Denver Kids

Denver Zoo
By Linda Collison & Bob Russell

Our nieces Elinor and Alanna liked the zebras the best. Until they saw the hyena. And then it was the lions. It's easy to be fickle at the zoo! On a weekday afternoon in early autumn the Denver Zoo at City Park an ideal place for a family outing.

We hadn't been in years — since our own kids were little — and we found quite a fewchanges. The Tropical Discovery exhibit was new to us. The humid 45-foot glass pyramid is filledwith thousands of tropical plants and exotic animals — beautiful blue poisonous frogs,beetles the size of small turtles, and neon green snakes (harmless, unless you're a tropical mouse).The Primate Panorama is a 5-acre natural habitat for everyone's favorites — monkeys, apes,and other shirttail relations.

Most important, we discovered that modern zoos don't just cage animals up and charge youmoney to look at them. Modern zoos work to save endangered species and habitats througheducation and research. The snow leopard, the Siberian tiger, the black rhino, the Siamese crocodile, and the Komodo dragon are all threatened species represented at the Denver Zoo.

The zoo offers free days to Denver residents several times a year. If you can afford to take yourfamily to the zoo (kids under four are free) you should avoid free days because they're verycrowded and parking is nearly impossible. Weekdays during the fall, winter, and spring are the least-crowded times. Be sure to rent a wagon by the main entrance if you have children under six. Even big four-year-olds eventually get tired of walking.

Where: 2300 Steele Street and Twenty-Third Avenue at City Park.
When: Open daily from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.
Activities: The Denver Zoo hosts many educational programs as well as pure entertainment — summer outdoor concerts featuring local and nationally recognized performers, and a winter holiday lights display. Call for current information.
Facilities: Handicap-accessible restrooms, wheelchairs and wagons for rent; picnic tables, pavilions for parties, food concessions.
Be sure to bring: Extra money for snacks, drinks, and souvenirs. Wear comfortable walking shoes and dress in layers.

© Article copyright Pruett Publishing.


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