Hubs and I took booger on his first trip to the Jackson Zoo this week! His aunt and cousin were in town, so we all packed up and went together. It was so much fun! First of all, and I can't stress this enough, you have to get to the zoo EARLY during the summer months. (The zoo opens at 8 a.m. during July for a reason.) While the zoo has incorporated ways to help you beat the heat over the years (misters; more shaded exhibits/areas; some indoor/air-conditioned exhibit space), the majority of the zoo is still outside and HOT. So plan ahead - bring water, wear suncreen/hats, and show up early.
We got there around 8:30 a.m., and by the time we left at around 10 a.m., it was just starting to warm up. We had big fun looking at the elephants and giraffes, getting up close and personal with all the monkeys, and watching the otters frolic. (Clay and I read the Dear Zoo book alot, and we found most of the animals from our book at the Jackson Zoo! I was a little surprised, though, that we didn't see any lions while we there. Am I mistaken? I though the zoo had some lions. Maybe my memory fails . . . )
If you have older kids, you might want to make a stop by the interactive Discovery Zoo on your way out. (It doesn't open until 10 a.m.) And while there are plenty of places to buy food and drink in the zoo, we weren't discouraged from bringing in our own bottled water.
Admission is $6 for adults and $3 for kids. (Kids 2 and under get in free!) Parking at the zoo is $2.
Be aware - you have to drive through a very sketchy part of town to get to the zoo. Chin up - you park on zoo property in a gated lot. But you would THINK that the City of Jackson would make an effort to clean up right around one of its major attractions. Sad, sad, sad.