Kids love animals, but it’s unlikely that they have ever encountered other species than traditional pets in the comfort of our homes. The best and easiest way for them to discover new species is to take a trip to the Zoo. The children I take of love going to the Zoo and over the last few months we’ve been there enough times that I feel confident in sharing some of my tips with you.
When? If possible, go to the Zoo during the week as there are fewer people. Two or three hours should be enough to amaze your little ones without them becoming fussy. Note that you might get caught up in all the Zookeepers talks, daily feeding, and presentation. Just be prepared to stay longer than anticipated.
What to wear? Comfortable shoes, a hat or a baseball cap and a jacket are my go-to. Just keep in mind that most of the zoos are both indoors and outdoors with various climates.
What to bring? My essentials are sunscreen, hats, water bottles, spare clothes, snacks, and activities. Depending on the age of your children you’ll also want to bring a stroller, pacifier, blanket, diapers and/or pull-ups and wet wipes. Wet wipes are life-savers, everything is not the cleanest and the kids are going to be in contact with animals. You want them, you need them, bring them.
Food and snacks Zoos will offer a variety of unhealthy snacks such as ice cream, chips, greasy food and what not. The key to not give in to temptation is packing a good lunch (Zoos’ cafeteria meals are often expensive) and more snacks than you think you’ll need. Bring water bottles and avoid bringing anything that could melt such as chocolate.
Activities and Games There might be a petting farm where the children will enjoy touching and petting animals. My tip? Make a game out of it. Ask them to describe the animal with their senses. What noise does it make? Is it soft to the touch? What does it look like? You could encourage them to mimic the animals they see.
I hope that these tips make your next family outing to the Zoo a little easier. Have a great day!