Friday, July 20, 2012

Our Visit to Franklin Park Zoo for Free Fun Friday

We are a zoo loving family, but after last week's crowd of people and crazy parking at Stone Zoo, my husband and I questioned if we should attend Free Fun Friday at Franklin Park Zoo.

I researched Franklin Park Zoo online and discovered they possess lions, tigers, and other big cats that "our" zoo does not. Big Cats are a favorite of our family.

The drive looked doable, just an hour from our house to the outskirts of Boston. The parking seemed ample. The Zoo appeared larger than Stone Zoo and therefore better able to handle the mass of people.

So a plan was made: leave home at 1 PM and arrive about the time most zoo goers exited.

It was a GOOD plan. Truly it was! And it would have worked if Boston police hadn't decided to make traffic "better" by altering the traffic pattern on the main street leading to the park entrance.

Think I'm kidding?

Ellie was more than a little tired of sitting in traffic!

Our drive home took 1 hour 15 minutes. Our drive to Franklin Park Zoo took 2 hours 30 minutes. Half of that time was spent within 5 miles of the park.

After parking we had exactly 1 hour to tour the zoo before they closed for the night. So my husband scanned the zoo map, made a plan to visit our must-see animals, and off we went.

One of the big cats we watched at Franklin Park Zoo.

We squeezed our way through the crowd to see the sleeping lion, a white tiger keeping cool in a pool, a few other big cats, and assorted smaller animals. We tried to visit the gorillas but the indoor exhibit closed before we made our way across the park.

Overall it was a terrible, rotten experience.

Let me be quick to add that our experience is not a reflection on the quality of the zoo. It may be a good zoo. We don't really know because time constraints and hordes of people kept us from enjoying our visit.

The Stephanie's Mommy Brain Zoo animals!

We arrived home tired, hungry, and frustrated. But at least we spent the day together and created a memory we'll look back on and laugh at. Maybe.

I suppose we could return to Franklin Park Zoo on a less crowded day and pay the entrance fee. Except that we still feel a little traumatized and don't want to pay $78 for admission for our family of 6. Frankly, $78 is a whole lot of money for our family!

For now we'll stay close to home and find a nice secluded park to hike instead of participating in Free Fun Fridays!

Have you visited Franklin Park Zoo? Is it worth spending the money to go back?

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Mindi @ Simply Stavish said...

Sorry it was such a rotten trip! At least you got a great picture of the big cat!! :) Seriously traffic in the city is just an unknown in DC which is why we don't get to the National Zoo (which is free) more often. It SHOULD take us about an hour but typically takes us over 2 hours. And then you have to deal with the crowds. Ugh! I do love the zoo but wish it were a bit easier to get to.

Stephanie said...

Thanks, Mindi! At least my kids were troopers and enjoyed the animals. It could have been much worse if one of them had an attitude.

As homeschoolers we're spoiled to going to the zoo during the day and having small crowds. Giant crowds where you have to push your way through a mass of people to see anything make me cranky. :)

Liza said...

wow that would be a heck of a lot of money to take the kids to the zoo! i don't even think i would chance it after an experience like that. so sorry that happened to you. :(

Stephanie said...

Liza, it IS a lot of money. Especially when I can purchase a year's membership at our local zoo for the same amount. Thanks for the sympathy. :)

Amy said...

So sorry! Good to know! I remember reading that Sturbridge Village had record (like maybe most ever in a day?) visitors at last year's Free Friday. At the time, I thought I wouldn't have wanted to be there then! I think the "Free Fridays" are a good way to discover if there is something you would like to do again--but I'm guessing they're all pretty packed out!

BTW, I think you will definitely laugh about it someday! Yes, it was family time together--and memories were made! Now, maybe this will be a family joke for the future!

Crafty Cousins said...

Oh no! Sorry you had such a bad experience. We had a fun family outing planned a few years ago where everything that could have gone wrong did. We laugh at it now! It's a funny memory! Hopefully yours will be too!


Sennie said...

Oh no! At least it was free.. We had a similar experience at Hershey's Chocolate World. I would have been so mad it we had had to pay.
Here from the Hop.

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