Add a bit of sparkle to your festive plans with a fun-filled trip to Bristol Zoo Gardens.

Wrap up warm and spend quality time with your family, friends and favourite animals. Spot 300 incredible animal species including gorillas, lions, penguins, red pandas and more, plus twinkling lights and a giant decorated Christmas tree on the Top Terrace.

Two golden headed tamarins in a tree at Bristol Zoo Gardens

Image - Golden headed tamarins, credit Rosie Jack

The award-winning gardens offer the perfect place for a crisp winter walk before stopping at The Hide restaurant for a warming hot chocolate. And why not dive into one of the Animal Houses, including Twilight World and Forest of Birds, Seal & Penguin Coasts plus Bug World.

Encounter rare fish, extraordinary reptiles, brilliant bugs and cheeky meerkats, among 300 species. Don’t miss the brilliant animal talks and feeds running daily from 18 December to 4 January (except 25, 26 and 27 December) where expert keepers share fun facts and their insights into caring for Asiatic lions, giant tortoises, crocodiles, meerkats, seals and more. Check the Bristol Zoo Gardens website for an up-to-date timetable.

Bristol Zoo Gardens is open every day this Twixmas period, including New Year's Day (closed 25 December).

Spot new arrivals

The Zoo is bursting with life, including a host of adorable youngsters. Look out for Noco the sloth, usually found snuggling up to her mum, Trixie. Spot playful Hasani and Juni, two cheeky western lowland gorillas, and don’t miss the tiny, infant mouse deer, Otis, who lives alongside his parents and fruit bats!

Plus, meet fluffy red panda, Pan, who joined female Shifumi earlier this year in the hope the pair will mate. Winter is a red panda's favourite season and they become more active during the colder months – spot them clambering up their favourite tree!

Baby gorilla Hasani on the back of surrogate mum Kera at Bristol Zoo Gardens

Image - Baby gorilla Hasani on the back of surrogate mum Kera

Winter walks

Immerse yourself in 12 acres of award-winning gardens, with over 100,000 plant species from across the world. Stroll along winding pathways, through festive displays of twinkling lights and enjoy a crisp winter walk through Bristol Zoo Gardens this Twixmas.

Red panda in a tree at Bristol Zoo Gardens

Image - Red panda, credit Jordan Jones

Warm up in heated Animal Houses

Step into toasty Animal Houses and immerse yourself in the exotic climates of the Amazon, Madagascar and Asia. The Reptile House is heated to a tropical 25°C in the day in winter, and the Aquarium, Bug World, Meerkat House and Butterfly Forest, are also comfortably warmed. Hop between them to recharge during a crisp winter's stroll.

Blue tree monitor lizard

Image - Blue tree monitor lizard, credit Jordan Jones

Tasty treats from The Hide restaurant 

Warm up on your stroll with a hot chocolate from The Hide restaurant – don't forget the cream and marshmallows! With plenty of indoor seating, it's the perfect place to relax and recharge. The Hide is open daily (10.30am – 3pm) and offers a range of tasty dishes from burgers and hot pizza to healthy salads and warming soup, as well as festive treats. They cater to a variety of diets and, alongside scrumptious cakes and snacks, serve hot drinks and a range of cold non-alcoholic and alcoholic beverages. Or grab a takeaway snack on-the-go from one of the many kiosks.

Discover your inner monkey on ZooRopia

Big and little adventurers alike can climb, clamber and swing through the air in the thrilling aerial ropes course, ZooRopia. Travel through the treetops alongside gibbons and gorillas, tackling 17 gravity-defying challenges before flying down the zip wire to finish. Will ZooRopia make a monkey out of you? Book online and check restrictions by going to the ZooRopia section on the Bristol Zoo Gardens website. 

Festive treats and enrichment for the animals at Bristol Zoo Gardens 

The Zoo's keepers have got into the festive spirit by giving out presents and stockings filled with tasty treats for the animals to enjoy.

Resident tree kangaroo, Kiri, enjoyed nibbling on candy canes made from his favourite fresh vegetables. 

Red pandas, lemurs and squirrel monkeys were gifted stockings filled with scrumptious bamboo, vegetables, and mealworms. And the agile gibbons, Sam and Duana, enjoyed treat-filled Christmas pudding piñatas.

Three ring tailed lemurs at Bristol Zoo

Image - Ring tailed lemurs, credit Rosie Jack

Meanwhile, sloths Trixie and infant Noco received star-shaped sweet potato slices and red peppers – their favourite!

Keepers created a full Christmas spread for the keas, complete with papier-mâché turkey, crackers and cheese board (all filled with tasty morsels, of course!) to get these clever birds in the festive spirit!

And the golden lion tamarins were gifted tiny pinecone Christmas trees covered in their favourite treat… grubs!

Head of Animal Collections, Nigel Simpson, said: "As well as being great fun and festive decorations, the stockings and presents are also a great form of enrichment, helping to keep the animals interested and active because they have to hunt and forage for their food, making lunch time a little bit more exciting."

Find the perfect ‘zoovenir’ that supports animal conservation around the globe

Is it your turn to be spoiled? Treat yourself or a loved one this Twixmas to a special gift or zoovenir. Bristol Zoo Gardens' Gift Shop offers a beautiful range of sustainable gifts, so you can align your values with your wallet! Each purchase supports the care of the animals at Bristol Zoo Gardens and conservation work spanning 10 countries – from Equatorial Guinea and Costa Rica, to right here, in the South West!

Check out the new online gift shop with a section dedicated to sustainable and eco-friendly gifts, such as books, bamboo socks and delicious crunchy crickets. Or fancy spoiling your favourite animal with a Twixmas treat? Shop Bristol Zoo Gardens’ online wish list for a range of animal enrichment options.

They have an exciting range of adoptions – a number of different animals are available to adopt, from mighty western lowland gorilla, Jock, to Shifumi, the playful red panda, or Ivy, one of our ever-alert meerkats. Adoption packages are £50 and include an admission ticket, animal fact file, adoption certificate and a cuddly toy! 

Flamingos at Bristol Zoo Gardens

Image - Flamingos, credit Jordan Jones

Give the gift that keeps on giving

Surprise a loved one (or treat yourself!) to year-round fun with Membership. Members receive unlimited entry to the Zoo and lots of extra perks such as 10% off in our Gift Shop and The Hide restaurant. After autumn 2022, when Bristol Zoo Gardens' Clifton site closes, Membership will transfer over to an Annual Pass to Wild Place Project, the Zoo's brilliant sister site. Prices start at £33 – find out more by visiting Membership.

Book online at bristolzoo.org.uk.

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