Summer has officially began in our household, the little titan finished his last day of school and we recently made our first trip to The Houston Zoo. I think it has been at least a year since we have visited The Houston Zoo, and there were several things I forgot to prepare for before the trip. For all the parents out there planning a trip to the Houston Zoo this summer, here are my tips for having a successful trip and some of our favorites from this past visit.
1. Pack Your Own Cooler- I always forget that The Houston Zoo allows you to bring in your own coolers of food and drinks into Zoo. I think this is great especially for families like us wanting to stick to a budget this summer. You could save a ton just by packing your own drinks, as one soda is even expensive at the zoo today! I want to get one of these rolling coolers from Amazon for our summer adventures soon!
2. Bring a wagon- Atlas's red radio flyer was much needed on this trip, so much that we ended up renting a wagon from the zoo. I was really thankful that the zoo had wagons available for rent, but we could have saved even more if we had brought our own. I really like this folding wagon from Amazon which fits nicely in the car!
3. Feed the Giraffes- One of the best parts of the Houston Zoo is getting to feed lettuce to the giraffes. I had never been to a zoo that had this activity until we went to the Houston zoo, and it is a really neat experience. The zoo keepers give you about 3 pieces of lettuce per ticket and this will truly make your zoo experience a great one! The little titan loved it and this is usually our first stop when we arrive to the zoo! Get more info about feeding the giraffe's here.
4. Pack a Backpack.... & Include a Swimsuit- The first thing we saw when we walked into The Houston Zoo was the water park area for kids. We have the biggest water bug and I knew I was in trouble as soon as I saw it because I did not pack Atlas a swimsuit. The water park is full of water activities for little ones and perfect for cooling down from the Texas heat! My other backpack essentials include sunscreen, a towel, a change of clothes, bug spray, a hat and sunnies. I have a thing for leather backpacks, and you can find mind here. I love it because it has so many pockets to put things, and it's durable and a classic style for both me and daddy to carry! We take it on all of our outdoor adventures.
5. Bring Rain Gear- With all of the rain we have been having in Texas lately, I definitely recommend to pack some rain gear. We were poured on during the end of our zoo trip and ended up getting a poncho for each of us! You could definitely say I was unprepared for this trip, I felt like we had to buy everything. Atlas looked so sweet in his giraffe poncho, but mommy didn't look so hot in hers. Plus my hair was all over the place thanks to the humidity! I've picked out some cute ponchos here and here.
6. Hang With the Elephants- We had a blast hanging with the elephants and even got to see them get a bath! The little ones played in the pool and they are so sweet. Every time I see elephants they seem so happy to me and it makes me smile! Check the Zoo's schedule of events to see if you are able to catch the Meet the Keeper Event. The keeper gave all the elephants a bath and walked around to answer questions any questions we had. It was so fun!
7. Visit the Newly Renovated Gorilla Exhibit- This was my first trip to see the newly renovated gorilla exhibit and it is really nice and open for the gorilla's at the Houston Zoo. There is a lot of green space and we were happy to see a nice renovated space for them!
8. Have Fun- It's most of all important to just have fun even if you forget a few things like we did this trip. Some of our most favorite moments at the zoo were watching the elephants get a bath, hanging out with the flamingos in the rain, and just the three of us being together as a family!