on May 3, 2010
We love zoos. In fact, we always try to visit the zoo in the area of any city when traveling, so we’ve been to quite a few of them. Our home zoo is the Sedgwick County Zoo, and after visiting zoos in other bigger cities, I really have to say that I think our home zoo is great. The Sedgwick County Zoo has a nice, big parking lot, but I would avoid going during the day during the month of May because the parking lot becomes full of school buses and the zoo is overrun with school children.Once parked and a short walk to the front gate you can pay your admission (discounts for reciprocal zoos) and enter the park. Just inside the entrance is the stop for the train, which is free. The train circles the entire zoo and gives a brief tour along the way. If you want to visit the gorillas, which are in the farthest park of the park, the train is a good way to get there. Or, as we do sometimes, we’ll just ride the train all the way around the zoo just for the fun of it, and then walk through the zoo.The zoo has some really wonderful exhibits, including a penguin exhibit, a gorilla exhibit, a jungle building, a snake/reptile building, a kid’s farm, and an orangutan exhibit. There is also a nice lion exhibit and a new tiger exhibit. My favorite animal to see is the river otter, but the elephants and monkeys are fun too. The zoo has a boat ride that costs a few bucks but is a lot of fun for the kids. Not something you’d want to do every time, but once or twice a year. The children’s farm area has several vending machines where you can pay a quarter to get some pellets to feed the animals (fish, goats, etc). There are also several hand washing/sanitizing stations, which I think is a great idea. The zoo has several events throughout the year. There is usually an Easter Egg hunt, which is fun for smaller kids. There is Halloween event, which I would avoid because for what is provided it’s not worth fighting the crowd. There is a fundraiser called Zoobillee, but it’s very pricey (like $100 a ticket) but if you can afford it, it’s a lot of fun. And then there is a Kid’s Zoobilee, which I thought was really great. We had my son’s birthday party there. The tickets are much cheaper than the adult Zoobilee (I think like $15) and there is a lot of fun activities. There are also late night summer concert events, education events, and car shows, among the many things offered through the zoo.
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