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Re: Where to take carousel-obsessed toddler?
Oakland zoo! membership
is fab for young families! If you can't afford one, ask
family to pool their resources and get you a year's
membership as a holiday present. It includes several ride
tix, guest passes, and FREE PARKING. The love of carousels
may wax and wane, but there's so much to learn and do up at
the zoo - visit animals, ride the little train, Zoo Lights,
bring a friend along with your membership pass - plus that
nice walk up and down hills that makes for a long, peaceful
night of sleep
Another important aspect is that Oakland Zoo has a
reciprocal membership program with many other institutions
Birthday Party at Oakland Zoo?
Has anyone been to or held a birthday party at the Oakland Zoo recently? I am wondering about the sites
(where the actual party is held), the different party options (ie, one includes admission, parking, rides and
food, the next everything but the food, and the next only the sight reservation and reduced admission - no
parking, rides or food). Is the food any good? Can you bring your own cake & ice cream? What happens when you
take the afternoon spot, and the zoo closes before the party is over?
Thanks for any opinions, good bad or otherwise...
we just went to a birthday party at the oakland zoo this weekend. the
entirety was in the ride area and we didn't even go into the park. for the
first couple of hours the kids all got bracelets to ride all the rides
they wanted, and they had a blast. (the employees were particularly great
with the party kids) we as parents used some of our own ticket stash to
ride along on the rollercoaster (required for kids under 48 inches) and on
the train. the party had reserved one of the picnic areas in the back of
the ride area and the hosts brought food and cake, and ordered pizza that
was delivered. it was fun, but a long afternoon, and i think the zoo
kicked us out at five.
Hi, we had my daughter's 2nd birthday at the zoo last year. We did the
whole package (admission/rides/food). The food is just okay - cardboardy
pizza and apple juice but there are a couple of choices. We brought our
own cake. Most of the sites are by the rides - you can't reserve a
special table, you have to pick from those available. That said, we had a
good time and our guests (adults and kids) seemed to as well - most adults
without kids haven't been to the zoo in a long time, if ever and enjoyed
seeing it and the kids of course loved the zoo. I don't know if I would
choose the food option again and I should caution the feel of the party is
a little unusual - some people walking around the zoo, some in the rides
area, some hanging around the cake - so we had a hard time getting
everyone together to sing but I would recommend it, at least once. Our
daughter loved it.
Re: When will my baby be interested in the zoo?
I've enjoyed taking my son to the zoo since he was about 5 months old,
and he's now almost 17 months. If you're near the Oakland Zoo the
membership pays for itself after 4 visits, and even though early on he
was in a carrier just looking out and observing, now he enjoys the
Children's Zoo, petting zoo, train ride, etc. It's also nice to be able
to go for an hour or so rather than several hours...easy to do with the
membership. I think he got a lot more interested when he was about 10
months or so.
Go anytime! I took my son to the Oakland Zoo for the first time
probably when he was about 6 months old. I remember him laughing at the
little squirrel monkeys jumping around. He watched animals sometimes
(like the big macaws, monkeys, etc.) and sometimes just watched people,
etc. I got a memberhip to the Oakland Zoo and we went often. I'd go
with friends when our babies were crawling and they would crawl around
on the grass in the Children's zoo area and there are things for kids to
climb on. Yes, your children will get more out of the zoo and watching
the animals when they are older, but they will get something out of it
when going as babies. I'll never forget him laughing at the monkeys.
It will certainly be a while before your baby is able to show any
interest, but there's no reason not to start now. It is great exercise,
fresh air, and the earlier you start going, the sooner she will become
familiar with it and be able to focus on animals. We began taking my son
to the Oakland Zoo at a pretty early age, and while we don't go every
weekend, he does know the layout of the zoo like his own house and still
discovers something new there every time.
We took our 5 month old son in December to the Oakland Zoo. He actually
enjoyed the whole zoo from his front-facing Bjorn...especially the frogs
at the reptile house and looking at the goats in the ''petting zoo.''
They have a new children's section if you only want to tackle that part
of the zoo on your first visit. I don't think he's too young, but
obviously he will get more out of his zoo visits as he gets older. Have
Went on Baby Zoofari
I got a zoo membership and started taking my daughter to the zoo long
before she was able to appreciate it--probably around
3 mos. The question really is, will you enjoy taking her there and being
out and about, even if she doesn't notice the animals.
As to when they start appreciating it, I think my daughter started
really appreciating it around a year old. I have pictures of her at 13
mos riding the Merry-go-round at the Oakland Zoo. She went through a
phase where she was fascinated with sitting on curbs and would stop
every 20 feet or so along the elephant exhibit to sit down. None of that
has anything to do with animals, particularly. That interest probably
started around 1.5-2 years (the same time she wanted me to do a google
photo search for ''Monkeys'' on a daily basis).
Hi - we just took our 20 mo old son to the Oakland Zoo this past weekend
and he LOVED it. He was interested at all the big animals (elephants,
giraffes) and he had a great time at the Children's Zoo (mostly running
around and playing on the animal rock structures) We have taken him
before (closer to when he was 1) and he didn't really get it.
our daughter started being noticeably interested around 8 or 9 months
and i just got a membership to the oakland zoo so that we can go there
often. the sf zoo is wonderful, too!
Membership policy for babysitters
Am I the only member of the Oakland Zoo who has problems dealing
with their extremely rigid membership policies? I purchased
a ''family plus'' membership that allowed my babysitter to take my
child to the zoo, which was the cost of a family membership plus
$20. When I hired a different babysitter for the summer, I was
told she couldn't use the first sitter's card. Nor could I pay
another $20 for her to be added as a babysitter. Instead I had
to buy a totally separate membership (over $40) for the second
babysitter. Now, today, my babysitter is on vacation - my 20
year old stepdaughter is babysitting in her place, and my child
wants to go to the zoo. The zoo is refusing to let them use any
of the memberships - either my family membership or the
babysitter membership. My stepdaughter is not a ''family'' member
because she's over 18, they say, and she's not an authorized
babysitter because she's not one of the two babysitters I've
already paid for. If she pays separately for herself, then they
will charge her for my son, too, because he can't use
the ''family'' membership unless he is accompanied by one of the
two adults who are ''on'' the membership!!! The whole thing just
seems unbelievable unreasonable to me. Does anyone else have
this problem, and if so, how do you deal with it?
Yes, I too find their new policy absurd and in the end
counter-productive. As for a solution, complain loudly all the
way to the top, citing membership policies of other Bay Area
museums (which are far more logical), ask for explanations and
let them know how much you disapprove. If enough members do so,
and fail to re-new because of it, I like to to think they'll
re: fun place to take a visiting two-year-old
Of course there's also the Oakland Zoo which is a perfect size for a small child with tot
sized "amusement park" rides as well. One "different" suggestion is the Emeryville Marina
(go west on Powell cross highway). Gorgeous views, sail boats, picnic areas and green lawn
to run around on. No play structures though.
re: amusement park for 4-year-old
There were a lot of rides my 2 year old and 4 year old could go on at the
Oakland Zoo. I think it's a great place for the under 6 set.
If you join the Oakland Zoo Club for $45 per year, part of the membership
includes free entrance and parking for the year for a family. Its fun and
the kids love it!
Joining either the Oakland Zoo or the SF Zoo gets you into the other,
by the way. The $45 includes admission for 2 adults and kids,
the adults do not have to be married, related, etc. Another mother
and I share a Zoo membership and it works out quite well.
this page was last updated: Jul 31, 2012
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