Tuesday, April 30, 2013

Widgets

Houston Zoo ~ Houston, TX

Tucked away in Hermann Park, next to the Museum District, sits a quiet little animal oasis, the Houston Zoo.  A perfect day trip for the family, the Houston Zoo provides a nice variety of animals in lush habitats.
 Without the occasional highrise in the distance, it's hard to realize you are near downtown, as the foliage both hides and quiets the nearby traffic.  We visited in August, when it is hot & humid, but there is so much great shade, that it was easy to cool off when we needed to.  Don't let the summer months keep you from visiting.
 There are tons of great animals to see at the Houston Zoo, over 6000 of them, in fact.  And all of them were out to play on the day we visited - no hiding indoors on hot days, these are, after all, "Texas" animals.
My boys favorite (and my least favorite) is a visit to the reptile house.  They were fascinated with Blanco, the Zoo's white American alligator - he's one of 14 white alligators in existence.  It's a great place to cool off and let the kids ohh and ahhh over all the amazing snakes, frogs, the Komodo Dragon, and other slimy things this mom doesn't care to remember. 
Another one of our favorite exhibits is the Natural Encounters.  Get up close to animals in their natural habitat in this building.  For example, my little guy was  fascinated that he could "play with the fish" - piranhas, yes, but he didn't know that. It's just one of many cool experiences they offer young ones.
Scattered throughout the zoo are hands-on opportunities for children's engagement.  And the Zoo also offers a full schedule each day where you can Meet the Keeper of several different animals, have story time, feed the bats, and watch the elephants take a bath. Animal encounters like this bring the Zoo alive for us - we love to talk to the keepers and see the animals up close.  The schedule changes daily, you can see it online before you visit.  
The Houston Zoo also has an incredible Children's Zoo with over 40 different exhibits.  You can watch an otter swim underwater, climb a playscape, hear a story, or trade in nature items at the Naturally Wild Swap Shop.  This is a great place for little ones to run free - it is shaded very well and kept cool during the summer.
 As I mentioned previously, don't let the summer months keep you from enjoying the Houston Zoo.  Not only are there many indoor exhibits and shade, but several places to get cool.  Chill Zones and fans are scattered throughout the park.  And there is a HUGE splash pad for children and their parents to get wet.

The Houston Zoo is another great Texas Zoo - we are so fortunate to have so many GREAT ones to choose from! If you are in the Houston area, and looking for something fun for the family, this is a great  half day activity.

Here are some other great places to visit in Houston:

Texas Travel Facts for the Houston Zoo:
Location: 6200 Hermann Park Drive, Houston, Texas
Hours: Daily 9 am - 7 pm     
             Tuesday: After 2 pm (Free Family Night)         
Admission: Adults (12-64): $14.00
                    Children (2-11): $10.00 (Children under 2 are free)             
Recommended Time: 4-6 hours 
Good to know: Admission is good for all day; really great cafe and gift shop; stroller friendly; free parking; Additional activities are an additional fee - carousal, 4D movies
My family and I were invited to visit the zoo and were provided admission. I was not financially compensated for this post.  All opinions of the Houston Zoo are strictly my own based on my experience. 


2 comments:

Sonja Hoyt said...

That looks like a great zoo!

Jenography.net said...

We like the Houston zoo although I did worry that some of the enclosures were a bit small.