Saturday, August 15, 2015

Fun for everyone at the Pittsburgh Zoo & PPG Aquarium #lovepgh #zooforall #yyzlovespgh

A week ago today we were just starting our road trip vacation through Pennsylvania. Our first stop was Grove City for shopping, and then we headed to Pittsburgh. The first stop in Pittsburgh was the Pittsburgh Zoo & PPG Aquarium - and we ALL loved it. In fact, my Mom has declared this stop her very favourite out of our whole trip, and my Mom has visited Zoos all over the world, so you know this one is impressive.

If you're road tripping it to Pittsburgh, the Zoo has you covered with free parking. It was about a 20-minute drive from our hotel downtown.

You start your trip by using an escalator (a warm welcome for those of us used to that killer hill at the Toronto Zoo to see the Canadian animals). The Zoo is best seen by following a counter-clockwise circle (view map). There were a lot of families there as we went on a Saturday, but all the enclosures had several viewing points, were large, and were landscaped beautifully. (If I wouldn't have been its dinner, I would have loved to hang out with the lions and their waterfall).

The 77 acre zoo has all the animals you're looking to see - elephants, giraffes, tigers, lions, monkeys - 4,000 animals call the zoo home. When we first arrived a lot of the animals were sleeping, but as we grew closer to feeding time they became much more active and enjoyable to watch.

I loved how the Zoo displayed facts visually - we saw both the amount of food an elephant eats in a day as well as a polar bear. They also had QR codes on signage at many of the enclosures that linked to more information.

We ate lunch at the Jambo Grill. The chicken fingers are delicious, and for the amount of food you get, the prices are very reasonable. Of course, there are no lids or straws. We purchased a refill cup for Hannah to use to avoid spills (as it has a plastic lid and plastic straw).

As an added bonus, this Zoo also has an Aquarium, which is only slightly smaller than Ripley's in Toronto. We spent a lot of time in here, especially when Hannah "found" Dory, and wanted to continually to say hi to her every time she swam by (I can't wait until we watch Finding Nemo since she clearly didn't know how hilarious this was). The Aquarium has penguins, a turtle rescue and sharks (of course). It is also air conditioned, which was nice as the day we visited was hot and sunny.

The Zoo has plenty of things for kids - there are numerous play areas. Hannah loved checking out the Working Wild Exhibit. I loved playing Turtle Operation in that area. She also loved the slides near the sea lions and the playground near the kangaroos. We couldn't get her out of the meerkat area - she loved crawling through the tunnels. You couldn't get me out of the underwater viewing for the sea otters and the sharks - I loved walking underneath the shark tunnel!

We ended the day with a ride on the zoo carousel near the entrance...and taking two new friends home - a stuffed penguin for Hannah named Joey and a tortoise named Buc for me.

Entrance fees for adults are $15 and children (2-13) $13. We all couldn't get over how much this place had to offer - we ending up spending the entire day there, when we had only planned a few hours.

There is a monorail to move you around the zoo at an additional charge. We found the only hill (NOTHING compared to the aforementioned hill at the Toronto Zoo) when getting to the aquarium a bit tiresome. It's easily walkable, and unless napping, Hannah preferred to walk with us to see all the animals.

Have you visited the Pittsburgh Zoo & PPG Aquarium?

Disclosure: I received free entrance for the purpose of this review from Visit Pittsburgh. As always, opinions on this blog are my own.

© 2015 YYZ Bambina. All Rights Reserved.

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