Do the Zoo with Kids

When I started this blog, I didn’t realize I would be doing so many local (San Diego) interests.  However, even though this is about my area zoo, these are tips for any children, to any zoo, in any city.

I took my grandkids to the zoo by myself, that’s right, two kids-one adult.  Not my favorite ratio.  It’s much easier when there is an adult for each child.  Here’s the key:  don’t overdo it.  Keep it short and simple.  Here is how our day went:

Armed with a water for each of them, plenty of snacks, and a 2-seater wagon, we headed for the San Diego Zoo http://zoo.sandiegozoo.org

We decided on the way that we would ride the top of the double decker bus this time.  (Brodey called it the top bunk of the bus).  When we arrived at about 9:30 am, we went to get bus passes right away,  since it’s near the entrance and before it got too hot.

The tour was almost 40 minutes, a perfect amount of time for Brinley (one year old) who was just starting to squirm on my lap as we finished.  We got to see several animals close- up.

Here we are looking at the polar bears. There were three of them, but the other one was so close, the bus is blocking him in the photo.

After the bus unloaded, we walked back to our wagon and headed to Tiger Trail.  Tigers are one of Brinley’s favorite animals.  We looked at all the animals along the way but stayed the course to the tigers.  One was kind enough to be taking a nap right near the window.

Brinley would not pose with her brother in front of the tiger habitat.  She wasn’t too trusting of that glass window, so I held her while she made her tiger noise.  She was less excited than I thought she would be at seeing the real life tiger. I guess her tiger stuffed animals are favored over the real animal.

We looped back around to the exit and saw some different animals, some the same as we backtracked.  Brodey wanted to know what each monkey was called and what they ate.  Take the cues from your child as to what they are interested in learning.  Make it fun.  Can they guess what this animal eats? Maybe they can find their food in the cage or even see what they are eating.

We were back in the car , after a quick stop in the gift shop of course, about 2 1/2 hours after we arrived.  We didn’t even need a potty break in that amount of time.

In my opinion, this is the way to do it when you are the only adult.  Usually I over do it and stay until we are all exhausted and hungry, hot and thirsty.  They fall asleep on the way home, wake up when we get there and that’s the end of nap.  But not today.  We were home before nap with lunch already in their bellies and fully hydrated.  Kids eat better buckled in a car seat, stroller or wagon right?!?.  (be sure you give non- choking foods like apple sauce in a pouch, Goldfish crackers, small cereal etc)

 

TIPS:

Buy a membership if you will go two or more times a year, then you can go more often and not feel like you have to stay all day.

Arrive as close to opening time as you can.  The animals were out playing since it wasn’t too hot for them (or us).

If you have small kids take a wagon or stroller.  Nothing sucks the fun out of the day more than a kid whining they are tired of walking.

 

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