N’s interests right now are still the alphabet and all types of animals – farm animals, jungle animals, and zoo animals. Since we believe in supporting 100% the kids’ interests, our family has been visiting different animal places these past 3 months. So far, we have been (some more than once) to the Animal Farm in Tagaytay Highlands, Ark Avilon in Tiendesitas, and Manila Zoo. 🙂
The Animal Farm I blogged about the Animal Farm before when I first blogged about our trip to Tagaytay Highlands. You have to be a member (or be with a member) in order to go inside (I think. My tita’s a member so I don’t really know the process for non-members, here’s their website if you want to check it out: http://www.tagaytayhighlands.com/. It takes about 30-40minutes to roam the place and enjoy looking and interacting with the animals.
- What We Love: What the kids enjoy most about the animal farm are seeing and having their pictures taken with the different types of birds (well, the birds are perched on us and the kids – ayun, sa gilid lang namin, nakapose). The farm, as mentioned in my previous post, has an “open concept”. The kids can interact and touch the animals that are safe to touch (most of the animals there are tame anyway). So the fact that the kids can feed the alpaca, the llamas, the sheep, the pony, the donkey, and the ostrich, is a good reason for them to always visit the farm whenever we go there. They also like playing hide and seek with Chino, the orangutan. He’s really moody though. If he doesn’t like you, he doesn’t come out of his little cave. Because not a lot of people visit the farm, the restrooms and the whole place are well maintained. The cages are relatively clean and the animals seem well fed. You can also take your time going around the place because it’s going to be three to four families at most. There was this one time that we had the whole place all to ourselves.
- What They Can Improve On: The place is not that big so I guess it’s understandable why the animals Nikko likes are mostly not there. Farm naman nga kasi eh jungle animals ang gusto nitong anak ko. The farm is continuously adding more animals in their care though like the bear cat and the sugar glider. “Guided tours” can also be helpful particularly for those who will visit the farm the first time. There are attendants though in the entrance area who can take your pictures and assist you with the birds.
Manila Zoo We weren’t expecting to enjoy our trip to Manila Zoo. I guess with issues that we have been reading on its maintenance problems, we have been a bit apprehensive of bringing the kids there. However, my friend, Abie, shared with us that their recent trip to Manila Zoo has been worthwhile. She told us about Kinder Zoo, where her son enjoyed a lot. I googled about Manila Zoo and true enough, when we visited there, the zoo looks promising now. It was clean enough, animals look well-fed. There’s a bit of issue with the smell but hey, it’s a zoo! 🙂 Took us about an hour to roam the place. yes, it’s pretty big.
And Kinder Zoo was fantastic! 🙂 Not a lot of people when we went there. It was just basically us so the attendants’ attention were all on us. Type yata din kasi nila yung isa sa mga anghel namin. Hehe. Oh yes, we were with our helpers as that trip was also our treat to them. To fully enjoy the Kinder Zoo and the 100 pesos you paid for, it would take you about 30 minutes to 40 minutes. The extra 100 pesos though is truly worth it. Since Mark works in Manila, we were considered as Manila residents. We paid half the price for the entrance fee for Manila Zoo which is around 60 pesos per head. I think it’s 100 pesos per head for Non-Manila residents. For the Kinder Zoo, it’s 100 pesos per head. You need to pay for the entrance fee for the Manila Zoo first before you can pay for the Kinder Zoo entrance fee. E nasa loob din kasi ng Manila Zoo ang Kinder Zoo.
- What We Love: Manila Zoo: The elephant, the hippo, the tigers, the monkeys (who were fighting with each other and their fight ended with one monkey dead :(), the hebra (horse interbred with zebras), and basically the whole zoo feel.Kinder Zoo: the open concept. The kids were able to interact and hold most of the animals inside.Oh and you can also rent the zoo jeepney (it looks like the zoobic safari jeepney) for the trip. It’s P50.00 per head. It can take you around Manila Zoo and drop you off at the animal enclosures. They also have boats (water looks murky though) which you can rent for an hour or so.
- What They Can Improve On: I didn’t try the restrooms but since visitors are required to “donate” any amount before they can use the toilets, I’m assuming that the facilities are clean. I didn’t see restaurants inside. There were food stalls though. Not that much but will do. AND I WANT TO SEE A GIRAFFE 🙂
Mali the elephant
N’s dream finally came true! An elephant in the flesh!
When we arrived, the hippo was sleeping so it was submerged underwater. However before we left, we decided to try our luck again, and fortunately, N saw the hippo awake!
The tiger on the tree! We spent a lot of time looking at this one because it seems like it really want to get out
It’s a Horse! It’s a Zebra! No, it’s a Hebra!
Now, for the Kinder Zoo photos:
Before you go inside, you can have your picture taken with the birds, the caiman crocodile, and the python, using your camera or you can just buy the your photos from the camera man. I forgot how much a print cost but it must have been around 50 pesos each for the small ones. The ones that I will share are not the ones that we bought. Those were much nicer. Hehe. These are from our own camera.
Us with the birds
The caiman crocodile
After having our pictures taken, we then went inside Kinder Zoo. The birds are just flying around and it’s really funny and cute. However, M cried because one of the birds (I forgot what type) playfully ran after her. Lol. But the bird was really really cute 🙂
Us with the toucan
Well, they’re doing their “thing”
With the turtle
With the pot-bellied pig
And here’s Potter with his wand
I guess it was “do the thing” season when we went there. Lol. We also saw a couple of monkeys (well, they always do it wherever and whenever we see a group of them) doing it. 🙂
Ark Avilon Zoo in Tiendesitas. Now this is the biggest surprise that we had. We weren’t expecting anything. There were vouchers for it so we bought some. We live fifteen minutes away from Tiendesitas so if ever we will feel disappointed, no harm done, right?
And WE LOVE IT. It’s our favorite so far. Well, it’s a bit expensive because you have to pay for each animal feed that you will buy, and each picture that you will take with any of their animals. However, the experience, particularly for my kids, is truly worth it. Make sure that you visit the Ark at around 3pm 🙂 If it’s before that, the animals are still sleeping because they just had their lunch so chances are wala ka ding mapapala. The animals on the feeding area are also clamoring for attention during this hour because it’s time for their merienda and it would be such an honor for you to give that to them.
Also, if the animals become too big, they are transferred to Avilon Zoo in Malabon so they can be bred (according to the attendant). So we kind of miss the white tiger, who was very friendly and who we saw the first time we went there. It was replaced by a smaller one.
- What We Love:INDOOR ZOO! No need to worry if it’s raining and well it’s not too warm inside. The animals are really well fed. The place is well maintained. The animals’ aquariums (they’re not cages) are likened to their habitat. Restrooms are clean. Not that crowded (or ang swerte lang talaga namin na palaging walang tao. The first time we went, it was just basically us and one other family.)The super open concept. If your kids are scared of birds, make sure you hold them before entering the ark. Birds are everywhere, just flying around. A bit scary for M at first but she got used to it later on.The feeding area on the second floor (and some on the first floor). I can’t say enough how much enjoyment and fun this activity brings to my kids. Basta they love it!The canteen and play area on the second floor 🙂
This is the first zoo in the Philippines, where I first saw the following in one place: tiger, lion, jaguar, puma, leopard, sun-bear (who is very very suplado. E he’s color black pa! Ang hirap niya makita. Kailangan mga 20 minutes kang nakatitig sa aquarium niya.), jackal, gibbon, and penguins! So much to show Nikko 🙂
There are also bear cats, gorilla, different reptiles and birds on the second floor, farm animals on the second floor, and some crocs, turtles, tortoise, and the arapaima on the first floor! For a small place (although because of the feeding sessions, it takes us about an hour and a half to enjoy the place), it’s really worth the trip 🙂
- What They Can Improve On: Guided tours and some more info on display (aside from their names) about the animals will be greatly appreciated. 🙂
First time we went there 🙂 This is also their pet shop. They also have a souvenir shop inside 🙂
Feeding the carps
That’s where the arapaima(s) are. They eat chicken meat. They are also related to arowana(s).
The white tiger. Super friendly. He’s currently in Avilon Zoo.
This is the feeding station at the second floor.
See? Walang tao 🙂
He fed the bearcat bananas. 🙂 The bearcat’s really friendly. He shakes hands with those who feed him 🙂
One of their favorite activities. Try feeding a carrot to the guinea pigs on the other side and it’s like The Walking Dead – the guinea pig edition. The 5-10 minutes for the rabbits to finish eating the carrots, takes 2 minutes for the guinea pigs to do so. As in patong patong sila sa pag-aagawan. Nakakaloka.
And because of that, M refuses to feed the guinea pigs and waste around 15 minutes to feed the rabbit. Masaya siya diyan so keri lang.
N bottle feeding the lambs and the kids
M bottle feeding the lambs and the kids
Feeding kangkong leaves to the donkey
And the pony
They also fed the meerkats, worms
And the highlight of all of our trips to Ark Avilon – Jenny. She’s really friendly and bright. 🙂
During our most recent trip to Ark Avilon.
So there, we are hoping to bring the kids to Avilon Zoo and Zoobic Safari next. 🙂