Oh Where Oh Where has the Summer gone?

Everyone seems to be echoing the same sentiment.  Where has the summer gone?  I had big plans this summer, a lot of them included many visits to the Bronx Zoo and the New York Acquarium.  Did that happen?  Nope!  Here we are now, having just gone to the Bronx Zoo for the first time this summer.  I almost wanted to kick myself.  First of all, it’s just a little more than 15 minutes from my house.  How is it that we don’t come here more often I asked.  The husband had no answer for me.

I was excited though.  I woke up this morning, almost finally recovered from BlogHer and intent on having a completely Kid focused day.  After all the late conference calls and hours clocked on the computer, I owed my kids a day completely devoted to them.  What better way than to spend it at the Bronx Zoo!  I couldn’t have asked for a better day.  With weather in the mid 80’s, the nicest of the summer, we got in the car and were on our way.  The kids were excited and so was I!  I made sure to load my little one up on allergy medication just in case and made sure we packed and triple checked his medical kit.  We could only hope for the best.

The kids and I had the best time at the zoo.  Going during the week is going to be one of my recommendations.  We got there bright and early, just 10 minutes before the 10am opening time.  While I have a Wildlife Conservation Society Family Premium membership, I didn’t need to make my way to the VIP parking in the Asia Lot.  There was plenty of close spots to be had.  Lines were already forming, but they weren’t overwhelming.  Once through the gate, I went for my GO TO THE LEFT rule, bringing a little of my Disney rules at home.  It made for a quieter path.  We took it leisurely.  Anytime the kids chirped up wanting to check something out for a little longer, I didn’t hesitate.  Sure!  Why not!  It took me a while to figure out that my membership also included the Total Experience ticket.  What an amazing value and well worth the initial investment.  After that the kids and I were quick to hop onto the Zoo Shuttle, a ride unto itself, as well as checking out the Asia Monorail, one of my favorite attractions at the park.

First things first, the kids and I got our souvenir drink cup to use and reuse through out the park.  We refilled it a total of 6 times during our day at the zoo for only an $8.99 investment.

I loved watching my kids oooh and aaaah over every exhibit.  It was infectious.  While many might have thought me crazy for taking 3 kids to the zoo by myself, it was surprisingly manageable.  The two older ones were responsible for always keeping tabs on the baby, while I followed behind them with the stroller.  I allowed each child to choose an exhibit of their choice and we mapped it out.  When things got a little cranky, I would take a breather in riding the shuttle or heading over to interactive exhibits like the Children’s Zoo.  We made our way over to check out the Wild Forest A Lego Safari exhibit and of course snag a few photo ops.  The kids loved seeing the animals but they loved seeing their Lego counterparts as well.

After 5 hours, the kids were getting cranky (see the naughty boy above who was suppose to be sitting in his seat during the monorail ride?) and we were done.  We had only visited half of the Zoo but it was okay.  Armed with the Wildlife Conservation Society membership there was no pressure to have done it all.  We can come back next time!  You bet we’ll be back again real soon!  I still can’t believe this was all in my own backyard too!

If you aren’t already, you should definitely consider a Wildlife Conservation Society membership.  The Family Premium membership includes admission for two adults, their children up to age 18, and a guest, plus unlimited access to Bronx Zoo attractions and unlimited free parking at the Bronx Zoo and New York Aquarium.  The savings in incredible.  Initially I was expecting another investment of at least $150 for my visit with food and attractions but was pleasantly surprised to find out Parking was FREE, attractions were FREE and I got 10% off Food and Souvenirs too! A total BARGAIN!