Keeper Kids is an amazing facility/space where toddlers and primary aged children can imagine and explore the different roles of a Zoo Keeper through dress up and role play. During school holidays and weekends you will often find Zoo staff explaining the roles of the different kinds of Zoo keepers – you might event be lucky enough to meet one and see them in action!
Where: Melbourne Zoo, Elliott Ave, Parkville (9285 9300). Open 9am – 5pm daily. As you enter the main entrance of the Zoo, the Keeper Kids is located directly in front of you to the right (before Growing Wild).
Cost: FREE with entry to the zoo, click here for more information.
My kids love Keeper Kids. From toddler through to older primary age there is something here for everyone here.
Since it opened in April 2012 Keeper Kids has always been a favourite space to visit when we go to the Zoo. And the space has continued to expand with a new zone recently added (in April 2014).
Children are invited to explore and experience the five areas of maintaining a Zoo: Veterinary, general Zoo Keeping, Horticulture, Research and Works. There is also a live exhibit attached to the room, a small library and reading corner and other play activities based on the theme of Zoo Keeping.
When we first visited back in 2012 for Charlie (then 3) it was all about self-led playing – and he needed no encouragement once he clapped eyes on the Horticulture section! But for Imogen (6) it was both about playing and learning – Melbourne Zoo staff will happily brief you on a task to do with any of the four areas covered and there are levels of detail to suit all ages. In our case the lovely Bethany approached Immi and asked her if she could help her with one of the animals in the hospital – they went through the patients file, checked x-rays, did a physical examination and then worked out a treatment plan – Immi was very busy.
We loved so many things but I guess if I go into it too much you will have to read a very long essay.
- During school holidays or rainy days Keeper Kids is very very popular – so you might want to go first thing during these busy times.
- Meerkat Cafe just to the right of Keeper Kids – grab a coffee before you go in if you need caffeine because.. (read next point).
- My kids spend ages exploring all the different areas.. our visit lasted an hour. FYI Keeper Kids doesn’t allow food or drinks inside, so take-away coffee should be consumed before entering.
- The toilets are now located within Keeper Kids.
Side note: there is a Keeper Kids Lunch pack offered at the Zoo cafes which seems good value at $9.50, includes sandwich, drink, gingerbread, gift and piece of fruit.
If you’re visiting Keeper Kids make sure to check out Growing Wild just next door.