Lions, Tigers, Bears, AND FISH!

Having a kid is a great excuse to get out and do all sorts of fun stuff… like visit the aquarium and zoo!

A few weekends ago while my family was in town, we all took Avery to the New England Aquarium.  I had been last year just after our wedding with my family, but Vinay hadn’t been in 13 years, and Avery had never been.  We toured the penguins first…
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My favorite and Avery seemed very interested in them.  Probably because his entire nursery is covered in penguins – so maybe he recognized the little black and white creatures.

He even made friends with one…
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We checked out some fish and jellies…

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It was a fun trip, but the aquarium was REALLY crowded.  If I could share any tips from our trip, the would be:

Tips for Taking a Baby to the Aquarium:

  • Go early or order tickets online to avoid the long lines.  When we got there, the line was rediculous.  So, I jumped in the Express-line for will-call tickets and ordered them on my phone, so when I got up to the window, they had my order already!
  • Don’t bring a stroller!  We brought Avery’s because there’s lots of walking but to get him the best view, we  picked him up to the windows, so the stroller became obsolete and a pain in the butt.
  • Take a break.  We split our visit in two by stopping for lunch at the cafe (a little pricey tho) so we could feed Avery and get fueled up for the rest of the exhibits.

Last weekend, while in NYC visiting Vinay’s Mom & Aunt, we took a trip to the Bronx Zoo.  Unlike the aquarium, this wasn’t Avery’s first Zoo visit.  We took him to the San Fransisco Zoo in June.  But this is supposed to be a pretty awesome zoo, and is was!  Even the zoo entrance was pretty grand…
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We saw sea lions, reptiles, flamingos, elephants, zebras, and a tiger!
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Our big goal for the day was to try the monorail, which took you around this big area with lots of animals.  We were so excited for Avery to see all the animals up close – but about 2 minutes before we hopped on the ride (after standing in line forever) he fell asleep.  Slept thru the whole thing!  Little bugger!  I guess it was a good trip though… he was pooped at the end of the day…
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Tips for Taking a Baby to the Zoo:

  • Go early or order tickets online to avoid the long lines.  We spent the first 30 minutes waiting behind a large group buying tickets before we even got into the zoo.
  • Visit the attractions you want to see most, first! Maybe if we had planned our timing better, Avery could have seen the monorail animals.
  • Bring a Stroller AND Carrier.  Avery got bored of the stroller a lot and holding him is tiring, so I wish I had also brought our carrier to use 1/2 the time to give Avery a good view, and not be stuck sitting all day.

What tips/tricks do you have from experiences visiting the aquarium or zoo?  We’d love to hear… because we’ll be going again…

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12 thoughts on “Lions, Tigers, Bears, AND FISH!

  1. So much fun! Great advice about the stroller. Esp. at the Aquarium. I’m pretty sure you aren’t even allowed to take a stroller into the National Aquarium in Baltimore. I’ve actually started checking the stroller policy any place we go – museums, zoos, similar venues. It stinks to get to a venue and realize you either have to unpack and check the stroller at the door, or drag it back to the car. . .or be without a carrier all together.

    • Good idea! That’s something I’ll have to keep doing. I’m making it a point to always keep the stroller and carrier in the car so wherever we go, we’re prepared!

      • Smart. Every once in a while, I flake and forget to pack the carrier. It always makes the Husband twitchy. Well, that and when he finds out I’ve forgotten the back up for the back up onesie. Sheesh, you didn’t see me getting all uptight this past weekend when he accidentially packed us all sandwiches on moldy bread. LOL!

      • hahaha!!! Yup, gotta have back-ups for the back-up. And when you get squawked at for forgetting something just give him ‘the glare’ and tell him if he wants, he can pack for the next trip 🙂

  2. We’ve gone to the zoo twice now, and the first time he was pretty young, abut 7 months or so. Sadly the whole place was packed, and he was too young to even point the animals out to what with the huge crowds blocking our way.

    The second time was better because it was less crowded and he was older, so we could point out animals and he would know exactly which ones they were.

    The biggest tip I would offer is to not try to do everything in one day. We only went in the morning and left when it was time for nap.

    • Great suggestion, Nina. I had a similar suggestion from a co-worker about a kids theme-park called ‘Storyland’… if you get tickets in the afternoon, they are good for the next day, so split the trip in two and plan around naps. Perfect, right?! Every park should do that for parents with little ones, right?

  3. His little hands on the glass is just adorable. Love that picture… he’s really into it!
    I would imagine that you were equally as tired. HA HA! I can’t remember the last time I went to a zoo ….and I LOVE them! Having kids would definitely keep you young and having fun.

    • I was tired, but a good tired. I love pushing Avery around in the stroller – it’s a great work out! Oh shoot I just realized I left toys on the back deck… thanks helping me remember… gotta go get those before bed!

  4. how fun! And great tips! We have an aquarium here in Charleston that I am looking forward to bringing M to! My sis in law and her two boys are coming to visit in December so we are all going to go then!

  5. Such great tips! I’m glad you wrote this entry. And the pics are too cute!!! I’ve been dying to go to the zoo, but the weather’s been, well, too hot. Perhaps once it cools a bit.

    Thanks again for the tips. I was shocked w/ the stroller one, but it makes sense…

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