This weekend we finally found some time to head out to the Oakland Zoo. Since it was Black Friday, we figured the zoo would be quiet (which is was for the morning at least), so off we went.
There were somethings that were really great and other things we really didn’t care for. Here is the breakdown:
Oakland Zoo Highlights
- The animals were out and about so we got to see all of them. It’s November so the weather was a lot cooler but it still got uncomfortably hot in the sun.
- The zoo wasn’t that big so we were able to see all the animals and still get home in the early afternoon.
- We got to ride a gondola to the new part of the zoo and lookout over the bay. It was free when we went but I’m not sure if they will be increasing prices when the upper area is complete.
- There are a ton of washrooms throughout the park so you’re never anxious about getting a toddler to the toilet.
Oakland Zoo “Lowlights”
- You have to pay for kids 2 and over. Although our little guy is getting more and more interested, we still don’t feel we should have to pay $18 admission for him. Especially when adult admission is $22. Just a quick FYI – parking is $10.00 for the day but that’s pretty standard for a zoo.
- So, once you’ve paid for your toddler to enter, you pretty much pay for everything else. There is a small gondola that gives you a bird’s eye view of the park. This is $3.00 per person. There was also a small train that we didn’t really look into but wouldn’t be surprised if you had to pay for that too.
- The food was outrageously expensive for the smallest portion of food. Expensive food should not be all that surprising but this was just too much money for very little food. Pack a picnic lunch to enjoy if you can.
- Speaking of food, there was only one restaurant to buy proper lunch from. There is a kids’ section that had an open kiosk but they only offered snack food and PB and J sandwiches.
Overall, we had a great time together and had a great time exploring. We got to see some animals we never really had before – like a hyena for example. But, at the end of day, we won’t be making a return visit as we’ve seen all there was to see and pretty much paid more than we were willing to. There are better places to spend your money.
We still have 7 months left of our San Francisco stint and we still have a long list of things we want to do and see. We were able to get more done this weekend too but more on that later. If you’re at all familiar with the Bay Area, we would appreciate suggestions for things to do and see. Since we only have limited weekends available, we definitely want to make it as worth while as possible!