Tuesday, August 21, 2007

Van Saun Park

Otherwise known as the Bergen County Zoological Park. I got a tip from one of my mommy groups that this was a nice zoo to go to. I had pretty low expectations especially since after going to the zoo's website (or lack thereof). The website consisted of hours, ticket prices and not much else.

I figured it was pretty close to our home. At the worst case, we could all go to Ikea and try to get g into the ball pit again (she was less than an inch shy of the 36 in minimum.) I packed some snacks for g, some food for s and off we went.

At 10:30, the 2 parking lots closest to the zoo was already full. We got lucky and got a space just as someone was leaving. The zoo is part of Van Saun park so parking is not limited to zoo visitors. From reviews I have read online, parking seems to be a bad situation. On the bright side, there are many lots around the park.

The zoo was small as all the online reviewers had stated but it was really well maintained. Another plus is the train ride and the carousel. Both of which were very fairly priced ($1/piece) The carousel was a welcome surprise. It was really well maintained. The animals on the carousel does not look like it has been worn or weathered.

The only drawback is the food concession. There was a choice of hotdog or pretzels and that was it. There was a "roadside cafe" outside the zoo that has a slightly expanded menu (chicken fingers, grilled cheese, etc) but not that much more of an upgrade. My suggestion is BRING YOUR OWN. Everyone else seem have gotten the memo. There was more than ample picnic tables, benches strewn everywhere (inside and outside the zoo).

There were age separated playgrounds which was cool and a large area where people were grilling and throwing parties. I saw at least 4 birthday parties complete with man on stilts going on. There was also a clean bathroom for everyone's use. Nice.

Overall, I couldn't have asked for a better park experience.

More gratuitous photos:

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