After weeks of our city being in an on-and-off lockdown, we are slowly relaxing our restrictions. It’s our chance to have a quick (and safe) field trip with the family. Here’s what to expect when you visit Avilon Zoo.
Our field trip destination was Avilon Zoo. It’s a 7.5-hectare property that houses about 3,000 exotic wildlife that I couldn’t visualize until I set foot in the zoo!
For weeks, Kerrigan would say she hopes she could repeat time so she could go back to the places we’ve been too like the park, playground, farm, and zoo. I didn’t know what to say but to reassure her that we need to be patient. As soon as places reopen, we will be the first to visit a zoo. I love how things could manifest themselves. It didn’t take long until we were in a car heading to the farthest zoo we’ve ever been to since the onset of the pandemic.
But before you take your family to Avilon Zoo, here are a few reminders.
- It’s a long drive if you’re from the South
- The zoo accepts walk-ins for 800 Pesos, but it’s only 600 when you booked your tickets online
- You’re in for a warm day but bring your rain gear, too
- There was a small snack bar at the zoo, so you may want to bring your food
- Some animal enclosures or cages are within arms reach to small children
- You can navigate the entire zoo by following the zoo’s smart number system from 1 to 70
- Bring cash to purchase animal food, souvenirs, and snacks
Caught on a feeding frenzy at Avilon Zoo!
We are just as excited as you are when the thought of bringing the kids somewhere educational and fun comes to mind. If only we could take them right at this moment, we would!
But going to places takes a significant amount of preparation and travel confirmation for kids. You have to call the establishment if kids are allowed to a place or not. Not doing so will put your travel plans at risk of cancellation. In other cases, establishments that allowed kids despite travel and age group restrictions are fined or, worse, permanently closed. I’m in this group where people would give tips and scoops of places to bring our kids. They would share areas that conduct checkpoints meant to restrict kids from visiting a site. Because these days, kids are no longer allowed to use the playground, beach, and in some quarantine categories, they must not leave the house! So, yes, being in these groups gives the must-visit recommendations (restriction-free) and shows what parents would do to have some semblance of normalcy for their kids.
Looking for other travel-safe tourist attractions for you and your family?
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It’s a long drive if you’re from the South
Our journey took about an hour and a half, plus waiting time to get our car parked near the zoo’s entrance. For kids who’ve been stuck at home for a long time, a 30-minute drive might already be too long; what more if it’s an hour and a half long drive? Prepare to be asked the “are we there yet?” question over and over again with a follow-up comment like “I’m not used to long drives anymore” or “my butt is tired of sitting. Make sure to set the expectations of your kids about the journey, including travel time. Plan together on what activities you can do in the car to keep everyone entertained. Bring fun and entertaining toys for young travelers, see some of our suggestions below.
The zoo accepts walk-ins for 800 Pesos, but it’s only 600 when you booked your tickets online
Since everything has to be planned when traveling with your kids, it’s better to book and reserve your tickets online. Try booking your Avilon Zoo trip via Klook for only 600 Pesos. You don’t want to be at risk of getting in a place that has a headcount limit. You might be compelled to wait in the car with your excited kids or, worse cancel your visit because of overcapacity. Aside from getting cheaper tickets, you could avoid crowded establishments when you get your tickets online.
Reserve your Avilon Zoo tickets here.
You’re in for a warm day but bring your rain gear, too
May is one of the hottest weather in a tropical country like the Philippines, but it’s also in a weird transition from summer to wet monsoon. We were soaking in sweat at least halfway through our zoo trip when suddenly it started raining. So, be sure you have the usual extra clothes, sunblock, caps, and all other summer getups along with a raincoat or umbrella so you won’t have to get stranded in any of the feline enclosures for half an hour. Yup, we were stranded and took shelter at the feline enclosure together with the wild cats.
There was a small snack bar at the zoo, so you may want to bring your own food
As you enter the zoo, you will find the first snack bar and a picnic area for the guests. We had popcorn, kropek, and an ice-cold soda drinks! And I think there were hot-dog sandwiches and noodle soup, but I’m not sure if it was always available. The food choices are pretty limited, so you may want to bring packed food and snacks for your children. And, of course, get water in vacuum insulated containers to keep them cool despite your zoo tour.
Some animal enclosures or cages are within arms reach to small children
It was nice to see animals like orangutans, giraffes, lions, and so on up close, but some animal enclosures and cages are way too close to humans. It’s best to keep a close eye on your children to avoid animal-related accidents in the zoo. Remind your family to maintain at least a two-feet distance from cages because some cages have wide gaps in them. It’s easy to slip a finger or two into those gaps.
You can navigate the entire zoo by following the zoo’s smart number system from 1 to 70
No map? No problem! I enjoyed the fact that we didn’t need any printed map to navigate our way in the zoo. The zoo’s smart numbering system helped us navigate the entire zoo without a need for a tour guide. We didn’t miss seeing any animals because we followed the number system. Sure, it’s nice to talk to someone to know more about the animals, but I understand that the zoo may have limited employees at the moment. Get your Google Lens ready to take photos for quick animal fact-checking.
Bring cash to purchase animal food, souvenirs and snacks
Aside from animal sight-seeing and nature tripping in the zoo, you could also feed the animals and buy as many toys and souvenirs you want for as long as you bring cash. Since the pandemic, we are more inclined to purchase via digital transactions like mobile banking, credit card, and other digital banking means. So, for the zoo and other park tours, bring some cash because I didn’t see any ATMs in the area.
I’m raising an animal enthusiast who dreams of having her own (sustainable) zoo one day.
Photo op with the ostrich
“All we have to decide is what to do with the time that is given us.” – Tolkien
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