Last week, with just a few days left before my summer teaching schedule began, I wanted to get in a few field trips with my boys. (No worries we will be going on more but this week we had the most time for it.) As I presented them with a list of choices, they challenged me.
They wanted something different. They wanted to go somewhere new. Where should we go? What should we do? And in a funny, kinda surreal moment, I knew I could look to my own site, Jersey Family Fun for ideas. ;)
Knowing I didn’t want to travel far I pulled up my Garden State Parkway – Exit by Exit Challenge directory. At exit 74 is the Popcorn Park Zoo in Lacey Township. Perfect, not too far away and still something new for the boys.
I didn’t tell them where we were going I just gave them clues along the way to keep them guessing.
- We’ve never been there before, but it has something they’ve seen before.
- There is water, but there are no large bodies of water.
- They have popcorn, but no movies.
- They rescue things others didn’t take good care of.
- Some things maybe asleep, some may be awake.
Before we knew it we were at the Popcorn Park Zoo. We ate our lunch outside in the picnic grove before heading into the zoo. It’s a nice shady spot with 3 or 4 tables and several peacocks and other birds. With lunch finished up we headed inside the Popcorn Park Zoo. Admission is $5 for adults, $4 for children under 12. Children under 3 are free. This is also the spot to buy popcorn if you want to feed the animals.
We started with the reptile houses. Even though some exhibits were empty we were able to see some cool iguanas. Next up, we headed outside to see the rest of the animals. There is a beautiful aviary. My little boys enjoyed seeing all the birds, especially one of the colorful ones. Behind us danced or perhaps fought two male peacocks. Popcorn Park Zoo has so many beautiful peacocks some will walk beside you. Some are perched above in the trees. Others are resting with the animals in the cages. (No joke we saw peacocks in with pigs, turtles, goats.)
From there you can take the sandy trails in several directions. You can head toward the left to see pigs, toward the right to see camels or down the middle to see horses. We headed to the right and watched the camels and llamas for a while. Then, we headed straight to visit with a few bears. But the beauty of the horses distracted us and we headed towards the left to visit with them.
We spent most of our afternoon weaving in and out of exhibits and paths. We saw:
- rare monkeys & exhibits
- many different turtles
- wild hogs/pigs
Many of the animals if not hall have been rescued from other areas. There are exhibit signs that will tell you the animal’s name and their own personal story of how they came to live at the Popcorn Park Zoo.
There were so many animals to see that knowing which way to go at times became a challenge. We wanted to see it all. In fact, it’s probably our only real complaint about the Popcorn Park Zoo. There were no maps, signs, or staff members to direct us, so we often just took a guess at wich way to go. While we saw lots of animals I can’t be sure we saw all of them. I felt like we missed out on some.
Other Popcorn Park Zoo Details
- Strollers ?? — To bring or not to bring?? It really depends on your stroller. Can it handle sandy paths? My friend had told me about the pathways so for our trip I let our preschooler walk. He loved the freedom. But if your stroller rides easily over the sand, feel free to bring it the pathways are large enough to maneuver through.
- Bathrooms – The bathrooms for the Popcorn Park Zoo are located
outside the zoo entrance inside a portable trailer.
- Gift Shop & refreshments – The zoo does have a small gift shop at the exit. There is also a food truck outside the zoo selling refreshments.
All in all my boys did enjoy seeing such a variety of animals at the Popcorn Park Zoo. Check out our Popcorn Park Zoo Facebook Photo Gallery.
What do you think? Have you been to the Popcorn Park Zoo?