A trip to the zoo has always been a top outing among parents. While these visits allow children a chance to see their favorite animals in action, many zoos are now offering hands-on activities from petting and feeding wildlife to animal-themed arts and crafts and puppet shows. Making the experience interactive is a way to enhance your child's learning -- and, of course, it's fun. Check in advance to see if there are any special children's activities on the day of your visit, and plan accordingly, especially around your kids' mealtimes. Since zoo restaurants and concession stands can be costly, crowded and not particularly nutritious, consider bringing a brown-bag lunch from home.
And remember, the amount of ground you cover at the animal park will depend largely on the age and attention span of your children. Three exhibits could be plenty for one child, while another kid might be able to go the distance. If you plan on going to the zoo more than three times in a season, consider purchasing a family membership. Not only will you save money on admission, but you'll also get to jump to the front of the line -- saving lots of time.
Want more zoo fun? Help your children make masks of their favorite animals by decorating paper plates with crayons, markers, yarn, felt and glue. Punch two holes on opposing sides of a plate and fasten them with a piece of yarn or string. The kids will have fun wearing their masks as they prance around and make silly animal sounds.