Meet Growing Wild: a fantastic interactive zoo experience for 3 – 8 year olds, a new permanent exhibit/play area launched as part of the Zoo’s 150 birthday celebrations.
Where: Melbourne Zoo, Elliott Avenue, Parkville 3052 (car parking $2 for 5 hours)
When: 9am – 5pm every day of the year
Cost: Growing Wild is included with your zoo entry, click here for full list of entry fees.
Charlie gave this excursion the big thumbs up! SO much to explore.. he loved pretending to be a Meerkat and a Giant Tortoise, he loved watching them up close.. and in the Meerkats instance they seemed to be watching him closely too.
The gardens are beautifully laid out with stepping stones and logs throughout – heaven for a four year old who just hates to walk on paths! There are also a multitude of sandpits, areas under shade, drinking fountains, hand washing facilities, tunnels to climb through, turtle shells to climb into, lawns to picnic on, animals to observe up close and little observations about the animals dotted about.
I loved that this area only has one entrance/exit – as a parent of little ones it’s so much easier when you know there is only one way in or out. There were also loads of staff and Zoo volunteers on site – although perhaps this was because we visited on the launch day/members preview. Oh and the Meerkat Cafe is located at the entrance – perfect to grab a coffee/snack/lunch during your visit.
A word of caution – the Meerkat hill is a little precarious for little ones.. on both the outside and the inside. You may need to help children navigate this depending on their size and ability. Charlie (4) is on the taller scale and he was fine – but there were a couple of (at a guess) three year olds perched a little precariously on the ledge inside the hill calling to their mother/s, and access to this spot (as an adult) with so many children trying to pass through was not immediately easy. Still I am sure when it’s less crowded, and under a watchful eye, it might be easier for little ones – that or just steer clear of the Meerkat hill.
Another observation – the space is much bigger than it first appears… make sure you explore every corner.