Outings with Autism: The Zoo
Finding things to do with your family when you have a child on the spectrum can be a daunting task. You want to find a good place that will keep their interest, while keeping the number of people to a minimum to control any meltdowns. During the summer there are quite a few parks to visit, but winter time can be a little different. So where do you go?
One place that we as a family have found to be perfect during the winter time is the zoo. During the summer time it can be a bear, as there are so many people that go. But during the winter time the zoo has few visitors, making the experience less stressful for our kids. This last visit our youngest started naming some of the animals, which was awesome.
At Hogle Zoo in Salt Lake City, there are several exhibits that are worth attending. First, the Elephant Encounter is always popular, and well built. You can see the animals from less crowded spots that are still shady in the summer and somewhat sunny in winter. Next is the Highland Terrace exhibit, which houses the tigers, snow leopard, leopard, pallas cat and the lynxes (three brothers). There is also the carousel that is a favorite, kiddie play land with train ride (a staple at the zoo for as long as I can remember), and opening this summer the new Rocky Shores exhibit.
But don't think it's just the zoo in Salt Lake City that we enjoy! Our second favorite zoo that the kids enjoy is the San Francisco Zoo. The price is right, it's part of the American Zoo and Aquarium Association, so as members of Hogle Zoo we get a discount on admission there. It's just a little larger than Hogle Zoo, and has plenty to do. If you are in San Francisco you probably already know about the zoo, but if you are visiting and want to avoid a lot of the crowds and tourists, visit the Zoo.Continued on the next page