Going to the zoo can be one of the most enjoyable family outings nearly anytime of the year. Not only does going to the zoo give you and your kids a great chance to connect, but the zoo is also a way for your kids to acquire new information about animals and nature while also burning some energy. However, as fun as the zoo can be, not packing for it properly can turn a fun day into one of frustration or tears. If you're planning a family outing to the zoo, here are 10 necessities to bring:
Nothing can spoil a family outing faster than a sunburnt kid. Not only are sunburns painful, but also they're very dangerous for both you and your child. Before leaving the house, make sure to lather sunscreen on both your and your kids, and pack the bottle for reapplication halfway through the day.
If you're a parent, you know how much your kids eat, and how providing your child with a snack can really save the day when tears are on the way. The night before your zoo trip, pack a snack bag full with snacks that are both delicious and nutritious. Dried fruit, nuts, cheese sticks, jerky, fruit, and kids' energy bars are all great options to fuel your family.
Your family needs to stay hydrated, and all that zoo walking will require extra H20. Pack a refillable water bottle for each member of your family, and try to stay away from sugary beverages, such as soda, which will dehydrate your family more as well as cause an energy crash later in the day.
4. Wet Wipes
Let's face it: kids are messy. Whether it's from eating their snacks, touching the animals, or putting their hands in something sticky, there's a good chance that you'll be requiring more than one wet wipe throughout the day. You probably keep a bunch on hand anyway, but make sure to pack some extra for this family outing.
5. Change of Clothes
Just as wet wipes are a prerequisite to a family outing, a change of clothes is also necessary, especially if your children aren't fully potty trained yet. Even if they are, spills and messes happen, and having an extra set of clothes for your child to change into can make the day go a whole lot smoother in the chance that an accident does occur.
6. A Camera
Alright mom and dad, this item is more for you than your little ones, but nonetheless, we feel it's important to include. While your children are goggling over the animals, it's probable that you're goggling over just how cute your kids are. Make sure you pack a camera so that when that picture-perfect moment happens, you're armed and ready to capture it.
7. An Itinerary
When you're traveling with kids, having a plan in advance of what you want to see and when you want to see it can improve the quality of your outing and provide for comfort of mind. By not planning in advance, you risk missing the bird show, the elephant feeding, or the tucked-away penguin exhibit. Before you head to the zoo, find a zoo map or schedule of events and map out a plan.
8. First Aid Kit
A scraped knee or cut can cause even the strongest of children to burst into tears, but most moms and dads know that a Band-Aid can turn that frown upside down. Make sure your first aid kit is packed and ready for your day out, and include plenty of Band-Aids, antiseptic cream, and wipes in your kit. For more serious injuries, the zoo should have a first aid center.
If you don't want to spend a fortune by purchasing lunch at the zoo, you can easily avoid paying for your meal by simply packing a family lunch in advance. Find a spot in the shade to sit, and you're set to go.
Don't forget to pack your tickets! If you want to get coupons at the zoo or purchase tickets on the day of, you can do that, too. In this case, make sure you pack plenty of cash or your credit card, and make sure to pack you ID.
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