Monday, September 26, 2016

Day Trip from Austin to the San Antonio Zoo


The San Antonio Zoo is about 1.5 hours away from Austin and great for a day trip away from the city.   I went last weekend and it was so much fun.  It is big.  I mean it is over 56 acres so bring the stroller for the littles or rent one there if you forgot.   You will walk a lot but there is plenty of shade, places to sit, food stands and bathrooms throughout so your kids might not notice how much they have walked.  Plus there are many inside air conditioned exhibits.  

Animals Animals Animals.   Why of course, this is a zoo, there is a lot of animals.  There are over 750 species to be exact at this zoo.  It is known for having the one of the largest bird collections in the country.    Along our trek through the zoo we saw bears, lions, elephants, birds, monkeys, giraffes, hippos, zebras, reptiles and so many more.  We made stops to have ice cream, water and of course popcorn.  (Tip get the souvenir bucket and refill it for $1.08)  We also stopped to feed fish.  (Bring quarters to feed the fish)

 



In addition to the animal viewing there are several attractions in the park.

Kronkosky’s Tiny Tot Nature Spot designed specifically for kids 5 and under and my four year old loved it.    Check out the schedule posted near the Nature Spot entrance for daily animal presentations and activities.  This area includes the following sections:

a.      Tropical Waters: Watch Fish as they swim in schools.
b.      My Backyard - Play in an outdoor mud kitchen
c.      Monkey/Sloth Hang: Climb and hang like a monkey
d.      Go Wild:  a large grassy area.
e.      Discovery House: This building is air conditioned and has zoo art activities.
f.       Explore Your Pond Room: Pretend to fish in the indoor pond
g.      Explore Your Zoo: Dress-up and pretend play as various Zoo jobs.
h.      Explore Underground: Crawl through the tunnel and discover what lives underground.
i.       Campground: Explore tents, play in the stream, explore a hollow log and look for bugs.
j.       Pier and Pond: Play in a boat, feed the fish, and experience a floating dock.
k.     Riverbank: Play in the water, dig in the sand, and climb on giant tortoise shells.  Bring swim diapers and a towel
 
 Explore Your Zoo   and the Monkey/Sloth Hang


Butterflies! Caterpillar Flight School A butterfly garden/ habitat surrounded by hundreds of butterflies flying around you.   The butterflies often land on you as you walk through the garden. Hours: Opens daily at 9 a.m., weather permitting.  Cost:  $1.50 per person

Lory Landing - Is an Australian rain forest are with hundreds of brightly colored, nectar-eating lorikeets. You can purchase a cup of nectar from a nearby stand to feed them or just try your luck my husband has a bird land on his head as soon as he entered without any nectar.  I purchased the nectar for my daughter who loved this interactive experience.   Lory Landing is open daily at 9 a.m., weather permitting.


Zootennial Carousel – What kid does not want to ride the carousel.   Mine love them.   This one has unique animals to sit on.   Try to find the sea dragon or the tiger shark. Hours:  9 a.m. to 5 p.m., weather permitting   Cost:  $2.50 per person  Children under 42 inches tall must be accompanied by an adult ( accompanying adult does not require a ticket)



Giraffe Feeding Station – Get up close to live giraffes and feed them.   It is $5 for three leaves of lettuce the feeding times posted daily at The Savanna.

Fun Farm Petting Zoo – Here kids can brush and pet goats and touch chickens.  A fun interactive experience.



Events - Look for upcoming events at the Zoo you may want to attend like Zoo Boo and Zoo Lights

Admission rates for children under 2 is FREE, Children 3-11 - $11.25, Adults - $14.25

Look online for deals In July and August kids tickets were half off of purchased online.

I recommend the Zoo Fun day ticket for Children 3-11 - $15.99, and Adults - $18.99.   It includes your one-day admission $14.25, train ride $3.50, carousel ride $2.50, entry into butterflies $1.50 and a box of popcorn $4.00.  If you purchase the regular ticket you will have a chance to only pay for what you want to add on once inside the zoo but we did almost everything and could have saved money.

If you think you might go to the zoo more than once a year then become a member.   The zoo is a 501(c) 3 non-profit organization and a family membership for 4 is $99 and is tax deductible.  It also gives you 10% off at all gift shops and food.

The Zoo has 2 Geocaches.  I will blog more on Geocaches in a later blog but basically it is an outdoor treasure hunting game using GPS-enabled devices where you navigate to a specific set of GPS coordinates and find the geocache hidden at that location and sign the log book and trade an item if you brought something to trade.   You will need to log in and have any account as geochaching.com.   These Geocaches have been places in the Zoo and can be found close to the main paths.  If you have any questions stop by the Nature Spot– they can help.  The Zoos two caches are located here:
N 29° 27.754' W 098° 28.264'                                                                  

N 29° 27.775’ W 098° 28.390’

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