29 May 2013
Half-Term Activities: Where to See Arctic Animals in the UK
My elves tell me it’s half-term school holidays in the UK – what a treat! – and you might be looking for things to do with the children this week.
If your little ones want to learn more about my magical Arctic home, why not go to the zoo to discover some of the majestic (and very cute) animals that live in Lapland? After all, December is a long time to wait to meet the huskies and reindeer in the wild wonders of my snowy homeland.
Here are some of my lovely local critters, and where you can see them at zoos and safari parks around the UK:
Reindeer – London Zoo
There are four beautiful female reindeer at London Zoo in Regent’s Park. London Zoo is always a hit with kids, and their website has plenty of facts to learn about the animals. They’d do well to swot up before coming on a reindeer sleigh ride in Lapland!
Opening times: 10am – 5:30pm
Arctic Fox – Highland Safari Park
Arctic foxes have litters between April and June, so keep an eye out in case there are little fox babies at the Highland Safari Park in Kingussie, Scotland! While in winter they are as white as the Lapland snow, in summertime their fluffy coats turn grey.
Opening times: 10am – 5pm (last entry 4pm)
Brown Bears – Whipsnade Zoo
Wellington and Winslow are sisters who live at the Whipsnade Zoo, although they are a little different from the children who come to meet me each Christmas – these sisters are Eurasian brown bears! If you want to bring your own brother or sister, families can save 10% by booking online at the Whipsnade website.
Opening times: 10am – 6pm
Lynx – Dudley Zoo and Whipsnade Zoo
Both Whipsnade Zoo and Dudley Zoo are home to the cute and crafty Eurasian lynx. Their fluffy padded paws act like snowshoes, so they can move quietly across the top of the snow in Lapland without sinking in.
Opening times at Whipsnade: 10am – 6pm
Opening times at Dudley Zoo: 10am – 5:30pm (last entry 4pm)
Wolves – Whipsnade Zoo
Are you Team Jacob? Meet Jacob the Eurasian grey wolf! While wolves do live in parts of Lapland, you won’t see them at Santa’s Lapland – they closest you’ll get is my friendly team of husky dogs. This means Whipsnade Zoo is your best chance to see stunning Arctic wolves.
Opening times: 10am – 6pm
Great Grey Owl – Highland Safari Park
Great Grey Owls are also called Lapland Owls, and are common in my neck of the northern woods. A pair named Skye and Edwin lives in Scotland at the Highland Safari Park – they are some of the biggest owls in the world, and if you come to visit me, you may hear their friends twit-twooing in the atmospheric Lapland twilight.
Opening times: 10am – 5pm
What are your plans for half-term? I hope you have a lovely time, and let me know on Facebook if you visit my friends at the zoo!
Images from zoo websites, with the exception of the arctic fox by Douglas Brown.