With only a small window of time before summer poofs out of existence, I decided to take my kids on a last hurrah summer road trip. Three of my kids anyway. Aidan is getting ready for college and will be missing from blog posts for the next four years, I think. Sniff.
Not that it’s a crazy long distance road trip. Just a four day journey with stops in Philadelphia and the Jersey Shore. You see, my friend Joey is hosting a Blogger Beach Bash which I’ll tell you more about tomorrow, but en route we decided to stay overnight in Philly so that we could visit one of my favorite zoos in the country. The Philadelphia Zoo.
Now, I wasn’t too bright before I left. I should’ve purchased my tickets online. That would’ve eliminated the very long wait at the ticket booth. In the sweltering sun. For what seemed like an eternity.
But it’s ok because we got to the counter before we became human raisins. And when it was finally our turn, I learned about their membership program which allows you to visit not only their zoo for a calendar year, but also many zoos across the country.
So, I could’ve spent $91 for admission and parking or I could’ve spent $99 and get admission for the year at not only the Philadelphia Zoo, but countless others including a bunch in New England. Oh, and the membership gives you free parking. Sold.
Upon entering the park, my kids were completely entranced. Heck, I was completely entranced. I have been to this zoo many many times with my Mom and Dad, but when I was a kid it didn’t look anything like it does today.
The amount of expansion and development that has gone into this zoo is impressive. So many new exhibits and beautifications. There was something new to see around every bend.
One of the improvements that I liked best was the interactive exhibits where kids can use computers to learn about the animals and their habitats in realistic field settings. Lots of hands on stuff that immersed the kids in learning. They had so much fun without realizing that it was educational. I’m all for sneaky education.
And of course there were the animals. Each kid had their favorite. Michael loves red pandas. Leela is into cheetahs. And Shannon was smitten with the lemurs. My favorite was the primate exhibit. Apes have always fascinated me and I could spend hours watching them. Actually, my kids had to drag me out of the exhibit.
We spent four hours at the zoo, but I felt like we rushed through it and missed some of the exhibits. Of course this means that we will have to come back again. Especially to take advantage of our new membership status!
After our fun at the zoo, we ventured over to the Omni Independence Park which overlooks Independence National Historic Park in the heart of Society Hill. A truly elegant hotel with very posh accommodations.
When we first checked in, the kids were thrilled to receive little backpacks to help them explore the city. A very nice touch for the wee tykes.
But mom was more impressed with the actual room. Super luxe with lots of space and gorgeous furnishings. Oh and the beds & linens. Don’t even get me started. I wanted to take the sheets home with me. So very comfy. Especially after a six hour drive and four hours at the zoo. Mom needed that comfy bed.
And the view was killer too. The girls each grabbed a book and perched themselves on the sill to read while I took care of, well you know, EVERYTHING as us moms have a habit of doing.
About ten minutes after we arrived, there was a knock on the door. It was for the kids. A tray of milk and cookies which the Omni delivers to every kid who stays at their hotel. Yeah, my kids were impressed.
After an afternoon snack of milk and cookies, I took the kids to the hotel pool for a dip. As far as pools go, this one is sort of spa like with relaxing music piped in which I enjoyed but I doubt the kids even noticed. My kids don’t relax until their head hits the pillow.
All in all, it was the perfect hotel stay and I would highly recommend staying at an Omni property if you get the chance to.
I wish we had more time to spend in Philly because there’s just so much to see in the city. I should know because I was born here and my entire family is from the area. If you haven’t been, you must. It’s a great city to visit not only for the obvious historical contributions, but also for the museums, restaurants and theater. Oh, and the cheesesteaks. It’s worth it to visit Philly for the cheesesteaks alone.
We left Philly this morning and are now on the Jersey Shore. We only have a few days to work with, so we are cramming in as much fun as we can before we go back home and back to school.
Much more tomorrow…
I was an invited guest of the Omni Independence Park and stayed free of charge. All thoughts and opinions are my own.