We have such a good time when we go to the zoo in Topeka. For one thing, it is small, and easy to get around in. It used to be kind of sad and run down, but improvements have been made over the years and every time we go, it gets better and better.
Everything is clean. Everyone is friendly.
There is a 106 year old carousel in the park next to the zoo, and I've never seen it busy. Most times when we go, there are very few people there. This time, we were the only ones visiting this gorgeous, old ride, for about an hour or so. The cost is only $1.25, or 15 ride tickets for $15 (includes the train too).
It's so cheap, and there were no lines, so we rode over and over and over. Well, at least they did, I get a bit dizzy just watching it go around. If I'd joined in for multiple rides, I'd probably still be spinning around in my head today.
The attendants are always friendly to kids and since there was no one else there, the young man at the controls let the girls play on the horses, giant chickens, zebras, etc. trying each one out before choosing the perfect steed for the ride.
The adjacent park has rose gardens, a big community pool, a new play ground, trails, and a very, very old play ground made up of giant cement animals to climb on. When my kids were little, there were tunnels, but those have since been covered up. I'm glad the goofy animals are still there to play on.
And play in.
Once you get inside the zoo (only $15 for three of us for the day) it's an easy walk through it. With some interactive sites along the way, like this African bush camp. We usually can play jungle explorer there for an hour or so.
This zoo has had a checkered past, losing accreditation a couple of times. But major changes have been implemented and it is a sweet, little place to visit now and seems to be very well run and kept up beautifully. It is a quick get away for us, only 20 minutes from my house to the gate.
My grand fairies love having lions to climb on.
And a "cweepy" (according to Dewdrop) cave where you can visit the cats up close and personal.
Bigger zoos of course, have bigger attractions, but I don't think any of them can beat Topeka for price, accessibility, and pure charm.
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