SCHOOL HOLIDAY FUN
Friend of MLTS, Nicky, recently visited Werribee Open Range Zoo. Here is her review on what was an enjoyable day for the whole family!
With a four-year-old daughter and a two-and-half-year-old son, school holidays can be a challenge. It’s not really possible to keep them entertained all the time but one really special day we have had these holidays was a trip to the Werribee Open Range Zoo.
I do need to mention my son has a rather huge obsession with animals. For Christmas all he wanted was a plastic lion toy which he carries around everywhere and if this particular toy cannot be found he totally loses it!
It takes just over an hour to get to Werribee from where we live in Langwarrin but it’s a really easy drive. Kids are free to get into the zoo during the school holidays (bonus!). Adults are $31.60 each and seniors are $24.50.
The day we visited it was quite warm so arrived early to avoid the heat. We also wanted to get there in time to see the new lion cubs which are only on display for an hour a day, first thing in the morning.
We headed straight to the lion enclosure as the queue to see them was already forming. There were three beautiful little cubs and my kids LOVED it! You have to keep the kids really quiet in there as it can scare the cubs away (which was challenging with my son who wanted to scream with delight!).
I also highly recommend going on the safari bus early in the day as it can get busy and we all know kids are more calm and agreeable earlier in the day! The safari bus trip was a highlight for me as we saw a group of rhinos really close and also two giraffes having a play fight which was incredible. Seeing these amazing African animals roaming in a natural environment is so much more enjoyable than seeing them pacing in their small enclosures at other zoos.
After the safari we went to grab a coffee and there was a small water play area near the hippos where the kids could get wet in the various fountains. Having not known about this I hadn’t packed bathers (pack bathers if you go!) but I did, however, have a change of clothes for both of them so they played in the water while we enjoyed a coffee under the shade. We spent the remainder of the morning walking around and viewing the cheetahs, gorillas, meerkats, wild dogs, monkeys and we also visited the Australian Journey area.
Despite the huge size of the zoo, it is set up really well so that minimal walking is required. We took our own picnic lunch with us (as we always do to keep costs down), there were so many lovely shaded areas, huts and tables to sit and eat your picnic. There is also a playground called ‘Village Dance Playground’ which was fantastic for kids of all ages. My kids could have played there all day.
On the way out we visited the shop and the prices were really reasonable compared to other gift shops. We bought handmade ‘Beads for Wildlife’ which help provide support and education to people in Africa. We also got the kids a little set of monkey cups and bowls and plates which were only $12.
My kids had such an incredible day and my son loved it so much that he took the zoo map to child care and they planned a whole day’s activities around it. It’s adorable when your child has a genuine interest in something. I’m seriously considering becoming a zoo member so I can continue to encourage his interest.
Written by MLTS guest contributor Nicky.