Monday, November 5, 2018

Get up Close and Personal at Reid Park Zoo

If you want to get up close and personal with some animals, Tucson's Reid Park Zoo is the zoo for you.  This 24 acre city zoo may not be the largest, nor have the most animals, but it is certainly the closest we have been to many of the animals we saw!

Children young and old will love being face to face with an Aldabra Tortoise, Rhino, African Elephant, Giraffe, Grizzly Bear, and more!  The animals are most active in the morning, so we planned our day to arrive at 9am when the zoo opened.  The zoo is open until 4pm, but you'll only need a couple of hours to visit. Admission prices are very reasonable at $10.50 for an adult and $6.50.  If you live in the Tucson area, a zoo membership may be the way to go.  Our friends have a Gold membership which allowed for them to bring four guests - a very nice treat for us!

For a memorable animal experience you can pay $3 to feed the giraffes carrot sticks.  But, these giraffes are so friendly and love so much to say hello that when our son held out a long stem, the giraffe came over and took it right from him!  It was an experience he will never forget and a highlight of his day.  

Another favorite was the aviary (Flight Connection) with birds from around the world. As you enter the aviary you can pick up a laminated field guide of the birds located inside.  The kids loved it!  It was like a scavenger hunt as they search to find all the birds.  Pictured above is a Nicobar Pigeon from Asia, but their favorite bird was the Bleeding Heart Dove.

Throughout the day you can catch Keeper Chats and animal presentations.  A schedule can be found on the activity board in the front plaza.  We just happened to catch this presentation on the python.  The kids thought it was really awesome to get to touch a snake.

Near the front entrance there is a carousel.  $3 per child to ride.  What a fun ending to a fun day at the zoo!  A big thanks to our friends for taking us.  We are glad we went!  

The older kids picked one animal to research more on and write about in their road schooling journals, but check out our Homeschooling at the Zoo post for your free "I Spy" and "Monkey Observation" printables.  

If you are in the Tuscon area and looking for additional learning opportunities, check out the Arizona-Sonora Desert Museum or take a drive up Mt. Lemmon to experience and study several life zones.  

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