As soon as we landed in Arizona, we were all so excited to see each other. We sat down and started to plan our visit – which of course partially revolved around entertaining my 5 year old son. My mother in law saw some advertisements on TV for the Phoenix Zoo. She said it looked really nice. Parents and grandparents will do just about anything to provide their children with a magical, once in a lifetime experience.
So on our first full day here we all packed up and headed over. We paid the entrance fee of 16 dollars for each adult and 12 for the child and we were on our way. Let the magic begin.
First stop – bathrooms.
While at the bathrooms my son spotted a tree house play area that he wanted to go to. I looked at the map and told him that we would circle the zoo and land at the tree house so that he could play there in the end.
This was the coolest zoo I had ever been too. It had every single kind of animal that I could think of. I had never seen a rhinoceros or an orangutan before. It was a very warm day – about 90 degrees and most of the larger animals such as the tigers and lions were sleeping. The zoo was really great. It was so clean and it was huge. So huge that we had to walk everywhere and so we became tired quickly.
No matter what exotic animal we saw it could not top the idea of the tree house. My son began rushing through each animal exhibit so that we could get to the tree house quicker. Half way through the zoo tour I joined the chorus of the other parents scolding their children for complaining that they were “too hot”, “thirsty”, and “tired”. I made eye contact with another mom doing the same and we both had a laugh.
The monkeys were the featured show that my son wanted to see more than anything. So after our camel ride, we headed toward the monkeys. Then, there appeared a water park for the kids with cavernous hiding places, a waterfall and kids having a blast.
After spending close to an hour in the water park we did see the monkeys and the elephant as well. We ended our tour as promised at the tree house where kids played happily and the parents watched contentedly in the shade.
Our last spot was the souvenir shop where we bought my son a metal “zookeeper” badge.
On the way home, I asked him what his favorite part of the zoo was. He said that he liked his badge the best. We all laughed.
This just emphasized what each of us knew all along. If you want your kid to have a magical time, all you really needs is a hose, a few other kids and maybe a pretend badge.