Visiting Riverbanks Zoo with kids when you’re pregnant may sound daunting, especially given the fact that it covers 170 walking acres. Luckily, there are various indoor exhibits and lots of sitting areas. Here are our best tips for pregnant mamas, especially with other kids in tow:
Don’t Try to do the Entire Zoo in One Trip
Riverbanks offers affordable season pass options. So if you have a season pass, don’t worry about trying to see all of the exhibits every time. Limit your visit to a portion of the zoo or gardens and then rotate. Your kids will be more entertained and you won’t have to walk as far.
Buy a Souvenir Cup You Can Refill for Free with Ice Water
It will be much cooler than the drinking fountain or any water you may want to bring in.
Get a Map and Locate all the Bathrooms
This is especially helpful if you followed the above tip on getting ice water.
Go to Indoor Exhibits with Sitting Areas
Here are our two favorite indoor exhibits because they are the most interactive for kids while also providing seating for moms:
- Aquarium Reptile Complex– To keep your kids occupied while you sit, try playing the “Finding Dory” game. The main exhibit in the aquarium has at least 3 royal blue tang fish that you can view from various angles. You can also encourage your kids to find other characters from the movie.
- Birdhouse– To keep your kids occupied while you rest, bring pennies for the spiral coin funnel. Contributions go towards the conservation of endangered animal’s habitats. The birdhouse also has rocks for kids to climb on and several hand-on exhibits.
- There are also other sitting areas in the following indoor exhibits, but the exhibits only feature 1-2 kinds of animals so your kids may not last as long:
- Sea lions
- Discovery Center (featuring naked mole rats)
Visit Shaded Outdoor Locations with Sitting Areas
Below are our favorite areas because there is plenty for your children to see and do while you can rest your feet and cool off.
- Playground– Located right by the carousel, the playground is usually in the shade during the day, making it an ideal location to rest. In addition to playing on the equipment, your kids can also go on a bug hunt!
- Dino Dig– Located in the Botanical Gardens, the Dino Dig sand pit has several shaded parts. Shovels and brushes are provided so your explorers can find dinosaur bones. You can also have them bring a small sand toy (my son prefers trucks).
- Splash Pad– Located in the Botanical Gardens, the splash zone at Waterfall Junction is open from March-October. There are tables and chairs located nearby, making it a great location for pregnant mamas to rest while their kids cool off.