As I shared yesterday, Frubes have partnered with Minions this summer. This means a special limited edition banana flavour, and a fun on-pack promotion to seek out on every box with lots of prizes to be won.
To celebrate all this, the Frubes team invited us to an overnight stay at ZSL Whipsnade Zoo. We had no idea it was even possible to stay in the zoo after hours, but it turns out that ZSL is well equipped to welcome visitors for this very special family experience.
The view was one of the first things that struck us as we pulled up to the Lookout Lodge accommodation area inside the zoo - isn't that gorgeous?
And the lodges themselves are just fabulous - small, wooden cabins, providing comfortable accommodation, a short walk from the toilets and shower block.
Inside, the kids were over the moon to see that our cabin had been decked out with Minions themed goodies, and even more excited to learn we were allowed to take them home at the end of our stay.
Once settled in, it was time for fun with the Frubes team...
Cupcakes, balloons and of course, all the Frubes we could eat awaited us in the cafe area.
In the morning, we even got to MEET Bob, Kevin and Stuart. I think for JD and Miss J it was like meeting rock stars - they gave them lots of hugs.
What we saw
The stay consisted of three tours in all: one shortly after we arrived, one by torchlight and one after breakfast. All we really special, allowing us to get to know the animals in incredible peace as our group were the only ones on site!
The kids adored every minute and it felt really special to have our own guide and to learn so much about all ZSL Whipsnade's residents.
As we drove around in a jeep, getting off from time to time to get a closer look at the various enclosures, there was plenty to see. The experience was utterly exhilarating as we enjoyed sharing a special family experience, seeing everything from rhinos, to bison to bongo antelopes.
The safari part of the zoo is organised by native geographical area and is HUGE, so if you do plan to visit, I strongly recommend having a good look at the map so that you can decide which animals you want to make sure you see.
One of the kids' favourite moments on day one was a visit to the lions. They were sleeping just a few feet away from us - don't worry, they were on the other side of thick glass.
We were shown a plastic ball that bore impressive teeth and claw marks, and were told the toys are sometimes placed in the herbivores enclosures for a while first so that they smell 'exciting'.
And this model showed the children just how awesome a lion's bite really is. Look at those canines!
As we walked round, the Frubes team had hidden Minions themed splats around the tour, which made it even more fun for the kids.
The torchlight tour took place after dinner. It was past the children's bedtimes and we given the option to return to our cabins, but how could we pass up such a once in a lifetime experience?
There aren't many photos, due to the light, but we saw wolves, flamingos and more.
It was a fantastic walk through the eerily quiet zoo, the night air punctuated only by the occasional roars, tweets and chatters from the zoo's residents. Unforgettable.
A breakfast tour
After being well looked after with an excellent cooked breakfast, we headed out on the breakfast tour before the zoo opened to the public.
This little penguin was my favourite, but the kids were utterly captivated by the chimps, who are so intelligent but who we were warned love to be cheeky to the extent they may throw their poo. Charming. Luckily, they were on their best behaviour and we were allowed to chuck them their breakfast.
While we feeding the very cute baby wild boar, we were told a couple of surprising facts. Firstly, sometimes people who think they've bought micro-pigs eventually discover they're in possession of wild boar when they grow to a huge size. Oops. And secondly, wild boar will eat anything, even bones. Eurgh!
The brown bears were gorgeous, and we all had to remind ourselves that as cuddly as they looked, it wouldn't be wise to hop in. We chucked them a fibre based breakfast and watched them stroll majestically around their enclosure.
I would 100% recommend booking a family stay at ZSL Whipsnade - it is one of our top UK family travel experiences to date.
Huge thanks to Frubes for organising the trip, and looking after us so well.
Frubes provided us with cinema tickets, product and arranged our experience at Whipsnade Zoo.