A few weeks back, as the weather started to decline, I decided to venture out of the Pittsburgh Zoo and Aquarium. I had a free pass for 2 adults and 2 children and it expired at the end of the year, so I had to make good use of the tickets. I twisted my mom’s arm to come with me, seeing how 3 car seats would not fit in my car. So, we checked the weather and there was going to be a nice 56* day later in the week.
This zoo is not exactly close in proximity to home when venturing with 2- two year olds and a 6 week old. But we managed. I hadn’t been to this zoo in probably 10 years (the last time was with two friends from high school). I remember it being pretty hilly and that the weather was complete crap on the day we were there so we rushed through because most of the animals weren’t out anyway.
Well, my memory should have steered me clear and maybe offered the tickets to someone else. We had 2 strollers (one with deflated tires) to get together and three kids that needed diaper changes. We stroll into the zoo and it looks like nothing is open. Yes, we are visiting out of prime zoo season, but the animals don’t go anywhere and you’re still open, so you should look like it. I failed to pack an actual lunch and only packed car snacks and the kids were hungry, after all it was almost noon.
We ventured to the little kid area, praying their would be food available close to their play grounds. No such luck and barely any employees available to ask. I finally just asked another mom and she pointed me to the complete opposite side of the park for our only food option. So, off we went as we quickly looked at the animals on our way- these hill were too much to conquer twice when pushing a deflated stroller.
We passed the area where the shark was supposed to be, but apparently they are getting new ones and therefore cleaning the tanks- so nothing to see there. The polar bear was in his habitat swimming around, but the middle school kids were busy playing on their phones and just sitting right in front of the glass. It seemed like a good portion of the animals were gone and the habitats were closed for the season.
But alas, we made it to our lunch destination and finally had a good animal experience! You can sit outside and basically eat with the giraffes! They are pretty close and quite exciting. The zebras had zero interest in the humans walking and eating by them. The giraffes, on the other hand, were hoping to stretch their necks just far enough to snag some little kids lunch. The tots really enjoyed the dining experience and so we stuck around there for a little while. Besides, we didn’t know what the rest of the zoo would entail and the daunting drive back didn’t seem as appealing either.
As we continued our animal safari through the zoo, we encountered elephants, ostrich, and a jaguar that was playing with a rather large foam block. At this point it was getting to be late in the afternoon and we still had a 2.5 hour drive ahead of us. So, we piled in the car and headed home. This whole trip took 2.5 hours to drive there, 4 hours to drive home (accident and stopping to change and feed kids), and only 3 hours at the zoo. Although I love zoo adventures, I think I’ll wait another 10 years before I consider going back to Pittsburgh.