Sunday, 1 September 2013

Sunday in Antwerp: Zoo and Anwterp Streetkicks

Today we decided to make good use of our zoo membership cards (also valid for Planckendael), so we jumped in the car and drove to Antwerp.

We have been a number of times to the Anterpen Zoo, but it is always a great day out. We parked just behind the Antwerp Central Station, whose main hall is a beautiful sight and; as it is just opposite the main zoo entrance, it's more than worth the detour.

The entrance to the zoo is currently 22.5 EUR for adults and 17.5 EUR for children over 3 years old (always best to check the zoo website for updated prices) My husband gets a reduction via his work for the yearly pass, so that is what we have. We just need to show our passes at the entrance and swish...... it's done. The pass also offers interesting discounts at the zoo shops, which is definitely a plus.

Although the famous Kai-Mook, the elephant born in 2009, has moved to the bigger Planckendael zoo near Mechelen,  the zoo in Antwerp still has lots to offer. The huge new lion enclosure is particularly well done and I could also notice some renovations in the tiger area.

Regarding facilities for the little ones, there are two baby-changing stations near the main entrance, one of which even has a microwave oven, which is a great detail. The zoo has three restaurant areas: the "Flamingo" (a self-service restaurant, close to the main entrance and the best in terms of variety) then the "Stokstaartje" (only hamburgers and other fast food nasties, not my favourite) and the "Paon Royal", which is a real restaurant and perhaps the least attractive if you're visiting with small children. Besides this, there are plenty of snacks little places and drinks vending machines along the way.

The size of the zoo is also very manageable, which is particularly handy when you have small kids who get tired easily. So, after a couple of hours, we decided to continue our day in Antwerp with a visit to the "Antwerp Streetkicks" festival, which was taking place in the Spoor Noord Park, a good 15' walk from the zoo.

The festival had an impressive array of skateboarders, free-style bikers, slak-liners and all sorts of other 'urban extreme sports' lovers. It's not something we are too familiar with (and probably too old for, anyway, sniff) but it was a different crowd and it was certainly a hit with the kids. For baby Pingu, it was probably a bit too noisy, but even he managed to sleep through for a bit.

So, a great last day before the start of a  new school year. Have a great week everyone!

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