10 Tips to Plan a Zoo Trip {free printables}

1. Try to get the best price
Philadelphia Zoo Web Page
 Our trip was to the Philadelphia Zoo.  Before our trip I searched online for the best deal.   I found that the zoo was offering free admission to teachers over the summer.  I also found a coupon code that took $14 off of my total purchase if I bought my tickets online in advance of our visit.

2. Pack your own lunches and beverages
There was a peacock walking around the picnic area.  Ella was entertained and Sydney (on the left) was cautious. 

The food at the zoo can be very expensive and that can add up quickly.  We packed sandwiches, snacks and water bottles and had lunch in the picnic area at the zoo.  I used some of my Thirty- One insulated totes and they kept everything cool for the entire day.

3. Try a zoo scavenger hunt

 One way to keep the kids focused on the animals is through a zoo scavenger hunt.  My almost four year old, Lucas, took his scavenger hunt seriously. Bring a clipboard with you so it is easier to write on the sheet.  Lucas brought his clipboard all over the zoo.

4. Follow zoo rules and be polite

Even though the zoo may be "stroller friendly,"  some exhibits in the zoo may have a "no stroller" policy.    We saw this policy at the Tiger exhibit.  It is a very popular exhibit and the pathways were rather narrow.  In order to accommodate all of the visitors they prohibited strollers.    Follow the rules while you are there.  Try not to annoy other people!

 Try and be polite to the other families at the zoo.  Some of the exhibits will be very crowded especially if the animals are awake and moving about.   In this picture of the polar bear exhibit, this rude family stood in front of the exhibit for a VERY long time.  The stroller in front of the lady is empty.  She would not slide over in the least to let my little almost 4 year old through to see the polar bear.   Try to be polite while you are at the zoo so that all of the kids at the zoo can see the animals.

5. Accept that you may never get the "perfect" photo

 Between a kid being grumpy and a wandering 2 year old, we were not going to get the perfect group shot.   We tried many, many times and we were not successful in getting all 5 kids to pose for the "perfect shot."  My poor 9 year old, Sydney, stayed ready and smiling in each shot but the other four were not having it. 

6. Don't forget to include yourself in some of the shots.
Sydney took this awesome picture of me with the tigers.
 If you don't, it won't even look like you were there.  If you at the photos of some your family vacations, you are probably missing someone- the photographer.  The person who is usually responsible for taking the pictures, usually doesn't end up in too many of the pictures.  Make a point of getting into some of the shots.

7. Let the kids take pictures too
Sydney had so much fun taking pictures of the tigers.  We had the perfect view of them and she took advantage.   She really enjoyed being the photographer and to be honest... she took better pictures than I did. 

8. You don't have to go on all of the "rides" to have fun.  
 There were many "rides" at the zoo that have a charge in addition to the ticket price. They had camel rides, swan boats, pony rides and a carousel.  We told the kids in advance that we would be going on the carousel (an extra $3 each kid.)  We warned them that we would not be going on the other rides (an extra $6 each kid for each ride.)  We explained to them that the lines would be long for those and that it would be very expensive.  Since the kids knew in advance that they would not be doing that, it was much easier to say "no" at the  zoo.

9.  Do some research in advance
These were the only elephants to be seen at the Philadelphia Zoo

Do some research in advance to see if all the animals that you think will be at the zoo will actually be there.  You don't want to talk up the elephants for the week before your trip and get there and realize that there are no elephants.   It would be disappointing for both you and the kids.

10. Don't just let the fun end when you leave the zoo
Over 70+ FREE Printables

Have older kids write and reflect when they get back from the zoo.

Don't lose the momentum when you get back from the zoo!  Keep the enthusiasm going by continuing the fun with some of the free printables above. 

Need more ideas? 
 Check out my Zoo Pinterest Board!


  1. Nice blog! I love zoos, and have taken my grandchildren often! I blog about my travels, and hope you will stop by for a visit!

  2. Stopping by from the Bloggers Brags Link Up. Super cute printable :D If you would like to, I would LOVE for you to share it with my "Free Printables" Google Plus Community! goo.gl/RPWDbD

  3. What fantastic tips and I love the idea of a scavenger hunt! We are lucky that we live very close to Bristol Zoo and are able to go quite often. I am going to try this with the boy next time we go, I think he will really enjoy it. Thanks so much for linking to the Monday #pinitparty. I have pinned :)

  4. #5 is so important, not only in the zoo but in life. Trying to get kids look into the camera, all at the same time and pose, is IMPOSSIBLE.

    And you should definitely get your pictures clicked. You are so beautiful.


  5. This is such a fun post! I never think to go online for discounts - I wonder how much money I could have saved?! Also, I love that YOU are in some pictures! I I am never in pix - and always tell my kids that if anything happens to me, there is no evidence that I ever existed! LOL! Thank you for sharing this with Merry Monday Linky! I'm so happy to have you! Please join us again next Sunday! Julia

  6. Such fun suggestions! (and I can't believe that family would not move from in front of you at the polar bear exhibit)! New blog lovin follower :)

  7. Good tips! And sorry about all the rude people. *Sigh* Some people are oblivious to others around them.

  8. I used to have a zoo key to the Philly Zoo that you could use to hear about the animals at each exhibit. Do they still do that? Fun Trip:) Stopping by from the hobnob where I'm co-hosting. New follow to your social media:)

  9. Great ideas. Kids love to take pictures, and sometimes they even turn out okay :)
    I'm going to the zoo with a bunch of family including kids in just a few weeks, so this was a good review.

  10. We love going to the zoo. The kids not only have fun, we do too. Love the scavenger hunt printable idea :)

  11. Kids will love these ideas and making it even more fun with the scavenger hunt is a goof one. Thanks for stopping y to linkup this week!!
    Enjoy your weekend!

  12. Amazingly practical and smart tips here. Thanks for sharing at the After School Linky!

  13. You have some really great ideas and tips here, Amy! I love the printable. It really is a great way to wrap up a fun family trip!

  14. Love the printables and the happy faces :)


Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...