A Fieldtrip to Zoo Atlanta

We took our first field trip of the year, and we started by visiting one of the boys’ favorite spots: Zoo Atlanta!   We have endless options around here for field trips, so maybe if I can blog about a few of them we can show you some great places to visit around the city.

The zoo is 10 minutes from our house; and, yes, I we’re very privileged to live so close!  Even better, some of our friends so very generously gave us a family pass for the zoo!  I love it so much because we can stop by now and then and hit our favorite spots without feeling like we need to get the maximum value for our day.  (At least that’s the way I feel when I pay for tickets) :)  Because of this we haven’t actually toured the entire zoo for quite awhile.

Today we discovered that mid-morning during the school year is an excellent time to visit the zoo.  The whole place was much emptier than normal, and most of the guests were moms with one or two toddlers.  There were a couple other families like us with preschool and elementary aged children, too.

A few things we like about the zoo:

–All the displays are easily accessed even with a stroller. There is stroller parking available for several displays where it may be easier to carry a child.

–Most of the paths are shaded which keeps them surprisingly cool on a warm day.

–There are picnic tables and restrooms conveniently located throughout the park. We all know how often children need to go potty when their are no restrooms close, so no worries there.

–There is a small playground about half way through the tour. At the end of the route there’s another great playground as well as a splashpark.

–Rock climbing, rides on a carousel, and a cute train are also available for an additional cost.

–There are several kid-sized hand washing stations that are a highlight for the boys.

One of the first times we visited the zoo we were standing next to the train station just watching and the conductor waved us onto the train.  We told her we didn’t have tickets.  Maybe it was because it was close to closing time, and maybe it was because she saw how baaaaaaaaaaaaadly the boys wanted a ride, but she said, “Oh, just take a ride.  It’s okay.”

The boys were re-hashing this story as we walked into the zoo today.  Ian remembered, “I was so excited I almost jumped out of my feet!”

–Most of the animals you really want to see at the zoo are there–lion, zebra, giraffe, rhino, panda–my favorite, gorillas, kangaroos, and lots of other small animals. There is a tiger (which we often don’t see) and a sun bear.

There is no hippopotamus and there are no cold loving animals like penguins or polar bears. I do always miss the howler monkeys which were my favorites at the Columbia Zoo we visited when I was little. The gorillas gave us a good show today, though!

–Feedings and talks from the zoo keepers are scheduled at regular times.

–The zoo is very clean and well kept. (But, yes, it does still have that stinky zoo smell sometimes.)

–The zoo is super kid-friendly.  One of the boys’ favorite parts is the bathroom with tiny toilets just their size.  They always pick their stall by the color of the ring–red, blue, or yellow. :)



–On a typical day it is full of people and diversity–which I love!

–The moms who visit the zoo tend to be very friendly to each other.

Outings like this are always unpredictable, but this one turned out to be really nice.  Everyone was in a calm, happy frame of mind which was especially nice since I forgot the snacks and water. Paxton loved the animals more than ever.  He didn’t talk much, but he would watch the animals and the look on his face told you he was processing so much more than he could say.

The gorillas put on a nice show for us, too.

At the entrance of the petting farm
My SLR was in repair and I was so annoyed that a point and shoot couldn’t handle this simple lighting situation. Really? The blurry white light??! Then I got home and noticed I had a smudge on the lens. Joke’s on me.
He loves animals so very, very much.
Paxton feeling all big and stuff
Mother and Son by the 4 year old. Take 1
Mother and Son by the 4 year old. Take 2
Mother and [not-loving-the-picture-taking-process] Sons by a willing passer-by.