My boys are only three years apart in age, but at the particular ages they’re at right now, they seem to have a lot of trouble agreeing on things they like to do. My oldest is a few weeks shy of his 11th birthday and he’s got a major case of the tweens going on. No matter what I suggest, it’s not cool. Even things that are very cool, he always finds something to complain about. My little guy on the other hand, who is just shy of his 8th birthday, is still a little kid and much more agreeable to pretty much anything I suggest doing. Thankfully there is one thing that they both still agree on – the zoo.
**Disclosure: My family and I received complimentary admission to the zoo in order to facilitate this post. All opinions expressed here are strictly my own and were not influenced in any way**
My family and I recently had a chance to visit the Stone Zoo in Stoneham, MA for the very first time recently and I have to say that I was really impressed. I’ve been to my share of zoos over the years and unlike its larger sister zoo, the Franklin Park Zoo, the Stone Zoo is much more low-key and smaller in size, making it a great place to visit with little ones. The day we were there it was not very crowded and it’s not too far from where we live, so I’m over here scratching my head about why we’ve never gone there before.
The day we were, we got a chance to watch the American alligators get a little snack at the seasonal American alligator exhibit (YUCK!!).
The boys were also excited to have an encounter with one of the young gators, too! They each got a chance to pet it before I got there with my camera.
Another thing we really enjoyed was watching the black bear brothers, Smoky and Bubba. One of the zoo keepers was there and fed them some blueberries so that they would come up nice and close to the window – and that’s exactly what they did. It was very cool to be that close to the bears.
We also spent a little time watching the amazing agility of the white-cheeked gibbons, Kien, Iggy, and Paddy, as they swung and climbed around. They are so cute. The boys are fans of big cats, so they loved seeing the spotted snow leopards, Harry and Kira, Chessie the jaguar and Blue the cougar! It was pretty hot the day we were there, so they were all sleeping (I don’t blame them), but we still got a chance to see them all up close.
Our family has been to some pretty big zoos (San Diego and the National Zoo in DC) and quite frankly, they are a bit overwhelming for younger kids. I think the Stone Zoo has just the right amount of animals and exhibits.
In addition to all the animals at the zoo, they have a nice playground area, a petting zoo, a Reindeer Encounter and you can watch Alligator Training, Gibbon Training and Cougar Training if you’re there at the right time. Plus, the zoo has an awesome show called Masters of Flight – Birds of Prey. It’s a great show and it’s included in your admission price. I would get there a few minutes early, though, because the amphitheater fills up fast.
My two got a big kick out of the reindeer:
When you get hungry, The Safari Grill offers a selection of wraps, sandwiches, burgers, fries, and many other kid-friendly foods – or you can bring your own lunch and have a picnic at one of their picnic tables.
Oh, and did I mention the rides? There are two rides at the zoo: the Monkey Mayhem Barrel Ride and the Children’s Train Each ride costs $3 per person.
The Stone Zoo is open year-round! Parking at the zoo is free and easy.
(April 1 – September 30)
10:00 a.m. – 5:00 p.m. weekdays
10:00 a.m. – 6:00 p.m. weekends and major holidays
Stone Zoo Ticket Price:
Senior (62+): $13.95
Child (ages 2-12): $11.95
Children under 2: Free
Zoo New England, home to Boston’s Franklin Park Zoo and Stoneham’s Stone Zoo, is excited to kick off the season of the #zoofie. While you’re at either zoo, be sure to snap a selfie while you’re at the Zoo and share it on Twitter, Instagram and Facebook using the designated hashtag #zoofie!
The Stone Zoo is located at 149 Pond Street in Stoneham, MA!
So tell me, what’s your favorite animal at the zoo?