Wednesday, July 11, 2012

The Zoo Was a Zoo!

Eldo is not crazy about zoos, but Sparky is, and so are the grandkids! Off to see Zoo America today in Hershey, PA. Sparky has not been to the zoo in YEARS, so she was just excited as the grandkids to see what this one was like. The zoo is right across the street from Hershey Park, the amusement park with the old fashioned roller wooden roller coasters along with many other rides. It looked like an average amusement park.....

There are discounts and bundled tickets available if you were going to both the amusement park and the zoo, but we just did the zoo today. The admission fees were reasonable, but it was a disappointment! Quite small....very limited selection of animals and very ordinary ones at that...white tailed deer, marmots, no monkeys, no giraffes, no lions.....The kids did get to see an elk, so that was nice.

You could see the zoo is making an attempt to open up some of the animal enclosures, but for the most part, lots of chain link enclosures, very small areas for the animals, and the general overall atmosphere of the zoo was just not very inviting. We've seen much nicer zoos in similar sized cities elsewhere in our travels.

However, the kids enjoyed the reptile house very much. They really spent a lot of time in there. Trevor wanted to go through it a second time. Sparky had had enough of snakes and bats so we moved on to see what animals were outside in the heat (high eighties). It was kind of sad to see this black bear trying to escape the heat by climbing into a metal tub with ice in it, especially since we had just seen a black bear in the wild a few days ago.

The zoo has some interesting facts for the kids to interact with, which was nice....Always great for them to learn new things and they did. There are interesting signs around the zoo that help you learn more about its history, like this one showing the zoo's first zoo keeper feeding the bears.
And signs showing you how big things are....

This is probably the closest any of us will ever get to a bald eagle, but you never know. While traveling, we've had some amazing close encounters with wildlife!
An eagle's wingspan....that's SIX FEET in each direction!

Sparky liked all the birdhouses made from gourds hanging in the pines....
And the porcupine...didn't realize how big they are! Hopefully, that's the closest we'll ever get to one! We were looking down on this one from a ledge up above....

After the zoo, we headed over to the Hershey Factory to get information for our tour tomorrow...We went ahead and did the free "factory" tour today which was a reproduction of the machinery in the factory demonstrating the chocolate making process. It was all we could do to get ourselves out of there without caving in to the candy store! Sparky told the kids "we need to bring a cooler" so the chocolate we buy doesn't melt in the heat" as the reason for not stocking up on candy today...heh, heh, heh.....
Papa and Trevor at Friendly's
Our last stop today was Friendly's....a hamburger/ice cream restaurant. We were pleasantly surprised that the four of us ate mac and cheese and hot dogs, 4 sodas, cheeseburger sliders, veggies and a regular burger w/fries PLUS four different kinds of ice cream sundae desserts all under 30.00. Good deal! Now everybody is sugared up for the rest of the evening! Settle down, Trevor! Papa! and Cate! Sparky is as calm as calm can be, despite eating this.......

Well, that sure was a fun day with the grandkids! Eldy, let's pick out the excursion package for the Hershey tour tomorrow! Let's take the kids down to the video room! What am I saying!!?? Eldo, want to take the kids down to the video game room for awhile? Wanna go for a swim, guys? Hey, why don't we see what's happening with the park activities tonight? There's freeze tag at the Rec Shed later today.. Wanna do the kick board races, kids, at 5:00? I think it would be great to go get some more ice cream tonight at the pool at 6:00, whaddya say, guys? (I say, time to cut Sparky off from any more sugar today. Whaddya say, guys? asks E.)


  1. I love visiting zoos...Paul not so much.
    Great idea with the cooler and the chocolate.
    I could eat ice cream every day! Matters of fact, we did have some today.

  2. My husband and I used to visit zoos whenever we traveled and found that our zoo, The St. Louis Zoo was the best and it was free. I think they charge for parking now. Well, the San Diego Zoo might be better, but it is not free.

    I hope you have a great time touring Hershey and that you get your fill on chocolate.

  3. Sounds like you are in a great area for the grandkids with a lot to do! Have fun and make memories!!!!

    Karen and Steve
    (Our Blog) RVing: Small House... BIG Backyard

  4. I'm with Eldo, I hate zoos. Animals should not be in cages. People should go to where they are and ride in trams to see them IMO or just watch Nature TV. You aren't seeing a "real animal" anyway since the animals are so stressed from being confined.

    Now the ice cream......that I'm totally in for. Glad you had that Reece's thing so I could drool over it but my keyboard isn't very happy. :-)

  5. I think that the Hershey area was hit hard last September by a tropical storm and during the floods a lot of their animals died. It never was a big zoo with a lot of exotic animals but the storm really hit that area hard.