We’re Going to the Zoo!

originally posted May 17th, 2012

We’re Going to the Zoo!

When you think about going to your area zoo, odds are really good that children come to mind. Zoos are traditional entertainment for children, after all. So don’t you need to be a child — or have them — to want to go to the zoo? Aren’t zoos mostly for children?

The zoo’s attraction to children is undeniable, but adults should not be deterred and miss out from the many things zoos offer them.

What does your area zoo offer adults?

Education. Many zoos, like New York City’s Central Park Zoo (http://www.centralparkzoo.com/) and Bronx Zoo (http://www.bronxzoo.com/) are focused on teaching patrons of all ages about Nature and the Natural world. In the past twenty to thirty years in particular, zoos focus on re-creating accurate eco-systems, allowing patrons to see animals in as natural a context as possible. Zoos like Omaha, Nebraska’s Henry Doorly Zoo (http://www.omahazoo.com/), often create separate large exhibits featuring diverse wildlife from the same or similar ecosystems. Two of my favorites are Henry Doorly’s “Lied Jungle” and Central Park Zoo’s “Tropic Zone.”

Connection. Many zoo eco-system exhibits allow adults to walk very close to the animals-without glass barriers. There is nothing like watching conures soar over your head or fish swim inches from your feet in a lagoon. You may even find yourself pursued on your walkway by free range peafowl or a Victoria crowned pigeon. These close-up experiences of wildlife are truly magical and best appreciated by adults. Invite animals close up to you by touring exhibits with quiet voices, avoiding sudden movements and loud outbursts. You will make the animals more comfortable with your presence and encourage them to check you out.

Romance. There is something intrinsically romantic about the bonding you experience as you explore and discover together. Waterfalls offer seclusion and privacy for those moments you want to be close. Exhibits encouraging feeding, such as some ponds and aviaries, are also romantic hot spots — as long as you choose a less occupied spot! Many zoos also feature gourmet restaurants, allowing couples to snuggle over a candle-lit dinner.

Exercise. A trip to the zoo involves a lot of walking, much more than most people are inclined to do on a normal basis. We all know that walking is good for our. So go to the zoo and get healthy while you explore nature.

Fun. Zoos are fun places. Depending on the zoo, you may be treated to IMAX films, rides, safaris, animal shows, and beyond. The activity options are limitless!

So next time you are wondering what you want to do this weekend or on vacation, consider the area zoo! Whether it’s a big zoo like the Cincinnati Zoo (http://cincinnatizoo.org/) or a small zoo like the Prospect Park Zoo in Brooklyn, New York (http://www.prospectparkzoo.com/), there is something for everyone at the zoo — even and especially for adults!

Let’s go to the Zoo!

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