The Melbourne Zoo
We love the zoo! And we love our zoo membership, which we use approximately fortnightly, and covers Werribee Open Range Zoo and Healesville Sanctuary among other benefits!
We can go for an hour or two, see or do something different each time, or return to our favourite spots, rain or shine - there is something to do! (although it is infinitely more enjoyable and so much more to see and do when it is not raining!)
The Keeper Kids area is a fabulous, indoor, educational, exploratory zone with plenty of imaginary play opportunities; and while our 20 month old already enjoys it - 2, 3, 4 year old children would get more out of the experience. Also indoors, are the seals, penguins, and sea life which can be viewed in a spacious, spectacular area.
Showing my age, (or alternatively - how rapidly things progress in the world), when I was a kid - a visit to the zoo meant walking around, peering through tall construction type fencing into a series of large, smelly, concrete 'prision cell'-like enclosures, with very little 'green'. Nowadays, the animals live in beautifully and thoughtfully landscaped areas, which are discovered via various interesting, easy walks or circuits. Children these days can gain a real appreciation, understanding and respect for animals, their natural habitats and behaviours. The displays are great too, for 'up close and personal' encounters. The zoo workers are incredibly knowledgeable and friendly.
Recently, in September 2012, to mark the zoo's 150th anniversary, the zoo opened the Growing Wild area - AMAZING! - One of the best interactive, natural play areas I have seen - possibly ever! Big statement I know... but it is good on many levels!
Parking is only $2, and if we take our own lunch, the only expense is petrol - or the train ticket (the station is at the zoo). The zoo is an active organisation in terms of education, environmental conservation, prevention of animal extinction and community support, that I know our membership fees are going to a worthy cause.
Check out the zoo website on this blog, for more information.
If you are yet to visit the zoo - plan your trip today! :-)