I was fascinated with the idea of a Zoo Night as soon as I read about it. The very next minute I texted my husband that we are going to this event. Zoo Night is organized by the ZSL, the zoo at Regents Park in London. We had been talking about a weekend trip to the zoo to see the giraffes. I love giraffes. Every time we passed on the Outer Circle or walked to Regents Park, I would stretch my neck to see the stretched necks of the giraffes above the boundary wall of the zoo.
We made our way to the ZSL on a balmy Friday evening. We entered the gates of the zoo with throngs of other effervescent adults. Zoo Nights are only for adults 18 and older. I guess all of us entered the gates as adults and as soon as we stepped in we time traveled back to our childhood. The remembered smell of the zoo animals hit us first. The zoo had transformed itself into magical carnival land. We were definitely eager to be children again-to enjoy these little pleasures. On the agenda, see the animals, ride the carousel, have food, drinks, and watch acrobatic performances while listening to music.
Of course the first thing is always food. There were quite a few street food vendors selling from vegan, vegetarian to intentional food. The variety was enormous. The smells of the variety of food and the barbecue covered up the animals’ smell. I realized that it was penguins feeding time. So we headed there. Our food can wait a little longer. We saw the penguins running after the dropped fish with enthusiasm and we kept taking pictures with excitement.
Finally my husband decided that we had watched enough penguins eating their dinner. We better go and eat our dinner before the food ran out. He had come here almost straight after work. It seemed most of the people had done the same. Everyone must have been hungry. The lines were long. The drinks line were even longer. We picked up our food from an Indian vendor. With my husband French Fries are always on the menu. He has to have them.
Luckily we found a table and had a nice meal absorbing the atmosphere. There were performers on stilts walking around giving the diners an opportunity for selfies! The laughter, smells, chatter and music made us all forget the stress of modern life. A lot of the people were walking around with a butterfly painted on their faces, tails attached to their pants, and animal ears on their heads. The lines for face painting were long. Everyone had embraced their inner child with total enthusiasm.
We decided to head out to see the giraffes at their feeding time. If nothing else, that would’ve made my evening. I stayed rooted to my spot and just enjoyed them eating and walking around in their enclosure with their long stylish strides.