There are many fun things to do in every city you visit. There usually is the fun park with rides and amusement games, some type of character themed park, maybe a water park, museums, and the one that most people have to visit, the ZOO.
While on our recent trip to Cincinnati, Ohio we decided to check out the Cincinnati Zoo & Botanical Gardens. It was well worth the visit and the nicest zoo I have ever visited. I brought it up with different people I met throughout our trip and some even said it was possibly better than the San Diego Zoo.
We may have to be our own judges this summer while attending BlogHer 2011 in San Diego, southern California regardless visit every zoo that you can, its worth it.
The zoo is about 20 minutes or less from downtown. We had a driver to take us there, but a car is a car and if you don’t get lost it should be about that time. We checked it out on a nice sunny day and started our trek near opening time of 9:00am. We arrived and started our way from the gate clockwise around the park.
We actually had to do some other things later in the day so we had to leave at 1:30pm and took the turbo visit. While we did not get to see nearly the entire zoo we did experience the park and made our way around smoothly. We saw a lot and luckily traffic was light so we had great views and clear paths. Like mentioned earlier the weather was sunny and perfect and the animals were out in plain sight.
We started out with the Condors and they were right there for the kids to see. It was neat to see such a massive bird contently sitting in front of us. We next made our way to the Gorillas which were amazing. One of the older gorillas was sitting in front of the viewing area eating celery and in strolled what appeared an adolescent.
It was fascinating to see it walking so upright, and it almost looked like a human in a costume until it moved up a giant rock. Awesome exhibit. Next we went to the World of the Insect and saw bugs and other insects from all over the world. It was neat to see them up close and the kids got a kick out of the vast numbers of exhibits and butterfly garden.
We next went to Safari Camp and made a round on the carousel. After that we stopped for refreshment and snack then went to Manatee Springs to see; the manatee. They were swimming around in plain sight which was great then we checked out the other fish and amphibians. The Black and Indian Rhinos were across the way so we checked them out along with the flamingos around the way.
After mommy and Kai checked out the white lions, we all made our way to the Lords of the Artic exhibit that housed a polar bear. We had to pass up the tropical African Animals displays, Jungle Trails, and some others, but that just gives us a reason to make a visit, sooner than later.
We scoped out the giant black bears, and sought out the river otter and wolves. No wolves, but we caught a cute otter sleeping in a hollowed out log. It would have been nice to have a little more time to visit the Childrens and Petting Zoos.
To make time we made our way directly to the giraffes skipping the birds and some other animals. There was a newly born baby giraffe that could be viewed but the line was a little longer than we wanted to do, so we moved on to the elephants. Across from the elephants is the Cheetah Encounter where you can get up close with a real life cheetah and across the other way is an Education Center and Discovery Forest.
We still had some time to burn off so we made our way to the Night Hunters which just was a newly opened exhibit. We saw the nocturnal creatures and the kids thought they were neat because they liked the dark. Across from this exhibit is a penny pressing machine and a tunnel that is so foggy from mist and fog that you can’t see light through it and its only about 10 ft long. It was great to cool us down on hot (to an Oregonian) and sunny day. On a side you can find cooling stations around the park made of fans and misting jets.
It was getting time to take off but we had to make one last stop in the gift shop. Remember it is good to support our zoos and buying their merchandise is one of the best ways. We still have one day to visit Wildlife Canyon, Dragons, Tiger Canyon, and some others.
There is a long list of zoo events ranging from animal auditions, to feeding giraffes, educational programs, family entertainment and much more fun things to do. There is also a long list of animal encounters to experience. And if in need of a birthday they do have a Birthday Party Tree House, which sounds fun.
They have a wide range of birthday packages where kids can be the conductors of the trains and blow the whistle and they can even bring in some live animals. For those just want to have a family picnic at the zoo, you’re covered with safari themed shaded picnic tables. Be sure to also check out their floral exhibits around the park.
Another neat feature about this zoo is their use and avocation for renewable and sustainable consumption. They use solar panels as the covers for their entire parking area using them in a dual function, as shelter from rain in the rainy seasons to energy producers; every day. They have a green kiosk outside the park entrance which provides information and real-time stats on their current energy production.
We were there on a sunny day and it was stating 100% capacity, even kicking back power to their local energy company. I thought it was great for everyone especially the animals, provides for funds for other things.
Until next time, we will continue our trips to more great places. Check out more of our trip below.
What Zoo(s) have you visited or what Zoo do you really like?