Friday, November 26, 2010

Audubon Zoo review and learning activities

The Audubon Zoo is an excellent local attraction, a great place to take family and visiting friends. Here are 10 things to know before you go:

1. It's big. - Plan to take an entire day to do the zoo. With young children, it might be better to separate it into two or even three visits. In order to do that. . .

2. It's worth it to buy a membership pass. - The membership passes get you free admission to the zoo, which would otherwise be $13.50 for each adult and $8.50 per child. However, they also get you in free to the Audubon Aquarium of the Americas ($18.50 adult / $11.50 child) and they drop the price of a visit to the Insectarium from $15.00 to $5.00 and the IMAX ticket price from $9.00 to $ 5.00. The membership not only supports Audubon's important conservation work, it can pay for itself in one holiday weekend!

3. Cooler temps make for better wildlife viewing. - The next few months are prime time to visit the zoo! The cooler weather not only makes it more comfortable for the human visitors, it makes the animals more active. If you want to see animals doing their thing, don't ask them to do it when it's 90-plus degrees out! When it's that hot, nobody is perky and active. November through February in New Orleans means temps in the 60s and 70s, so you can see real movement and action from the animals! If your only zoo-visiting days are hot ones, though, just try to schedule your visit for early in the morning or late in the afternoon, the coolest parts of the day. (The zoo is open from 10 a.m. - 4 p.m. Tuesday through Friday and 10 a.m. - 5 p.m. Saturday and Sunday.)

4. Don't dare miss the great apes. - The orangutans and gorillas on exhibit are truly great apes! The viewing platforms are incredibly close to the animals and one look in their knowing eyes will have everyone interested in a deeper study of evolution.

5. Make time for reptiles. - The reptile house is an excellent one, with a high

number of exotic and poisonous snakes, as well as rainforest poison dart frogs and super-cool lizards. These are the most active and interactive reptiles at any zoo this examiner has ever visited!

6. Learn about amazing Louisiana animals. - While you visit, make sure to stroll through the Louisiana Swamp exhibit. Though cooler temps do make the cold-blooded alligators less active, there are still many, many gators to gawk at in the swamp exhibit. By the end, though, you'll see that the gators aren't the only amazing animals in the swamp - from egrets and herons to snakes and turtles, awesome animals abound in the bayous, marshes and swamps. Seeing them up close and personal at the zoo will open your eyes to seeing them everywhere in the New Orleans area!

7. The feeds and chats are worth the time. - Whether you're trying to educate kiddos or not, the feeds and chats are lead by tremendously knowledgable professionals who welcome your curiosity and questions. Take advantage and you may even get to touch or feed an animal yourself!

Zoo Activities & Links

A to Zoo - find an animal for every letter in the alphabet and correctly spell their names (from informative signs).

Zoo Bingo - learn which animals are mammals, reptiles, and amphibians and which continents they come from as you try to be the first to get Bingo!

Audubon Zoo Visitor Page

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