If you love animals or wildlife parks, then Bearizona is for you. We traveled to Williams, Arizona where just outside this small town is a self-driving wildlife park featuring roaming black bears, wolves, deers, bisons, and so many more wildlife in an open environment. You must keep your windows shut and car doors locked especially in the bear and wolves area. The experience is amazing to see the animals in a more natural habitat, playing, climbing trees, and sometimes fighting amongst themselves.
Every time you drive through it is a different experience. Sometimes the animals can be lazy, other times playful, and sometimes mischievous. This is a completely unique experience compared to your standard zoo. They also offer a guided tour bus at no additional fee that has open air windows and a guide talking and feeding animals along the way.
They even have a separate walking area that features smaller animals like the bear cubs, foxes, white peacocks, and jaguars. Another highlight was their Bird of Prey show in which various owls and hawks fly just inches above the audiences head. They have added a huge new gift shop and indoor restaurant that is beautifully decorated like the caverns of the Grand Canyon.
Bearizona is truly a gem and we drove specifically from California to spend 2 days there. We went on the tour of the park numerous times each day and we never knew what to expect. Great for kids and worth the price.
One of our favorite places to visit while in Orlando, Florida is Gatorland. We returned for our second visit and it delivered again. Some newly added features were the feeding of the smaller gators with a pole. Similar to fishing they would attach the fish to a string on a stick and would untie once the young gators took a hard enough bite and pull.
The gator wrestling was enjoyable as an audience member picked a feisty one named Shrek that gave the wrangler all that he could handle. Once again to see these creatures so up close is always exciting and awe-inspiring. Don’t forget to journey beyond the breeding grounds to see the deers, nile crocodiles, and many other assortments of gators.
Over the summer took my kids to SeaWorld in San Diego and it was a blast. So many interactive shows and exhibits, my kids really enjoyed feeding the batrays, seals, and flamingos. There is an additional cost to purchase the food. The shows were great as well including the Orca Encounters show and Dolphin Days show that will get you soaked if you are sitting in the soak zone.
Other shows include the Sealion and Otter comedy show which was funny and entertaining, but this past summer they had the Cirque Electrique show that was amazing. Only showing at night, these acts performed in the amphitheater that faced the bay and the performers had incredible circus stunts over the water.
Tips: We purchased the weekday ticket to save money and avoid the crowds. We also got the All You Can Eat dining pass, which allows you to get an entree, dessert, and drink once every hour.
If you live in Southern California, the Aquarium of the Pacific inn Long Beach has to be one of the best deals for your family. The annual membership pass gives you plenty of time to enjoy all that the Aquarium offers throughout the year. Their exhibits ranges from Sharks, Sealions, Otters, Penguins, Rays, and so much more. We have been members for numerous years and they often offer exclusive member events like Adult Prom which is a dress up evening event for Adults only.
Tip: Lorikeet birds cost an additional fee, but if you go at 10am when that part of the exhibit opens, you will be swarmed by flocks of hungry Lorikeet parakeets. Fun and a little bit scary…enjoy!
We went to the La Jolla Cave beach and was surprised by sea lions so nearby on the beach. They swim just off the shore and relax on nearby rocks. Be careful as the waves and rocks can be dangerous for swimming so if you want to go snorkeling you will need to move just a little bit off to the side where the rocks are less of a concern. Sea lions appear playful and cute but keep your distance as they are wild animals and are not meant to be touched or petted.
Had a chance to take the kids on a boat tour at the Redondo Beach pier with a windows on the bottom level that gives an underwater view. The tour costs $15/adult and $10/children and last about 40 minutes in the harbor.
First they will feed the fish from above and draw the fish to the viewing area which you can watch from below the deck. The tour continues through the harbor to an up-close look at the sea lion dock and you can watch them play/fight and bark at each other. Overall a good experience and would recommend this as a quick tour that doesn’t require too much planning or time commitment.
Check out the Looking Glass Semi-Submarine
For our family road trip we travelled to Orlando, Florida and went to a gator theme park called Gatorland. As we reached there you can see that there were huge birds that were black or white. The tickets were at a reasonable price but, I surely recommend getting the AAA discount. Once we got our tickets we saw our first alligator there, it was a medium sized guy and it was also sleeping.
There was a huge habitat that hold both crocs and gators with a small sand bar in the middle. We did not notice at first but in the water were fish that we believed were food for the gators and crocs. We even saw a fish food dispenser to feed the fish with pellets only for a quarter. In the middle, were baby crocs and gators. A staff woman was holding a baby gator that you can touch for free and it is so cute.
After we ate, we went to this show called, Gator Wrestling Show. There were two guys, the first one grabbed a Gator by the tail out of the water and told us how the gator eyes can pop in and out. Then he did crazy tricks where he put his chin on top of the gators mouth. His partner began to sing putting the gator to sleep and the 1st guy started tickling the Gator. The gator woke up and went back to the water and that ended the show.
At 1:00 we went to the breeding marsh where they have the biggest gators and by the way there are no crocs there. There was a way to get out but it was only a gate so if you go inside there there is a chance you will get eaten but, luckily there was staff there. For only $10 you can feed them there because behind the gate in the Breeding marsh there was land where the biggest gators wait to get fed. Once you pay you can feed them three pieces of horse meat and also get your picture really scary close to them for more money.
We went to see another show which is called,the Jumparoo Show which is where we saw gators and crocs jump trying to get chicken meat. Later in the show the performers got the chicken meat and made the gators and crocs jump and try taking it from their hand. Then we got 4 hotdogs which you can give to the gators but, be careful the birds might steal it from you and the fish. There is also flamingos where the feeding is if you want to feed them by paying for flamingo pellets.
Later in the afternoon, we went zip lining over the breeding marsh for only $10 and get to feel the experience of gators underneath us. I went first out of my family and was surprised when we had to fall backwards then it moved me over the swamp and I saw gators in the waters. It was so thrilling how I was so close to the breeding marsh because it is actually not a man made swamp.
If it was up to me I will rather go to Gatorland than Disney World and would give Gatorland 4 and a half stars. There is 3 awesome qualities there, it is natural, thrilling, and educational.
More about Gatorland
I love that my Hermit Crabs are great pets. They are really nice to look at and study. Hermit Crabs are found to be really active at night. This information is gathered from my 3 hermit crab helpers Jaws, Rosie, and Newbie. This is dedicated to Jaws who just recently passed away, he was a loving pet and my favorite hermit crab.
Hermit Crabs may not be active if they are new. Try to get Hermit Crabs that are about the same size so they don’t bully each other. There is one thing that you have to beware of is when they change shells they may fight for the same shell. So try to get shells that are similar so they can each have a new home.
Hermit Crabs are great climbers when they get active. I recommend buying plastic plants and sticks for your hermit crabs to climb. You need plastic plants because they may eat the real ones and you don’t want that. I don’t recommend rocks that are smooth because they won’t be able to climb it but you can put some smooth rocks in to stop them from digging a certain area.
Even though the hermit crabs have shells, they still need shelter to hide. I recommend getting a small cave or a dome shape home that can fit a hermit crab. You can even make them a homemade home with Legos or any building blocks. Remember they can also climb on top of their homes for more climbing space.
Taking care of a hermit crab teaches me responsibility and how to care for others. For instance on normal weekends, it is easy because all I have to do is change the food, change the water, give my hermit crabs a bath and then I’m done. On other weekends, it gets hard when we have to change the dirt and sand in the tank. I recommend changing the water when it gets very sandy as well. The reason it is sandy is because when the hermit crabs go into the water to drink it brings sand with them.
Tip: If the Hermit Crabs are shedding their skin leave them alone. Unless another hermit crab is attacking it then move the hermit crab away from the shedding hermit crab as they are vulnerable.
How do you explain the hilarity of the Llama chase to your kids? Easy, watch this video set to the famous “Yakety Saks” music that will entertain you and your bored family. We find watching together in the living room is great “family-time” and allows us to have a shared experience. So hookup that Smart TV, Xbox, Chromecast, etc and watch this clip on your big screen. Run free Llamas!!!
The Los Angeles zoo is a great place to boost your kid’s happiness. Surprise your son by going to the reptile exhibit or surprise your daughter with the Gray seal exhibit. Or give yourself a boost.
The only thing you should worry about is the traffic. I recommend leaving 10:00 AM or sooner. If you live farther away then I recommend 9:00 AM. So remember to come to the zoo early.
If you live in California then I recommend one of the memberships. If you have a family then try the Family Membership which costs about $126. With the family membership you can grab discounts and get free 2 day guest passes. So you can grab a friend or a relative to come with you.
I would recommend visiting the African Alligator they have. The only sad thing about this alligator was it doesn’t move much. My favorite exhibit was the reptile exhibit, called the Lair. Watch for the snakes, they look really cool. One animal surprised me though it was a funny looking turtle.
One of my favorite parts was the petting zoo where I got to pet the animals. Be careful, do not make them get mad or else they could bite or attack. Also, remember to not step on their poo or pee. It’s disgusting!
My favorite part is when I get to spend family-time with my family. And don’t forget, as your leaving the zoo visit the alligator again to see how much he had moved since you came to the zoo.
Parent Note: We went around noon time and the traffic was jammed. Took over an hour to find parking which is why the Author is suggesting you go early morning. Also, I think early morning animals will likely be more active.