I’ve been wanting to take Emma to the Philadelphia Zoo ever since she learned to walk. Some of the best memories of my childhood were made there, as the school system I attended is only about an hour away. There were many field trips organized throughout the school year, and since my mother was a stay-at-home mom, she attended most of these trips along with my class. The Philadelphia Zoo is a 42-acre Victorian garden that is home to more than 1300 animals, many of them rare and endangered.
I couldn’t wait to relive those moments of my childhood again through my daughter, and experience the same joys and wonders of nature through her fresh eyes. Since it’s been so unbearably hot and humid this summer, we had planned on waiting until fall to visit, but when we were invited to attend the Mom Blogger Day on August 3rd, we couldn’t pass up the opportunity to explore.
We got to the front gate right on time that morning and we checked in at the special desk set up for Mommy bloggers. The helpful staff provided us with a small backpack filled with park information, admission tickets and special passes for some of the extras available at the zoo. When passing through the entrance gates, the staff member read my tickets and asked, “What is a Mommy Blogger.” I didn’t have my elevator pitch ready but I managed, and I promised Frank that I’d give him a shout out in my post. Hi, Frank!
After that was done, we made our way over to see some of the outdoor exhibits and amazing creatures when a staff member alerted us that the baby giraffe was outside. Apparently, this baby is a big deal. When we saw her with our own eyes, we could see why. This is first giraffe calf born at the Philadelphia Zoo in 13 years. If you’d like to cast your vote on what she should be named, go here. The options are Abigail, Patricia and Shari. Which is your favorite?
At 11:00am there was a Rock n Roar Concert featuring Two of A Kind so we had to check that out. Emma had a wonderful time dancing and socializing with the other kids, and we enjoyed resting on the lawn for a few minutes until we were off to the next thing. Which happened to be the Reptile and Amphibian House. This offered a nice break from the heat for all of us. If there had been a pencil on display in there we still would have gone! But luckily, there were some cool reptiles, turtles and even alligators inside.
After lunch, we paddled our way around the bird lake in a Swan Boat. Don’t tell anyone, but we took an extra lap around. It was that fun! There were way more rides than I remember going on. The Amazon Rainforest Carousel is brand new, and what kid doesn’t love a carousel? There is also a large indoor treehouse, a train ride and more. I have to admit that I was disappointed when I learned that the big train I remember riding on is no longer there. I believe it used to run around the entire park.
There were many creatures of habitat exhibits throughout the park. These are life-size replicas of endangered animals using LEGOS by Sean Kenney, a LEGO certified professional. This was almost more amazing than the real animals they represent! This collection is being featured though October, and it really is worth a visit to the park to just see this in person.
Another highlight for us was Emma’s very first pony ride. We were able to choose between a pony, camel or draft horse, and I think the pony was the perfect choice. After the pony ride, we enjoyed brushing this cute goat. There was really so much to see and we got a ton of great pictures that I’ll be sharing with you in upcoming posts.
The Philadelphia Zoo was the very first zoo U.S. zoo which opened in July of 1874 with an admission price of 25 cents. These days, an adult pass will run you $18.00 and children 2-11 get in for $15.00. Children under 2 are admitted free of charge. Some of the special rides like the Zoo Balloon, train, pony rides, swan boat etc. are available at additional charges.
A big thank you to the Philadelphia Zoo for providing complimentary passes for my family so that we could explore what the zoo has to offer. I have not been compensated for this post, but wanted to share the fun times we had there.