Noah's News Blog
Meet the reindeer at our special live Nativities this December!
We’ve been eagerly anticipating the Nativity plays here at Noah’s Ark in Bristol for a long time now, but we’re pleased to say that the time of year is finally upon us! Around the country, the nativity play is one of those moments when time stands still, and families celebrate together with this traditional, magical production.
Our Nativity plays have been hugely popular with families for many years now, not least because they feature live animals and a real baby! This year, our Nativity plays take place on two Saturdays in December: the 13th and 20th. What’s more, there’s no charge for watching the Nativity plays – the zoo is open as normal and the productions are included in the price for paying visitors.
Our opening hours on the 13th and 20th December are 10.30am – 4pm, with doors opening to the Ark Arena at 2pm. Seats are allocated on a first-come-first-serve basis, so don’t be late!
This Saturday (13th) will see the production of ‘The Bossy King’, performed by 90 children from Whitchurch Primary School. Next Saturday (20th) the doors of the Ark Arena will open for ‘The Nativity: The Animals’ Tail’ by Portishead Young Players; a youth theatre company attached to the main Portishead Players for 10-18-year-olds. The story is a unique version of the beloved Christmas tale but is told through the eyes of the unsung heroes: the animals!
Of course, you’ll get the chance to meet many animals whilst visiting Noah’s Ark, but you’ll be pleased to know that the Christmas theme continues with a meet-and-greet session with our magical reindeer (Rocky, Roxie, Ronnie, Regan and Renee) just before the doors open to the Ark Arena. Little ones and adults alike will love getting up close to these wonderful animals, even though there’s not a red nose in sight!
As well as Nativity plays, ‘tis also the season of generosity. We are offering a 20% discount throughout December and January on all day ticket admission (this excludes Season Tickets, Jungle Tots and non-school groups). So there’s no excuse not to come and see our amazing animals before and after Christmas this year.
If you’re looking for a perfect and unique gift this Christmas, look no further; Noah’s Ark Zoo Farm gift shop has an array of present ideas – from toys and books to woolly hats and jumpers. If you are stuck for ideas for an indecisive friend or family member, surprise them with adopting an animal – a thoughtful and precious gift for any animal lover out there. Similarly, our unique Zoo Keeper Experiences make the perfect present – from elephants, lions and tigers to reptiles and birds, allow them to spend some quality time with the animal they love for a truly memorable Christmas gift.
Meet our Biggest Zoo Animals
Want to know a little more about our biggest animals here at Noah’s Ark Zoo Farm? These majestic animals are certainly worthy of an introduction! If you’re the sort of person who likes to do their homework, here is some interesting information about our largest animals, so you will know their names and something about them before you come and meet them for yourself…
Buta, our African Elephant from Knowsley Safari Park, celebrated her 30th birthday this year, and shares Elephant Eden (described as a “Five Star destination for elephants”) with Janu and M’Changa. The African Bush Elephant is the largest living terrestrial animal, and they’re also amongst the world’s most intelligent species.
Our beautiful Giraffes are called Gerald, Genevieve, George and Geoffrey. If you haven’t seen one up-close before, you’ll be amazed at the height of them; giraffes are around six feet tall when born and can grow up to be 20 feet! As a result, they are the tallest mammals in the world. Come and wave hello to our tall friends when you’re visiting Noah’s Ark.
Zulu and Masai, our African Lions, are now five and a half years old and moved to Noah’s Ark from Linton Zoo, Cambridgeshire, back in February 2010. Last year, they were joined by lionesses Arusha and Vilma – sisters from the same parents, but different litters. The lions spend most of the day resting and have sporadic bursts of energy throughout the night.
After elephants, Rhinos are the second biggest land mammal in the world. Our white rhinos here at Noah’s Ark are named Rumba and Rumbull and they eat a diet of grass and hay – and lots of it! They also eat hay when grass is in short supply, and enjoy flaked maize (which is similar to Corn Flakes!). Our rhinos are from South Africa, so they don’t particularly enjoy this cold weather – they need electric heaters on really chilly days to keep them warm.
Every stripe pattern on every zebra is completely unique, and so are our wonderful Chapman’s Zebras, Zebedee, Zara, and family. The Chapman’s Zebra is native to Southern Africa from Angola to the Transvaal. They are currently at low risk status on the endangered species list, but are victims of habitat destruction and illegal poaching in the wild. In the wild, they are said to live up to 20-30, whereas in captivity they have been known to live up to 38.
So, now you know a little more about our resident large animals, come and visit Noah’s Ark Zoo Farm and say hello! At the moment, we are offering 20% off all day ticket admission for December and January, meaning cheaper entry for the winter season – so there’s no excuse not to visit.
Tips for Planning a Day Trip to Noah’s Ark this Season
It’s beginning to look a lot like Christmas… and it certainly is here at Noah’s Ark Zoo Farm. From our Nativity Plays and real-life reindeer to our unique gift ideas, we’ve got Christmas all wrapped up. If you’re planning a day trip to Noah’s Ark this season, here are some suggestions to make it go with a festive swing.
Wrap up warm and enjoy the great outdoors
Noah’s Ark is set over 100 acres of beautiful countryside, and our big outdoor park is the perfect space for a crisp, autumn walk. Wrap up snuggly with your scarf and gloves and enjoy all that the area has to offer. Warm up afterwards with a hot chocolate and some hearty food at our on-site café – serving hot food and drinks all day.
Take advantage of our discount prices
We’re feeling generous this season, so we are offering a 20% discount for winter day tickets purchased at the gate. As well as this, you can now buy a 2015 season membership at 2014 prices, up until Christmas Eve. This makes a wonderful gift, but is also a fantastic treat for yourself and means you can visit Noah’s Ark whenever you wish!
Nativity Plays and Reindeer to make you feel all Christmassy
Our Nativity Plays are hugely popular, and are performed with live animals, and a real baby! The performances start at 2pm on Saturday 13th December and Saturday 20th December, with seats being allocated on a first-come-first-serve basis.
Come and say hello to our Reindeer – Rocky, Roxie, Ronnie, Regan and Renee. They have furry (not red!) noses, a woolly undercoat and large spreading feet – so a little snow this winter certainly won’t faze them!
The perfect Christmas gift ideas
Looking for the perfect Christmas present for the younger members of your family? Head to the Noah’s Ark Zoo Farm gift shop where you will find a range of soft, cuddly toys, Christmas books and other festive gifts. And for anyone who has seen the adorable John Lewis Christmas advert, how could you resist buying them the cuddly penguin toy?
For more gift inspiration, how about adopting an animal this Christmas for someone special? An adoption gift box will include a soft toy animal, presentation certificate, a fact sheet about the animal, a day ticket to come and visit the adopted animal, an e-newsletter subscription and a car sticker. A unique and thoughtful present for any animal lover.
So what are you waiting for? For the ultimate winter adventure, head to Noah’s Ark Zoo Farm – you’re guaranteed to have a fun-filled day out getting up close to our amazing animals, and we’ll also provide you with some festive cheer as December rapidly approaches.