For children attending Twycross Zoo’s major multi-million pound new development, The Gruffalo Discovery Land, this week the joy was even greater.
After all, what’s not to love about The Gruffalo? Many parents have been instructed to read the popular book, created by Julia Donaldson and Axel Scheffler, over the years.
From that very first line – A Mouse Wandered Through the Deep Dark Wood – and striking illustrations, youngsters have become so enamored with the story of this very first reading that it is unlikely to be the last. that you read it.
Indeed, for some of us, we’ve read the book so many times over the years that you can pretty much recite it word for word, like learning your times tables parrot-style.
So as soon as it was announced that Twycross was delivering a new four-acre attraction featuring the much-loved characters from the hit children’s book, you couldn’t help but think it was a great idea.
It was developed in partnership with the owners of The Gruffalo Magic Light Pictures brand and brings an extra dimension to the already popular zoo.
Along with the fun the new attraction brings, also comes the opportunity to spread key messages about respecting wildlife and preserving endangered species – educating the next generation about the importance of protecting our planet.
Upon entering Gruffalo Discovery Land, youngsters are taken on the journey of the cunning little mouse with a big appetite, who wanders through the forest.
The trip allows visitors to observe real animals, including a walk through the butterfly house – a place full of color and beauty – and an area with owls.
Kids can also see animatronics as well as clips from the popular movie, which has become a Christmas Day staple in many homes across the country.
Visitors meet all the characters from the book – the fox, the snake, the owl and, of course, the Gruffalo as they make their interactive journey through the attraction. There are activities throughout that allow youngsters to develop their sense of touch and learn essential facts about wildlife. It’s all done in a relaxed way, so you can wander around at your leisure, rather than feeling rushed.
The little ones also have the opportunity to dance the Woodland Wiggle with the zoo’s enthusiastic and energetic entertainers, who take to the stage for fun at the end of the ride.
And, if you’re hungry at the end, you can take a break at the all-new Oh Crumbs! Café, which has been set up with a Gruffalo theme and is full of colors and tasty sandwiches, delicious dishes and delicious cakes.
There’s also a Gruffalo Goodies shop, with stuffed animals, postcards, pens and lunch boxes. This line includes characters from other Julia Donaldson books such as Zog, Stick Man and Room on a Broom.
If the zoo’s goal for this groundbreaking experience is to inspire more children than ever about the importance of the natural world, then the Gruffalo area certainly succeeds.
But, of course, that’s only part of the day. There is so much more to offer including photo opportunities, soft play and a wet and wild play area.
And, of course, the stars of the show – the animals. Particular highlights of our visit were a visit to Gibbon Forest, with one particular monkey eager to show off their acrobatic skills, while the meerkats were a delight as always.
And while we can’t guarantee you’ll encounter a REAL Gruffalo, along with black rhinos, giraffes, penguins, zebras, tigers and all, there really is plenty to do.
The brand new multi-million pound ground will open at Twycross Zoo on Saturday 9th April 2022
Admission to Gruffalo Discovery Land is included with admission to a Twycross Zoo and visitors will need to book an arrival timeslot online, prior to the visit.
To buy tickets online and plan your visit, go to twycrosszoo.org/the-gruffalo-discovery-land