Any time of year is a good time to visit the zoo with the family. Not only are zoos the ideal location for a little out-of-school learning, but they are also an amazing opportunity to have lots of fun.
There are many reasons to visit your nearest zoo, and whether you’re on vacation or looking at zoos closer to home, you and your family can benefit in a variety of ways. If you’re looking for something to do on the weekend or on your kid’s next school break, then here are seven amazing reasons why a trip to the zoo could be the ultimate day out for you and your family.
- Seeing the Diverse Animals
Of course, the main reason for visiting a zoo is to see the weird and wonderful variety of animals. Zoos are vital for conservation reasons, but never underestimate the sheer wonder of seeing some of the most beautiful, mysterious, awe-inspiring, or just plain entertaining animals that you’ll find on your zoo trip. If you’re taking the kids, then watch their faces the first time they see a real-life rhino or get up close to a gorilla!
Get them involved, too. There’s nothing quite like the thrill of seeing an animal in real life that you’ve only ever seen on the TV or a smartphone screen. And for children especially, it can be a life-changing experience.
- Learning and Language Development
Having a stroll around a zoo isn’t just a good excuse to get the blood pumping; it’s also a good workout for the brain. For younger members of your family, a visit to a zoo exposes them to entirely new words, concepts, and an awareness of the world. If your children are at an age where they are uncommunicative, a zoo visit can change all that, as conversation can flow very easily when there are questions to be answered about animals.
Remember to answer questions that you know the answer to, or ask a zookeeper if you don’t know the answer yourself. That way, everyone learns something new!
People are more aware than ever of the vital need to protect the natural world, and zoos are one of the first line of defenses for the animal kingdom. Inter-zoo collaboration, public education, breeding programs, and even simple financial aid to conservation causes all around the world, are all made easier when more people are paying the price of zoo admission. Let your children know that by going to the zoo for the day they are helping to support zoos that are working hard to preserve the natural diversity of the planet.
Check with the zoo that you’re planning to visit and see what their conservation priorities are. Some are more focused on habitat development while others will prioritize breeding programs.
- Special Events
Most zoos have an ongoing calendar of special events and activities that you can take part in. These vary from the exciting to the educational. Look at the zoo that you’re planning to visit with the family. Check their upcoming events page and plan your visit to coincide with those special events and activities.
Zoos have not only special Halloween activities, but also daily animal encounters that anyone will enjoy. From feeding alligators to seeing behind the scenes at the hard work that takes place in a zoo, your kids will be awestruck by just how close they can get to some of the most amazing animals in the world.
- Getting Hands-On
Most people learn more by doing than they do by watching. It’s a key way to encourage more focus and to make the younger members of your family feel more involved in the zoo environment. Not all zoos have a petting zone, but there are plenty that do. Look for a zoo that also lets visitors get involved in the feeding of animals like giraffes. This could easily lead to a lifelong love of the natural world that will only be a positive step for your children. Look for behind the scenes zoo tours as well, as these can be a lot of fun.
- Natural Curiosity
Children are naturally curious, and nowhere is this more evident than at a zoo for the first time. Watch their excitement build as their brains start to whirl with the overload of new information about the world around them. Children will race to see the next animal, and they will rarely stop asking questions throughout the day. Not only is this a great way to keep them motivated, it’s also good for bonding with each other, and can even help brain development.
- See the babies!
Baby animals are always something that you should prioritize seeing when you visit a zoo. Babies of all kinds are invariably going to be cute, but there’s something unique about seeing newborn versions of the animals that you don’t normally get to see. Not only are baby animals at a zoo cute and adorable, but their arrival into the world is also often to be celebrated. That’s because zoo breeding programs can take years to get right, and every new baby version of a rare or endangered animal is a cause to celebrate.
The Gulf Breeze Zoo had some amazing births in 2019, including a baby warthog, twin golden-headed tamarins, and even a new and incredibly cute baby giraffe! Learn more here: https://www.everydaymadefresh.com/visit-the-gulf-breeze-zoo/.
From a conservation standpoint, zoos are a vital part of the protection of our planet. They do a lot of good, and they work hard to protect some of the most endangered animals in the world. Visiting the zoo means that they earn more money to fund their most vital conservation projects, and that should be reason enough to book your tickets right now. However, even from a more family-focused perspective, a zoo visit with your nearest and dearest provides vast opportunities for both education and bonding. Never underestimate the value of a day at the zoo. It could make a lot of difference to how both your children and you see the world and understand your place within it.
This is a partner post.