We regularly visit the Loire and go to the zoo every couple of years - attractions change each time! We have been visiting since my son was about 5 - he is now 20 but still enjoys it (although my daughter, now age 14, insists on us going because she loves animals). This zoo can be "done" in a couple of hours but it takes about half a day to appreciate it - and you can easily spend the whole day there! The zoo is part of the endangered breeding programme so they often have young. They have tried to make all the enclosures as close to natural habitat as possible - but, as they are quite large it can sometimes be hard to spot the animals. The zoo is on two levels, linked by a flight of stairs but there is a lift for those of us with mobility problems - or with a pushchair! The walking, however, is flat - so easy with buggies, and the windows are low so children can easily see in, even if they are in buggies.
If you can, find out feeding times so you can see animals being fed (!) - but a warning if you are scared of vultures as they drag a carcass in to an arena with the visitors sitting around and the vultures jump over you to get to the meat! Although the talks are done in French, you do not need to understand to watch them at it! The guide book, however, is in English. There are also quizzes for youngsters to do, so they (might!) also learn something if they do it.
There are restaurants/snack bars on the site but there are also lots of picnic areas - and you can go in and out of the zoo so you can leave your lunch in the car and go back to get it, rather than lugging it round with you.
One small hint - you can buy popcorn to feed, for example, the goats - but your kids may be frightened by the goats' kids as they rather like it! It is also fun throwing it for the monkeys - or to feed to the fish while eating your picnic! However I suggest do not eat it yourself because, although it is safe to eat, it is totally plain - probably a little stale - and tastes of absolutely nothing!
So, to sum up, this is a visit that will be enjoyed by everyone (especially if they like animals) - no matter what their age. Although, obviously, you can visit any day, it is a brilliant "back up" if the weather is wet or overcast - and some areas are sun traps, so can get very hot when it is sunny!
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