I have loved road trips for as long as I can remember. At least since Junior or Senior year of high school. When I was single (before getting married and divorced, not this time of being single), my girlfriends and I would take road trips to the Jersey Shore. Way before it became known as this Jersey Shore. Road trips to Boston were a frequent occurrence during the summers. The Ex and I even road tripped for our honeymoon, heading to Disney World (for my first time ever). I’ve road tripped with Joanne and Patsy. My mom and sister. With the kids by myself. With Mystic and his kids. And with many of our friends.
What I love most about road trips? That you can stop at any time. For any reason.
When I was making the plans for last week’s Spring Break, although I had a couple specific things I wanted to do with the kids, I also kept our schedule loose so we could succumb to detours. To whimsy. To just because moments.
And hitting the Cape May County Zoo was one such moment. When my sister and I were kids (and even through after my high school years), my parents had a house in Cape May (South Jersey to non-local readers). We spent many, many weekends down there. It holds a special place in my heart, and I loved introducing the area to the kids last week, as one of our stops. Nick was there once when he was a baby, but we haven’t been back since.
Although we spent countless summers in Cape May growing up, I had never been to the zoo there.
That was rectified last week. And I’m so glad it was. Both kids are mad, simply mad, for animals. Of all kinds. Although Madeline tends to veer towards the aquatic kind, they’ll really take anything.
And the Cape May Zoo?
Free admission (though donations appreciated).
Easy to get to off the highway, it is a gorgeous, well-maintained piece of property. As we pulled in, the guy at the front gate asked if it was our first time. When he heard it was, he pressed a map into my hands and said, “Well, you’re in for a real treat.”
And he spoke the truth.
We parked our car and started heading towards the entry. Fair warning, wear comfortable shoes. The parking lot is a slight distance from the entry, and you will, of course, walk a lot once you get into the zoo.
The employees friendly and approachable.
Like lions, and tigers, and bears, oh my.
Giraffes and zebras. Mini little monkeys whose proper name escapes me. Animals I’ve never heard of before. And old favorites.
When we first entered the zoo, we heard this huge roar from a lion (as seen in yesterday’s photo). It sounded like we were right near him.
We were quite surprised to find out that he was clear on the other side of the zoo. His bellow was impressive. Loud. Far-reaching.
There are picnic areas if you bring lunch, and a small little cafe area if you don’t. And, of course, the requisite gift shop. They have gorgeous gold-lined postcards for fifty cents a pop that the kids bought to add to our scrapbook. A perfect souvenir, if you ask me.
If you happen to be heading down the shore, or even if you’re not, make a road trip detour and stop by the Cape May Zoo. A perfect little visit for little people. And big people alike.
Cape May County Zoo
707 Route 9 North
Cape May Court House, NJ 08210
Open Daily 10-4:45 (when daylight savings starts)
Winter Hours: 10-3:45 (when daylight savings ends)
Closed Christmas Day
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