A couple of weekends ago we took Wonder Boy down to the San Diego Zoo as part of our vacation.
I had long been drooling at some of the extra educational offerings, wishing the Zoo was an hour closer, and planning our trip around the toddler program offered most Saturdays.
After months of waiting I finally had tickets in hand and we walked into the Zoo barely on time ready for an adventure.
Oh wait, Kindertots met outside the zoo that weekend. I missed that part- my printer was running out of ink.
So after getting directions we scurried back out of the zoo, down a short path and made it.
After checking in, Wonder Boy got a chance to play at several stations, including one where you made your own tracks and one where you could feel how different animal’s skin and hair felt).
But by far, the most popular table at the event (all about textures) was the play table filled with moist sand and full of animals. For extra credit, I taught Wonder Boy how to smooth out the sand and make tracks- just in time for his crush of the day to come over and ask the kids about animal tracks.
He could listen to her talk all day- she was the sweetest.
Then the children sat down for a presentation about textures- including a pancake turtle who peed all over the lovely girl and crawled around while a shell was passed around for the children to touch.
Of course, when she asked if the shell was soft, my son joyfully said, “No.”
I’m sure you know what stage of toddlerhood we are now in.
Then we were escorted into a private space inside the children’s zoo where we got to touch two more animals and hear about the zoo and the animals being presented.
Darth Vader here hangs out with Luke and Leia at the Zoo (Leia and Vader hang out daily in the Children’s Zoo.). For real.
He was very soft – my son even agreed with me.
And here is an armadillo! Wonder Boy wasn’t keen on touching him, but I did, getting a little whiff of stinky animal.
it is a zoo, so what do you expect, right? Zoos can smell.
At least they offered hand sanitizer after every animal- much appreciated!
And dig those crazy toes. We got to watch him waddle around looking for bugs in the dirt too.
Wonder Boy’s response was, “Awww, baby…” even though this little guy is a grandfather.
He just couldn’t accept it.
He loves babies.
So, I totally recommend this experience if you have a kid who’s into animals and has a somewhat decent attention span. A couple children were not cooperative during the experience and while it didn’t bother the rest of us, I felt bad because I know they had paid for the experience and the kid wanted nothing of it.
Not to say mine sat nicely the entire time, but he was able to interact when he wanted to.
The Kindertots educational program is offered four times a month, changing monthly. We already want to go back to see the lions next month!
The Kindertots (and other educational programs) are an extra charge on top of ticket prices if you aren’t a member of the Zoo. Each child requires an adult with them, but tickets for extra adults are cheaper. The website says siblings are not permitted.
They recommend strollers, I recommend snacks and water and wipes as well.
The program meets at the Otto Center which is to the left of the park down a little walkway. It’s round and people can help you find it. They recommend arriving 15 minutes early, but if you’re late, don’t sweat it. We were and still had a good time.
There is even an evening option- the June Kindernights program features polar bears!
Click here to see all of the educational opportunities offered by the San Diego Zoo!
Disclaimer: I am a fan of the Zoo and am a member. I bought my own tickets and liked it so much I wanted to write about it. I received no reimbursement for this post.