Two weeks ago, T-Rex had a full week off Kindergarten. I have nowhere near the energy of a three year-old, so outings were bound to be part of a successful (a.k.a. without freak-outs and break-downs) time together.
Since I am still in the midst of marathon training, I had the genius idea of combining a run with a visit to the zoo. Please note that this idea was anything BUT genius. The 2.5 miles to the zoo were no biggie. But then we walked around for an hour and a half. I was hot. I was tired. I was ferociously hungry. The boys were cranky. Fighting. Screaming. And we had to go back the way we came. Gah. Never again.
Despite my genius-turned-idiot plan, we all really enjoyed the zoo. This surprised me, because if asked to pick from a list of things to do in a day, zoo would never make it in the top spot. Zoos always seemed to be dirty, smelly, and depressing. But zoos here are not like zoos there. In fact, even the name is different (though the word “zoo” does exist in German) – tierpark, or animal park.
Many of the animals had very large fields to roam. Visitors could sit on the paddock fences and walk through the goat area. Only the monkeys were in maximum security prison. The bear looked mad and the horse looked sad, but on the whole everyone else seemed to have come to terms with living in the animal park.
The entrance was free (although this is not typical), and the property had two playgrounds. The park is always open and one can come walk around whenever they please.
My boys loved it. Though I can’t say I’ll become a donating member of any animal parks anytime soon, I will say that I’ll at least give the zoo a chance when visiting a new city (in Europe at least).
(And you can be we’ll be hitting up this freeactivity quite a bit more often!)
Have you ever been to a zoo outside of the US? What was it like?