Apenheul Primate Park: Apeldorn, The Netherlands

On Friday, we first had breakfast at Bagels & Beans in Apeldorn.  I loved this cafe!!  After we had laughs with the “Cheeseman” before stopping in HEMA one of my favorite stores in Holland.

We then headed to the Apenheul Primate Park in Apeldorn for a day of fun.  Apenheul Primate Park is a zoo in Apeldoorn, Netherlands which specializes in apes and monkeys. It opened in 1971 and was the first zoo in the world where monkeys could walk around freely in the forest and between the visitors.

It is basically a zoo with almost only monkeys!  I am not even sure how many different versions they had but as your rounded the corner there was a new one which was even cuter than the previous. I especially liked all the babies.

When you first walk in you met up with what we called the little yellow monkeys which were all over the place.

In the past, these guys would jump on you and try to get to your food, etc. so now they have “monkey safe” bags.  One guy near us tried to feed them small white flowers and so they climbed up on him.

Around every corner, you come to something new including a carousel and a few awesome playgrounds one with a huge climbing structure (with some shitty dangerous unsupervised kids) and each have a concession stand selling BEER!   I know that is probably normal for those who live here in the Netherlands, but coming from the US it’s not normal.

As we didn’t have a buggy and knew Maebh would be complaining that her legs were tired in no time, she rode in a pull buggy around the park for a while.  Of course, Soren had a go, but was looked at funny! lol

Jambo the silver back gorilla and his crew were pretty interesting to me.  Someone recently was telling me that gorillas do not swim, but they can be taught.  Here you were only about 10 feet from them and the only thing separating you and them was some water.  The smaller gorillas were spending a LOT of time in the water, splashing and clapping. So for now, I’ll say it’s only a matter of time.  And if you saw Jambo grab several of the apes to either pick bugs off them or do whatever it was he did to them around the corner out of our view, you do not want him to cross the water!!!

We took Soren for a quick visit when he was not even two nor walking, so now being 4 & 6, we knew they (and we’d love it) which we all did.  It was a GREAT day out!  Super clean, great educational opportunities, etc.  If we lived nearby, we’d have a membership!

That same evening ,we went over to the hotel bar/restaurant and had dinner and perhaps play a little bowling. Turned out we had dinner followed by drinks with a much larger group quite late – though the kids loved it. SO nice to be close by their family here in the Netherlands.   Back to Ireland in a couple days… so taking it all in and enjoying it.


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