Of course, this is spring vacation week so I’m here balancing working, writing, blogging, and entertaining my children, somehow getting it all done given the 24 hours there are in a day! However, thanks to Hannah Montana and her alter ego, Miley Cyrus, my husband has taken the kids to the movies and I finally have time to catch you up on our trip to the Bronx Zoo last Friday.What a great way to kick off spring break! The rain held off and the animals were visible and active. Surprisingly it wasn’t too crowded, most likely because it was a holiday weekend and the weather wasn’t blue sky perfect. Just a note — if you plan to visit the Bronx Zoo, Wednesdays are typically the busiest days since the zoo offers pay-what-you-wish donation days. While donation guidelines are suggested, the day tends to attract many local families who can’t afford to pay full price on a regular basis. Therefore, Wednesday can tend to get more crowded at the zoo, especially as the weather warms up.As I’ve written earlier, there is really too much to see at the Bronx Zoo to do it all in a day. When my children were young, we would last about 2-3 hours. Now that they’re older, they go the full day but it still is tough to take everything in. My suggestions for must-sees are the Congo Gorilla Forest , Madagascar, and Tiger Mountain. Personally, we can never leave the zoo without paying a visit to the World of Darkness.I was disappointed to learn that the Skyfari attraction is no longer in service. Skyfari was the gondola that glided high in the air above the park, offering a wonderful bird’s eye view of the animals. Sadly, according to a zoo worker, budget cuts and soaring insurance costs have put this attraction to rest. I fondly remember many rides across the park when I was young, and, as a mother, the struggles to load strollers into the small compartments when taking my children on board. Skyfari will be missed by this family, but I heard that another attraction will most likely takes its place in the future.As I mentioned in an earlier post, April is Earth Month. The Expo was small, but interesting enough to offer a short break from animal watching for the kids. Each took away samples of paper made out of elephant dung; cool, colorful posters for Disneynature’s upcoming feature, Earth; and various other “freebies.” They also got to learn more about our planet.At this time of year, most of the food stands throughout the park aren’t yet open . However, my favorite place to eat lunch is the Dancing Crane Cafe. What I like best is that the restaurant is indoors, there are plenty of tables to eat at, and the food ranges from traditional hot dogs, hamburgers, and pizza to delicious turkey bacon wraps and grilled chicken sandwiches. All are a grade up from the usual fare you find at parks; even the pizza makes my mouth water as I watch my son stretch the mozzarella cheese far away from his mouth. Yes, it’s made fresh, not frozen and heated in a microwave. Prices are reasonable. My children and I ate a good, fairly healthy meal with soft drinks for about $25. Of course, with my zoo membership I got 10% off!What I also like about the Bronx Zoo is that there are places the kids can play and let off steam. For example, in the children’s zoo they love to climb the rope spider web and climb the treehouse and go down the slide. The Tiki Barber playscape opposite the giraffes is another stop where everyone can run, climb, and slide, getting out some energy before taking on the next attraction.I always write about the value of zoo memberships. Here’s a breakdown of my savings that day (mind you, we’ve already gone to the zoo twice this year, so we cleared our initial investment long ago):One adult all attraction pass – $27Two children’s all attraction passes – $42One additional child guest all attraction pass – $21Parking – $12That’s $102 we would have spent if we weren’t members. And that’s not including the 10% discount at lunch and at the gift shop!Next stop – meeting up with the family for some post-Hannah indoor Tiki Golf! Then it’s off to Boston on Friday to visit the Museum of Science (another freebie, thanks to a reciprocal membership!) and walk the Freedom Trail.
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State:Country:About Me:Anne Witkavitch is TMOM's resident sanity expert (Traveling with Sanity Mom) as well as a communications consultant, professional writer/speaker, and avid traveler. She is married and the proud mother of two children.Web site:csuitecommunications.wordpress.com/Brief Bio: