Around town with my crew – my kids


One of J’s favorite rides at the Happy Hollow Park & Zoo

After that first tentative visit to Lowe’s that I had blogged about some time back, I have become quite the up-and-about towner, towing my kids along for the ride. We went to Costco yesterday and to the Happy Hollow Park & Zoo today. First, I’ll write about our adventure and then, I’ll write about the Zoo.

Getting two kids, a two year old and a 2.5 month old out the door with one’s sanity intact is a little bit of a challenge especially since E is still trying to figure out her morning nap schedule. Before she was born, J and I had our morning schedules all decided – Tuesdays and Wednesdays were library storytime days. Fridays were for Music Together. Mondays or Thursdays were open days for errands. We often went to the Zoo on Thursdays.

E’s morning nap is quite unpredictable. Whilst she slept for 10 minutes yesterday, today she did about 45 minutes. As soon as she woke up, I nursed her. Meanwhile, I had already packed J’s snacks and water for both of us and kept my nursing cover, KTan, and purse ready to go. Then, I got her into her carseat, asked J to get downstairs and stay ready while I bring the seat down. Once there, put J’s shoes on and, grabbed my items, picked up E, and left for the garage just as she had started to whine (she was sleepy. I recognize her sleepy sign now). Before her fussing could get worse, I placed her seat in the car, strapped J in his, and off we went.

At the Zoo, parking was a little tricky but I think I handled it well. It’s amazing how something as simple as parking needs some thinking through now. Too close is great if there is shade. Too far is not so great especially if there is no shade and one of the children loses it between the car and the entrance to the place to which we are going. Somewhere in the middle, with somewhat of a shade is ideal.

First I got the stroller out of the trunk, put my diaper bag and handbag in the under storage area, then placed E in the KTan (I realized that this works best for me. Having her in the KTan close to me enables me to calm her down. She sleeps better nestled against my chest and I have my hands free). I used the stroller for J.

J and I had a lot of fun at the Zoo. I have brought him here so many times that he is familiar with the lay of the land.

We were on time for a reptiles show-and-tell and he bravely touched one. He also completely and fearlessly fed some sheep food to a sheep letting the latter lick it off his hand and brushed another’s hair.

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How wonderful it is to be a fearless child and seek life’s many adventures with careless abandon and blissful ignorance.

He did not want to ride Danny the Dragon today but we did do the the tunnel-slides. The funny thing about these slides is that in the past, I have done them with J on my lap even when I was heavily pregnant with a massively protruding belly because he is a little nervous about riding them on his own (they are really long and understandably a little scary for a 2 year old) and today, I did it again with him on my lap but I was wearing E instead of her being in my womb. It was nice. It felt great even though it was a little uncomfortable (mostly for fear of waking up E) to do this.

Thankfully, E slept the whole time. When J did the car ride (first pic on top) which is loud with all the kids pulling on the bell string, she squirmed a little but then fell back into a deep slumber (phew!)

It was a great visit. My munchkids did really, really well. J had a fun time in the play area with the slides. His many smiles that he bestows so generously are absolutely precious and I just love spending time with him so much.

Happy Hollow Park & Zoo:

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This is a great zoo. We purchased our annual membership within weeks of moving to San Jose and what a great deal! We have already recovered our membership costs because we visit so frequently. We also purchased an annual parking pass that allows us to park at all city parks with the same tag. Also worth it for us!

Happy Hollow is not only a zoo, it is also a park. On our first visit, we saw the animals, the wild ones as well as those in the petting area of the zoo. J also did the rides. Now we only sometimes go see the animals. Usually, J and I just go on rides. Parents can accompany kids on three of the rides I believe. All others are more kid-appropriate based on certain height requirements (usually 37 inches).

The petting area of the zoo is toward the left (after you enter) and a zoo zoo with a jaguar, fox, monkeys, parrots, and others is to the right. Compared to the Lincoln Park Zoo in Chicago (which is free), Happy Hollow is much, much smaller with fewer wild animals. For us, given J’s age, the park is a really good added feature that we did not expect from a zoo. HH is best for kids until the age of 5-6 years. After that, there isn’t really much for them in terms of rides. HH is really well maintained with a lot of open grassy area for picnics brought from home or bought at their cafeteria. Members get a 10% discount at the cafeteria and gift shop.

If you live in San Jose and are debating about a membership, don’t. If you have kids under the age of 6, just go for it. Don’t forget to buy the annual parking pass. Also, if you just want to check it out first, every third Tuesday is half-price on tickets.

Published by Suchitra

I am a former Communication Studies professor turned stay-at-home-mom (SAHM) to two multiracial kids. I write about my adventures in parenting and living a multicultural life with my family. Blogger at: Follow me: @thephdmama

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