lunch, and as usual Ella was waving at everyone in sight! she has the most fun wherever she goes!!
After lunch we made our way over to the 'handimal' stand which I'd read about on their website. Basically your child makes a handprint in paint on a piece of paper, and then they have a book of all the different kind of animals they can turn the hand into and you pick which one you want. I thought it would be a great memento of her birthday day at the zoo!
There was some debate over which one to pick! We thought about the Monkey for obvious reasons but it looked like that was better suited to larger hands so we opted for the Elephant because a lot of her room at home is elephant themed so we thought it would tie in well!
I was worried about how she'd do with putting her handprint down on the piece of paper, it's never worked that well for us when we've done it at home in the past but she actually did it perfectly!
Ella had received some birthday money in the post from her Great Granny in Oxford so we used this to get her 'handimal' framed and I was so pleased with how it turned out!!
One of the most exciting parts of the day was getting to see this baby Rhino! Only 5 days old! It had been born at the zoo the previous weekend! You could see the mummy Rhino was still super protective!
We snapped a picture of this guy, the Grey Crowned Crane, apparently little Byron had a run in with one back in the day on a trip to the zoo in South Africa. They can be quite vicious! and one pecked at his eye when he was small. They were still quite vicious as we got this picture up close through the fence! Luckily, Byron remained unharmed this time!
We saw loads more animals and there was still quite a lot we didn't get a chance to see. Chester Zoo actually has 12,000 animals which I was surprised by and is the biggest zoo in the UK! but this little one was getting sleepy so we called it a day and headed to the gift shop.
The gift shop is every child's dream, we wanted to buy Ella so much!! She absolutely loved getting to ride these little animals! and we were so tempted to get her one!
Doesn't she look like she's having so much fun! Granny bought her some super cosy bear gloves, the only pair we've found so far that actually stay on her little hands! and a lovely elephant lampshade for her elephant themed room I mentioned about! and a holographic animal bookmark that kept her occupied for half the journey home!
and then it was time for the birthday girl to snuggle down with Monkey and get some sleep because exciting days out can be so tiring!!