Sunday, July 3, 2011

Space Farms Zoo and Museum

Way back in November of last year, at the same Tricky Tray where I won the Family Membership to our local museum (that we are definitely enjoying) we also won four passes to a local zoo.  This particular zoo is one I went to as a child and took Steph a few times when she was younger but haven’t been to in at least 10 years.

Yesterday I decided to take the kids to the zoo and check it out.  First thing I realized is that it’s not nearly as “local” as I remembered.  It took us just over an hour to get there with the kids complaining the whole time.  It was a nice drive through the farms and rolling hills of Sussex County NJ.
The zoo had a mix of naturalistic exhibits and old concrete floored cages.  It was nicely spread out with lots of shade but Georgie still started getting cranky from the heat.  Vicki really enjoyed seeing the animals.

Petting a baby yak…..
and feeding the deer.
This zoo had a lot of animals that could be fed or pet through the cages.  In addition to the usual corn and pellets provided to feed certain animals, many people bring their own food to feed some of the larger animals.   For the larger, dangerous animals the zoo has low iron fences set about 3 feet back from the chain link cages.  One of the times I was there with Steph, a man lifted his young daughter over the outer fence to retrieve some peaches that feel between the two fences while they were feeding the grizzly bear.  Yeah, people can be pretty stupid.  The zoo evidently doesn’t have any policy against feeding the animals – any of the animals.

I was mean and only let my kids feed the animals where food was provided.  Georgie still likes to feed the animals one kernel of corn or one pellet of food at at time. 
Vicki liked trying to pronounce coati…
and liked the jaguar “just like Diego’s friend”.  The prairie dogs were also a big hit.
The museum part consisted of multiple barn-like structures full of antiques – cars, horse-drawn wagons, toys, artifacts, a replica of an old covered wagon…
a dog propelled treadmill used for churning butter from 1860’s.
The kids weren’t that interested in the antiques, except the toys which they wanted to know if they could take home. 

It was an okay day but I think in the future I’ll stick with our much more local zoo (one I used to docent at) – it’s closer, cheaper, has more naturalistic exhibits and more educational information on the animals.

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