Bristol Zoo Gardens is a fantastic family day out, in the middle of Bristol (in Clifton) We visited for the first time last month, while visiting my sister in Bristol and it was a hit with the adults and the children in our party.

Bristol Zoo Gardens is actually the 5th oldest zoo in the world, and it has a good selection of animals, from the bigger animals like Asiatic lions down to the smallest butterflies and bugs.

visiting bristol zoo gardens. A great place for a family day out in bristol

You can watch talks about the animals too, which we found really interesting. The animal handlers obviously have a lot of experience and enthusiasm with the animals and it was great to see them up close, and hear more about each one. The kids picked up plenty of facts and really enjoyed the talks.

animal show bristol zoo gardens

This macaw was amazing, we loved seeing it fly over head as part of the animal show. What a gorgeous and impressive bird!

macaw at bristol zoo gardens

Another of our favourite animals at Bristol Zoo was red pandas. They are SO cute, I don’t think anyone could fail to be won over by them. There are a few within the enclosure, so you have a good chance of spotting them, and they move around a lot.

red pandas at bristol zoo gardens

With some of the animals, you can get quite up close and go inside their enclosures to walk around without any barrier between you and the animals. You can do this with the lemurs in the Lemur Walkthrough where there are both ring tailed lemurs, and crowned lemurs.

You can also do a walk through with the Livingstone fruit bats – although they are often asleep during the day.

lemurs at bristol zoo gardens

Another highlight of the zoo is the Seal and Penguin coast which houses African penguins and South American fur seals. We spent ages here as the boys were so interested in watching these, particularly R who became really attached to the seals!

african penguins at bristol zoo gardens seals at bristol zoo gardens

You can also go underneath the water where a special walk way has been created to allow you a better view of the seals from under water, which is really cool. This then leads into an aquarium housing other sea creatures that you can visit.

seals at bristol zoo gardens

To keep the kids active during their trip to the zoo, there’s also an adventure playground which my kids enjoyed exploring.

bristol zoo playground

For an additional fee, you can do the ZooRopia high rope course which is next to the adventure playground. This looks pretty cool for the very adventurous types – we didn’t brave it, but maybe when the kids are a little bit bigger!

There’s also a lovely stream splash area to explore if you come on a hot day.

Bristol Zoo Gardens, as the name suggests, has plenty of flowers and greenery around too and is a really nice location. You don’t feel as though you are in the middle of the city.

bristol zoo gardens

You can easily spend a full day here with plenty to explore, and we would recommend it as a great day out for any families visiting the area – or living near by.

bristol zoo gardens

If you’re visiting Bristol, you might also like At Bristol Science Centre or check the Visit Bristol website for even more ideas