Recently I have had mix emotions about places like Zoos and Sea World type of attractions. On one side I feel like those types of place can offer great learning opportunities for children. Kids get to learn and interact with animals that they normally wouldn’t be able to. Some kids develop a passion for helping animals by going and visiting these attractions. In the other hand I feel that the whole concept of captivity seems so cruel. There are so many animal attractions that neglect and endanger the lives of the animals that they attain. Not to say that all places are like this but this is a disturbing trend that seems to be emerging more and more.
So when the subject of taking our daughter to a zoo came up I was torn. I don’t want to contribute to these places but at the same time I don’t want to my daughter to miss out on so many educational experiences. (I know she is not even a year old but still) Luckily I was able to find the OC Zoo which is a more of an animal rescue safe haven then a zoo. The OC Zoo has been taking in animals that normally wouldn’t be able to survive in the wild since 1920.
They have so many types of animals from reptiles, birds, bears, and even a bob cats! They have a couple of goats that you are able to feed. The animal keepers are always close by offering fun facts about the animals around you. If your lucky you can even catch a couple out of their cages.
Olive pretty much was excited to see most animals expected the goat which was okay because the goat didn’t really seem excited to see her either.
The great thing about coming to the OC Zoo is that the general admission is only $2 for anyone over the age of 3. With general admission you can walk freely through the zoo. For only a couple bucks more you an opt for their guided tour or one of their other programs. Either way you’re looking at a great bargain.
Besides all the animals they also have other great activities for the kids. We were able to catch story time right as it was starting. Olive was able to learn all about owls and then she was able to see a tiny owl while all the other kids asked all their questions.
All the staff members are super friendly to everyone especially to the children. They would answer all of the kids questions no matter how crazy some of the questions were and never made the kids feel as if it was a dumb question. I can not say enough good things about the staff at the OC Zoo.
Make sure to get there early because you will discover that once your done with the zoo there are plenty of other activities that you can do at the Irvine Regional Park where the Zoo is located. We didn’t expect there to be so many different activities so we were prepared to have Olive out in the sun so long. Instead we just walked around checking everything out for our next trip there.
Besides all the great hiking paths around the park you can also enjoy bike riding with the family or riding on the lake.
Don’t forget to check out the train ride that goes through the whole park. Great Summer fun for the whole family.
If you want any more information regarding this park ocparks.com/zoo/