Posted by: dinainsuburbia | October 10, 2008

Our day at the Bronx Zoo

A bunch of my family members decided to take advantage of Yom Kippur on Thursday and check out the Bronx Zoo (obviously, we aren’t Jewish).  There’s a bit of nostalgia involved- especially for my mom and me.  Annually, my mother would let me play hooky and we’d venture into the Bronx and explore the zoo.  My mom has been dying to take Maddie and continue the tradition.

If you haven’t yet been to the Bronx Zoo, I highly recommend it.  If you have children, I highly HIGHLY recommend it.  Zoos (especially the Bronx Zoo) have changed a lot since the days of caged chimps and haggard elephants.  The Bronx Zoo has many magnificent natural habitats, so zoo-goers can admire the animals in their natural state (well, as natural as a gorilla having 100+ people ogling them can be).

As we had two toddlers in tow, we didn’t see the entire park (it is over 200 acres after all).  We did, however, see quite a bit and here are some highlights of our trip:

  • Astor Court Sea Lion Pool:  It’s always so much fun to watch the antics of the sea lions.  We were thrilled to get a glimpse of a female pup, born in July, sunbathing on the rocks.  It was a treat!
The Bug Carousel

The Bug Carousel

maddie takes it all VERY seriously

maddie takes it all VERY seriously

  • Bug Carousel:  Maddie and my niece Rhianna were delighted to take a spin on the carousel.  Maddie rode a worm and Rhi a lady bug!  I’m sure the carousel was the highlight of the girls’ visit!
  • Children’s Zoo:  Not your ordinary children’s zoo!  Prairie dogs, wallabies, a duck pond, and a petting zoo are some of the highlights.  Maddie got a kick out of feeding the sheep (if you don’t remember to bring quarters for the feed, there’s a zoo worker able to change dollar bills).
  • The Monkey House:  Another favorite!  There’s something so playful about monkeys; the way they jump from branch to branch, or swing from their tail. 

  • Butterfly Garden: Maddie loves butterflies.  In the butterfly garden, which is indoors, you actually get to interact with them.  The habitat is beautiful and also features a koi fish pond.

  • The Congo:  A must!  This is where the gorilla habitat is.  I can write an entire blog post about these gorillas.  I’d be surprised if they weren’t the most well-visited animal in the entire zoo.  There’s something about watching a gorilla; it’s as if we see in them the best of humans.  At peace with themselves, it is almost as if we are on display for them!  If limited on time, this is the one exhibit that is a MUST SEE!

We ate lunch at the Crane Cafe.  It was really crowded and expensive, but offered healthy options like salads and tuna wraps in addition to the usual kid-friendly chicken fingers and hamburgers.  Next time I might actually pack lunch, although the idea of humping a cooler around the park seems a little daunting.

Check out the zoo website here.  The next few weekends the zoo is featuring Boo at the Zoo. Bring your little one in costume to enjoy magic shows, spooky stories, costume parades, and musical hayrides.

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