February 26, 2014

Oakland: Oakland Zoo; things to do

sun bear in hammock at the Oakland Zoo in CA
880 South 

Oakland Zoo

Have you ever wondered what superlatives reside at the superlative Oakland Zoo

When you visit the zoo with children, you have an excellent opportunity to teach them more about language.  Challenge them to see how many more superlatives they can find—the sleepiest, the quietest, the cutest, etc.  I visited with my three grandchildren, two of whom afterwards stuck to their guns about pre-visit animal favorites—the 4-year-old loves the giraffes and the teen adores the big cats.  I’m not sure about the 2-year-old, though he did stare for a long time at the meerkats.  This time I personally settled on the zebras--which we saw chasing each other--and the vividly colored frogs in the children’s area. 

A cafe at the main entrance offers hot lunch items—including a vegan burger and some vegetarian selections--but the food is ordinary and on the expensive side.  I suggest taking a picnic and supplementing it with the soda, ice cream, and other sweet treats that are dispensed from stands around the zoo.  A scattering of benches and grassy expanses invite a relaxing break. 

You’ll know it is time to start for the exit when you hear something like, “I’m done with the zoo,” as I did from my 4-year-old granddaughter, or, “But I don’t want to see the rabbits,” as I overheard another pre-schooler whine.  But before we left, we exited the zoo and boarded the Outback Express Adventure Train ride around Wild Australia, a part of the zoo you don’t otherwise see.

Check out the sun bears via webcam.

Way more things to do in Oakland.

More ideas for exploring Northern California.

image ©2014 Carole Terwilliger Meyers

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