This winter has been hard on my family. My son transitioned from baby-who-couldn’t-walk to toddler-who-refuses-to-sit-still and we’ve been cooped up in our house for far too many months. So as soon as the weather got sunny and warm, we decided to take a trip to the Dallas Zoo with grandma and my niece and nephew.
The kids really enjoyed seeing the animals, but their favorite part was the Lacerte Family Children’s Zoo. We had the hardest time prying them away from all the fun things to do there. I thought I’d share some of our favorites:
1. Pony Rides.
For an extra $2, your child can take a ride on a pony around a track. The kids LOVED this! I bought extra rides because I knew they’d be begging for “just one more!” Sure enough, we used all of our rides and they were still begging to go! The pony was so docile, it let my son pet him the whole ride while I made sure Andrew stayed in the saddle. The pony even stops long enough for you to snap a few pictures!
2. The Barn.
The kids had a blast exploring The Barn. There was a giant bunny for them to see, along with other smaller breeds. There were even pigs and horses in the stalls to look at. The best part, though, was the petting area. We had the chance to pet and interact with miniature goats, sheep and donkeys. The kids loved this — they followed the goats all over the yard!
3. The Wander.
The Wander play area in the Children’s Zoo is one of the best I’ve found. There are slides and tunnels to play in, all themed around different animals. There was a spider web net that my niece loved climbing on and a “stream” even runs down the middle for the kids to splash in when it’s not too cold outside. Butterfly-shaped shades keep the sun away. We spent a good long while here, letting the kids run around and explore.
4. The Nature Exchange.
Ok, this place is really cool. It’s a nature trade shop, meaning your child can bring in an item from nature (a rock, leaf, bone, sample of dirt, etc.) and earn points to put toward an item in the shop. When Andrew is a little older, I can’t wait to go exploring with him to find treasures to bring in to exchange. Even if you don’t have anything to trade, it’s really neat to look around the shop and see the items that other people have brought in. We even got to pick out a fossil to take home for free!
5. Travis and Zach’s Bird Landing.
This area allows children to feed worms and seed sticks to hand-raised birds of all varieties. It is really cool, but if your kids are afraid of birds at all, be wary. I walked into the area carrying the food and was immediately covered in birds — on my head, my shoulders and one even landed on my purse and started riffling through it! Definitely carry the food for your little ones if you plan on feeding the birds. Once the birds settled down, though, the kids enjoyed looking at them. Andrew tried to touch them, but he’s a bit too rough so I stopped him. There was a zoo employee inside who told us all about the birds and their names.
We had so much fun exploring the Lacerte Family Children’s Zoo. I’ve considered becoming members just so we can go back lots more this spring!