You may be wondering " How did we plan a family trip to the zoo during a pandemic?" Chile with 2 babies now, we desperately needed to get out of the house and away from familiar ground. I will share with you how we safely navigated our fun family day trip to the zoo. My husband Robert chose Turtle Back Zoo. Its rated NJ's #1 Zoo so we decided to give it a try.
Know before you go
The zoo facilities have strict guidelines in place that practice safety precautions. Visitors are led through roped off area just outside the zoo parking lot to be temperature scanned under tents. Guests are discouraged from congregating in any particular area for long. Masks are necessary. Throughout the zoo, guests are directed to enter areas in only one direction and exit far from entry points. I must say however, some areas were difficult to manage with a stroller (or for handicap) since ramps were at times not accessible but Robert helped carry baby Leila.
What to take to the zoo with a toddler
- face mask
- small insulated cooler bag for ice
- fruit (pre-peeled, pre-washed, and pre-cut)
- sanitizing wipes and spray
- sun block
- SPF sun hat
- light jacket
What to bring to the zoo with a baby
- A baby on body carrier or
- A stroller if you cannot bare to carry the extra weight
- Socks for baby
- baby sun hat with SPF protection
- Light cotton blanket to shield baby from harsh sun rays
- a little fan when the heat is unbearable
Our girls both really enjoyed the zoo animals. For Nyaeli especially, she was infatuated with how real and close the animals were to her. After the zoo, and just outside the zoo's back yard we ventured off to one of Essex County's 22 parks. There Nyaeli was WOWed by the large pirate ships at the beautiful Regatta Playground tucked into the trees just across the lake.
Besides the playground, families can also enjoy paddle boating, fishing, an outdoor picnic area, dine at a Waterside Restaurant or recline at the many outdoor loungers spread throughout the park.
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