We have planned, for quite some time, to take Mac to the Buffalo Zoo. Ever since I scored a great deal on Groupon for tickets. That's suggestion one: buy discounted tickets or take advantage of Triple A, Military, Senior or student rates if you can!! We decided to go on the first official nice weather day in New York and so did every other family with small children. The line for patrons was enormous! I am so glad they let us right in since we already had tickets. So having the tickets a head of time saved us 30-45minutes in line just to get in!! Plus it's a good 2 hour drive to get there so that alone can be hard a little one.
The Zoo was clean and they gave Mac a Map, boy did that make his day! He told us how to get to the animals until of course he saw a small train that took all of his attention. This was my first kind of annoyance. I understand wanting to make money BUT we came to see the animals. To get to an animal it took a LOT of walking, but the train was the first thing you saw. Just took away from the experience, having to explain we came to see the animals and he could ride once we walked around.
We continued on our quest to find him some elephants. He was on a mission let me tell you! There was a lot of crowds so if your little one is not a fan of people try choosing a day many crowds don't go to the Zoo. Also make sure to really watch them and not let them go off on their own. I know it seems like common sense BUT trust me it isn't and we saw it to often parents just letting 1-2 year olds running off without supervision. We took the stroller (full of Snacks, drinks & sunscreen) and his beloved monkey to make sure he stayed close. Mac doesn't appreciate crowds and gets very fearful so he stayed closed and we had no problems with him darting off.
We have gone to several places that house animal exhibits but letting them roam FREE was a new experience. I really enjoyed this and it was in the center of the Zoo! But if you look loosely in the background pictured above, you will see the enormous play area for kids? It was unsupervised and housed tons of "obstacles" for children to use. We decided against letting Mac use it because there was so many children in there. They we all jumping on each other and it was not a very safe environment. Call me a worry wart but why enable something bad to happen? I am sure parents just want to send their kids off, to play off, energy and just sit. BUT taking a break, walking away to relaxing in the middle of a Zoo while your child is jumping off things and trampling others is really only going to cause you more grief in my opinion.