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Monday, October 1, 2012

Hip + Urban Mom: Going To The Zoo

The last time we went to the Toronto Zoo it was just my husband and myself for a date when we were in university. Now that my son is two years old, and can name some animals and make their sounds, we thought it would be fun to head back to the zoo.  
We went right when the park opened on a Saturday morning at 9:30 AM. Our first stop was the Kid’s Zoo, because it was one of the areas that was open that early. It had animals like pigs, goats and woodchucks along with little poems or facts about each animal for kids to read. This was probably a good place to start because while it wasn’t busy our son was able to walk around and try out all the cool interactive activities.  
We got to hop on some lily pads, and ride a saber tooth cat, play in a sand box and climb a spider web. The other attractions in the area were the splash park which opened a bit later and the Sting Ray Bay. There are also pony rides, camel rides and a merry-go-round that starts at 11 AM.  

We had fun looking at some of the newer attractions for the park this year which were the baby polar bear, white lion cubs and the African penguins. I will admit that these were very busy areas, especially as you get closer to the afternoon. 
One thing we did notice was that by going in September when it was a little bit cooler the animals tended to be a bit more active. The panthers were especially active, play fighting and romping around, as was the baby polar bear who is turning one in October. 
We decided to grab a bit of an earlier lunch to beat some of the crowds. There are many areas to buy lunch and picnic table areas if you want to bring your own. I would probably suggest this option as the food is rather expensive like at most amusement parks. 
The indoor areas featured animals like snakes, frogs, fish, birds, turtles, monkeys and tree kangaroos. My advice would be to try and pick times when you notice not many people are around those areas because they can get pretty packed. Or go to the busier ones earlier in the day. 

Around the park you can see signs that tell you when there will be times to see a zoo demo.  We saw the zoo keeper talk about the elephants, but there were also times where you could see snakes and other animals. 
We decided to leave when our son started to get tired. It is a trip that we would like to do again another year so that we can see new attractions and the exhibits that were closed.  All in all, the Toronto Zoo is a great trip, whether you go with your kids, or even just the two of you.

-- Lisa Wlodarski




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