Place Search | Place - Places For Kids

6 Search Results For:

Zoos

CuriOdyssey

1651 Coyote Point Dr.
San Mateo, CA 94401

If you've explored the great open grasslands, magical Marina, and the dragon and castle playground of Coyote Point, you definitely have to take a peek at CuriOdyssey. This is what used to be Coyote Point Museum, just with a facelift, though parents with fond childhood memories will be relieved to know that there are still personable otters here – ready to entertain through the glass. On Saturdays at noon, the otters are even more entertaining at feeding time, and stick around for some facts and fun with the bobcat at 1 pm. The Animal Connections shows rotate every weekend. You could get introduced to a skunk one week, a hissing cockroach the next, and get lucky with the falcon getting fed on the third weekend. With 100 animals here, from the warm-blooded bobcat to the cold-blooded boa, there should be enough to get the kids excited about going to a zoo in the future. That's if you can tear them away from the butterflies and hummingbirds in the gardens, or the aviary with the majestic golden eagle and ugly turkey vulture. The hands-on exhibits can show the forces of nature, like the Riverbed Experiment that shows water flow and erosion, or backyard science experiments that expand your vision and hearing. Anyone who hasn't yet seen the Exploratorium will want to, after being able to blow the fog to and fro, and playing with the spinning gears. While there aren't a huge number of exhibits here, besides the rain panel and the echo chamber, it'll be enough to whet the kids' appetites for more. There are the same choices here for snacks as at the Marina, mainly chips and string cheese and granola bars. You may want to take along a picnic basket and eat in the general park area before coming to see the animals, especially if the kids need some real food. Just watch out for the gulls and geese, who can get very bold when begging.

Learn More

4066 views

0 reviews

Oakland Zoo

9777 Golf Links Rd.
Oakland, CA 94605

Animals and kids go together, especially at the Oakland Zoo. As a parent, it's important to have that 'magical' place in your back pocket, with plenty of activities, that isn't as pricey as Disneyland. (Parents in the Bay area should think about getting a membership, which includes free admission, parking, guest tickets, and 8 ride vouchers.) For parents without a car, the 511 Trip Planner can save a lot of time on public transport. Since the Zoo is spread across more than 500 acres with hills, parents with toddlers should definitely remember the backpack or stroller. What's great about the Zoo is that there's more than just waiting for the lions to roll over, or reading up on monkey grooming habits. If your kids are of the 'do everything' type, you'll want to check out the train, carousel, and rollercoaster. If your kids are of the 'observer' type, there are 650+ animals to watch, and Monday through Friday feeding times - from alligators to elephants to sun bears. If your kids are of the 'up close and personal' type, scrambling through the meerkat tunnel or the reptile cave is always a good idea, along with the play areas. (Don't forget to take a bathroom break after all that crawling – restrooms are right next to the meerkats, the Bug House, the picnic area, and the goat and sheep barn.) The lack of a 'concrete jungle' at Oakland is what sets it apart from the Los Angeles Zoo. Kids and parents who want to see animals in a naturalistic environment can't go wrong here. It's also more interactive, from the bat house to the goat petting area, and the cable car allows you to see the Bay area while peeking into animal cages.

Learn More

4762 views

0 reviews

Palo Alto Junior Museum & Zoo

1451 Middlefield Rd.
Palo Alto, CA 94301

There are a number of options for museums, zoos, and even an open-air Safari within the San Francisco surrounding area, but nearly none of the available animal exhibits is as low-cost as the Palo Alto Junior Museum and Zoo. Though a $5 donation is requested, it's not required, so you're free to do what you like – and so are the kids. Much of the draw comes down to the animals. The kids may go quickly through the Green Energy machines on wind and solar power, and the Buzzzz beauty of bugs – unless the kids opt for dress-up and crawling around on the web like spiders. There is also an observational beehive, along with an aviary for birds. The fish tanks, snakes, and turtles can make the kids slow down and start to really investigate, especially if Edward the African spurred tortoise decides to ease his way out of his big shell, or go on a stately walk around the grounds with a keeper. Ducks and geese can be found and fed in a pond, Batman fans will appreciate the African Bat Cave, and there are two very personable bobcats who are usually quite happy to be viewed. If you haven't made the drive time to visit the Sequoia National Forest near Springville, the kids will like to see the magic 'redwood tree' and creek with waterfalls that's home base for two curious raccoons. Sometimes, critters are brought out for show and tell by the staff, though not the tarantula or the black widow spiders. Smaller children and babies may appreciate the gated area with toys and books, though not as much as the parents, who also have access to a bench. If the kids get rowdy, they can burn off some energy in the open grassy area outside of the museum, and zoom around the outside playground.

Learn More

4052 views

0 reviews

Safari West

3115 Porter Creek Road
Santa Rosa, CA 95404

If you thought that going to the Oakland Zoo was all of the wildlife fun that California has to offer, think again. Safari West is the closest thing to going on an African safari that a San Francisco family can do without actually flying to Tanzania to see thundering herds of wildebeests and riding an elephant to Kenya. You can visit for three hours on a Jeep-guided tour which can also double as a roller coaster ride – some of the trails are rocky and bumpy. The best prices for parents, grandparents, and children happen on weekdays between January and February. Your second option is to stay overnight in a tent and let the crickets sing you to sleep – or try to identify the nightly noises. There are fences around the luxury African tents, of course, for safety. It does tend to get chilly at night, so remember to fire up the space heater in plenty of time. Make everyone take a potty break before going to bed, because getting up in the middle of the night to sit on a cold toilet is no one's favorite thing. (The bathroom doors are open-air vented, and need to be closed at night so the heat stays in.) One of the great advantages of staying overnight, besides the kingly feast that gets spread out by the staff, is that you can take your own self-guided walking tour and eat the food while watching the giraffes and antelope play. Most of the animals are in large enclosures but not caged, which is another plus factor. The walking tours also allow you to see some of the animals (cheetah, fox, monkeys) more up close and personal in their small enclosures, so it's like visiting a small zoo with very bold birds. Watching the birds flutter and coo in the aviary gives a truly peaceful feel after the excitement of riding up top in the open-air Jeep, but some of them like to peck at shoes – make sure your shoes are sturdy. If you bring multiple children, they will want to take turns riding on the top, because the best views are there.

Learn More

4032 views

0 reviews

San Francisco Zoo

2945 Sloat Blvd.
San Francisco, CA 94132

Sometimes, kids just want to go see animals doing what they do (maybe so that they can pick up behavior tips for later). At the San Francisco Zoo, there's sea lions and penguins for kids who love water, grizzlies and gorillas and giraffes for the ones who are impressed with size, anacondas and koalas for those who like the tropics. Though Storyland in the Children's Zoo might only appeal to the toddlers, the insect exhibit and petting zoo can keep the older ones occupied for a while. Active youngsters might be able to get out some energy on the Nature Trail or the playground (which has slides and a climbing area), and the hands-on kids might want to see the volunteers showing birds and reptiles between May and September. Little girls might really like the butterfly garden across from the meerkat and prarie dog exhibit, or the rose garden with poppies that look like fried eggs. This Zoo hasn't always gotten the spectacular ratings of some zoos (Oakland) before the recent renovation, but it does have better exhibits and location than others (Santa Barbara), and the otters and hippos can really be entertaining. Combining the San Francisco Zoo with other activities can be a great way to spend a day. After a stroll through Fisherman's Wharf (Pier 43 ½), you can take a free 30-minute shuttle to the Zoo at 10 am or noon, or grab the 1:45 shuttle after lunch at the Rainforest Cafe near the Wharf's Wax Museum. Just remember that the return shuttles arrive at the Rainforest Cafe at 1 pm and 3 pm, so if you got to the Zoo around 2 pm, make sure you know when to catch Muni bus lines 18 and 23, or the L Taraval line. Check the 511 Trip Planner if you're not sure.

Learn More

10259 views

0 reviews