For my husband’s birthday, we attempted a day trip to New Orleans. Our main focus was visiting the Audubon Zoo in New Orleans with our 21-month-old. I vaguely remember visiting as a child on a field trip but surprisingly hadn’t been since – even though we live an hour away. Overall, we had an enjoyable trip but here are a few tips to zoo-ing without any toddler meltdowns.
Suggested reading music:
1. Get there at park open. We got to City Park right at 10AM, which was opening time for Saturdays. I found the zoo to be relatively slow and it didn’t take long to buy tickets and pass through the turnstiles. We took our time walking through all the exhibits and made it to the Cypress Knee Cafe right around 11AM.
2. Stroller. I wasn’t sure about bringing one at first. But, the zoo is large and I’m glad I didn’t have to carry around 30 pounds the entire time.
3. Snacks. Snacks. Snacks. I don’t know about your toddler – but mine can plow through some squeeze pouch Mighty 4’s in 0.1 seconds. A sippy cup filled with water and backup water bottles are necessary for Louisiana heat. I kept offering water because the last thing we needed was a dehydrated kid.
4. Essentials for the Cool Zoo. One of the main reasons I convinced my husband to go to the zoo for his birthday was the mention of a lazy river. For someone who HATES water parks (germs), I found it pleasant and not dirty. My little one was a little overwhelmed by the splash pad – but enjoyed the small slide. She liked the Gator Run lazy river for the most part. All children under 48 inches must wear a life jacket – which the zoo provides. My packing list essentials for this part of the park would be: Water shoes (again…germs), beach towels, swim diapers, change of clothes for everyone and a wet bag.
5. Train and Carousel. We bought the attraction wristbands that gave us unlimited rides of the carousel, train, and visits to the Cool Zoo. I can’t remember pricing off hand – and don’t see it listed on the website – but it ended up being cheaper to buy admission tickets ($22.95 for adults, Under 2 is free) with attraction wristbands then paying $2 for each carousel ride and $5 for each train ride.
I definitely think we will be back. The Audubon Zoo is worth the price and a short drive from Baton Rouge. I do think the summer months will be pretty hot but that’s where the Cool Zoo comes in for the win.