Families have a magical time during Dream Night at Newquay Zoo

Earlier this month – on Friday 14 June – Newquay Zoo opened late for a very special event, welcoming children with life-threatening conditions, and their families, for Dream Night at the Zoo.

Newquay Zoo has been hosting the event for the last six years as part of a global initiative to provide chronically ill and disabled children, along with their families, with the opportunity to make precious memories during a magical evening at the zoo.

Around 300 people attending the evening in all, with children coming from Little Harbour Children’s Hospice in St Austell, Ellie’s Haven in Looe and Treliske’s Oncology Unit.

As well as being able to meet all of zoo’s animals – including zebras, penguins, otters and lemurs – there were also a range of other activities for people to enjoy, along with food and drink provided by the zoo.

St Dennis Ukulele Club Band provided music, while Newquay-based Bounce Dance Academy performed, and the zoo’s own rangers were on hand to give talks about different animals and artefacts. Cornwall Fire and Rescue also brought one of their fire trucks, and a team from Clifton Villa Vets taught people all about their work, helping to care for Newquay’s animals.

Families could also bring back mementos from the evening, as an artist from Williams Caricatures drew portraits, and Devon and Cornwall Police showed people how to take fingerprints. All participants gave their time free of charge to give families a memorable evening.

Mike Downman, Newquay Zoo Team Leader of Animals, organises the event each year. He, said: “Dream Night at Newquay Zoo is one of the highlights of the year for all of us here at the zoo. We are so pleased to be able to help families make memories that they will be able to cherish in the future.”