On my recent visit to the Seneca Park Zoo in Rochester, NY I was able to spend some one-on-one time with my son. Seneca Park Zoo is a great place for a few hours of quality time. I cherish the moments that I get to spend with my kids, especially as they get older. Time is going so fast and the one-on-one play dates are a great way to connect.
Creating One-on-One Time
I have three kids and my youngest is five. This is his last year home before starting kindergarten. Having three kids can make it difficult to spend one-on-one time with each of them on a regular basis. I try to incorporate little moments throughout our week to connect but it is always nice when we can enjoy a morning together. I wrote a list of 52 Ideas to Inspire Family Time and I like to pick ideas from it to plan our time.
A few weeks ago me and my youngest spent a fun morning at the Seneca Park Zoo. The Seneca Park Zoo is located in Rochester, NY. You could easily spend a few hours there and see everything. This is not a huge zoo but what it lacks in size it makes up for in park like grounds and ease of your visit.
When visiting you don’t have to worry about packing a days worth of snacks or even a stroller. I have been visiting stroller free for the last 2 years without a problem. I packed a small backpack with a few snacks and drinks and we enjoyed a great morning.
A Morning at Seneca Park Zoo
As you walk into the zoo you can either go right or left. I always go to the right and stay to the right then loop around the other side. The zoo’s size makes it easy to back track and after looking at a map navigating it is easy.
We walk down the sloping hill after the snow leopards to check out the Animal Hospital. This is an often missed attraction at the zoo and I always recommend it. You can walk in and see where the animals are taken care of and where their food is prepared. Most days you will not find an animal but we did get lucky to watch a snow leopard having a check up a few years ago. It is worth taking your time to see it and if nothing else you will see the rooms and equipment.
After that we walk through and see the tiger, wolves and stay to the right to check out the penguins. My kids love the penguins. This day they were right up in the front and my son got to get a good view. I think everyone loves penguins and these ones are so cute!!
On most days I like to make it to the back of the zoo and stop for a snack before making our way around. Seneca Park Zoo has a playground and Zoo Activity Center. We try to do this on our way out to make sure we see all the animals. The lions, elephants, and baboons are in the back of the zoo in the newly added “A Step into Africa. This was added a few years ago and I always love walking through it.
Crater Canteen is located in this area for lunch options or bring your own. There are tables near the front of the lions and at the back. It is also open seasonally so check hours before you plan on lunch there. This is where we stop to rest a little and have a snack.
As you leave A Step into Africa stay to your right. At the bottom of the hill there is an underwater viewing area. It offers a look at the sea lions and polar bears. The sea lions are most active and my kids love following them along the water. There is a nice fish aquarium in this area too!
As we make our way back to the exit we stop in the Zot Zone. Inside the Zot Zone you will find hands-on activities including this one where you design your own zoo. We had fun figuring out what animals we would want at our zoo and what jobs are necessary to run a zoo.
The Eco Center has otter and snake exhibits. The Otters were outside swimming. They have an indoor/outdoor exhibit and they are very active. We also got to see the snakes and a few reptiles. It was a beautiful day out and we spent time on the playground across from the Eco Center. I suggest saving this for last on your visit. Little legs can’t get tired quick so I try to save their energy for walking to the end. They always have enough energy for the playground.
Across from the playground is another eating area called Eagle’s Landing. They offer typical lunch options and popsicles. Behind this is a covered eating area that is great on really cold or really hot days.
As we finished walking towards the exit we saw the rhino and orangutan. There are also alligators in the summer. It is an outdoor exhibit and they do not thrive with the cold temperatures. I would expect them to be out on our next visit.
I always like to take a picture at the end of our visit. There is a big Seneca Park Zoo sign that was perfect for a photo op. Check out the video tour of our visit. There were some great moments!
Our Favorites Things to See and Tips at the Seneca Park Zoo
- Stay to the right and head to the back of the zoo to see the lions & elephants then work your way to the front.
- Check out the underwater viewing area of the sea lions.
- Save the playground for last.
- Enjoy a slower pace and let your child guide you. You will experience it through their eyes
- Pack a few snacks and waters. If your children are older you may not need a stroller.
- New & Exciting Seneca Park News-Giraffes are coming for 2018!!
I loved spending a few hours of quality time with my son at the Seneca Park Zoo. I was able to focus on him and get to learn more about what he likes. We saw all his favorite animals and I will be sure to plan another visit soon!