10 tips for getting the most out of your trip to the zoo
Day at the zoo!
By LESLIE A. PANFIL
Research. Check the zoo’s website for special exhibits including when babies are expected to be born and on display. Be sure to note the hours, ticket prices and methods of payment. Check Out: America's Best Zoos: A Travel Guide for Fans & Families, by Allen W. Nyhuis and Jon Wassner.
Forecast. While you are at the computer checking out the zoo’s website, you will also want to check the local weather report. Dressing appropriately will make your visit more enjoyable. Because most zoos are spread out, comfortable walking shoes are a must. If you are planning to be at the zoo from sunrise to sunset, dress in layers so you will be warm enough in the early morning and evening hours and cool in the mid-day sun.
Map it. Nothing is more disappointing then running out of steam before you have seen everything you really wanted to see. With a map of the zoo, you can plot a course that will ensure that everyone gets to see their favorite animals.
Screen. Even if the weather report calls for cloudy skies, it is best to protect yourself from the sun. Sun screen, hats and sunglasses may just save you from days of discomfort.
Be the early bird. The lions, tigers and bears are most active in the morning. Arriving when the zoo opens can also help you beat the crowds.
Brown bag it. Zoo concession stand food can be pricy. Not only will you save money but you will have the snacks your family likes best on hand by packing your own food.
Take a stroller. If there is even the slightest chance your child will poop out, bring a stroller. No matter how much you have worked out as of late, no one wants to carry a 40 pound, sticky child. A stroller also makes a great place to stash food, sunscreen and rain gear.
Off season. While many people associate a trip to the zoo with summer, you may want to consider going during the fall or spring. Like visiting early in the day, visiting your zoo during cooler months means many of the animals will be more active. You are also more likely to have many of the exhibits all to yourself.
Become a member. Do the math. Many zoo memberships are paid for with just a few trips to the zoo. You may also want to check if your membership affords you half-price admission to other zoos.
Continue Your Visit. Your visit to the zoo doesn’t have to end when you go home. Most zoos have great live webcams that allow you to keep tabs on your animal friends.
Check out: 7 Best Zoo Cams http://hubpages.com/hub/7-Best-Zoo-Cams