Last week we had friends over to visit so we decided to use it as an opportunity to take Dylan to the zoo for the first time. To be honest I wasn’t really sure what to expect – if his attention span would hold for the day, would he get too cranky, would the facilities (baby changing, feeding, etc) be any use. As it happened we had a fantastic day. Dylan absolutely loved walking around the zoo and was fascinated by both the animals and all the people! After our trip to the cinema last week I wrote up a blog post about what it was like and what to expect which went down really well so I thought I’d do a similar one for the zoo on what we did to make sure it was an easy going experience for us all!
I do this for most trips out but I get organised the night before. I get our changing bag ready, lay out an outfit to put on Dylan and make sure the buggy is in the boot. It’s always a nightmare trying to leave the house on time with a baby but I find if I have everything laid out and ready to go, it’s hundred times easier. When we arrived at the zoo the queue wasn’t actually too bad but it started to pile up behind us fairly quickly. I’d recommend buying your tickets in advance online so you can skip the queue as there’s nothing worse being stuck hanging around with an impatient baby.
Bring Your Lunch
The cafe huts and restaurant in the zoo are quite pricey so it could work out quite an expensive day out. We brought our own lunch in with us and there’s plenty of picnic area’s for you to sit and enjoy your lunch if you choose to keep costs down this way.
Dress In Layers
It’s a long day making your way round the zoo and the Irish weather is so unpredictable. When we woke up that morning it was raining. By an hour round the zoo the sun was beaming down! Thankfully I thought to bring his sunhat and had dressed him so we could take layers on and off as needed.
Pack A Baby Carrier
If you have one, a sling or wrap is a lifesaver on a trip to somewhere like the zoo. There’s absolutely no way that Dylan would have sat in his buggy the entire time we were there and he is getting far too heavy to carry around the place. We brought our Lillebaby carrier and he was in this the majority of the time. While we were there we passed loads of other babywearing mums and dads aswell who all had the same idea. Dylan loves his carrier anyway, but he was able to see so much more than had he been stuck down in his buggy. It’s also worth remembering though that although they love to be facing forward and seeing what’s going on (either on your front or on a back carry), it can be a very overwhelming day with all the stimulation for a baby as young as Dylan. It’s important to notice when they are getting to the stage of having had enough and put them facing towards you for some cuddles and rest.
Give Yourself Plenty Of Time
It can take a while to get round the zoo at the best of times let alone needing to stop for feeding and changing. Leave plenty of time so you’re not rushing and be prepared to stop plenty if needed. Also if you’re going during Summer holidays like we did, leave plenty of time for parking!
The zoo’s facilities are really good. There’s plenty of toilets and changing area’s throughout & lots of benches and picnic areas to stop and feed at. Price wise, it’s not the cheapest day out but as a treat it’s definitely justifiable. Babies under 3 are free so I only needed to buy an adult ticket at €17.00. Children over 3 are €12.20 each so it could work out pricey if you are going in as a family but they have discounted rates on family tickets which helps.
I was nervous going to the zoo with Dylan but to be honest, having been with our nephews and kids I used to child-mind, I can easily say that going with a 5 month old is far easier than going with a toddler! Some of it may have been lost on him and he won’t really appreciate what a great day out it is until he’s a bit bigger, but it was a brilliant way to pass a day and do something a little different with him.
For more information check out Dublin Zoo’s website here. This post is not sponsored.