Still on vacation, and here’s another guest post, this one from Kelli. Thanks for writing and for sending along the great pictures, Kelli!
Thanks to Katie for allowing me to share my love for Adirondack Animal Land!My husband took his class here for a class trip a few years ago and suggested that we bring our daughter for her first birthday last year. We loved it so much that we took her again this year for her second birthday, and I’m positive that this will become a summertime tradition for our family. This cute zoo is located in Gloversville, which is only about 30 minutes from Saratoga or 50-60 minutes from Albany. With hours of 10-5 daily, that gives you plenty of time to get up and have some breakfast before heading out for the day.
One of the reasons I love this place is because even in the sweltering summer heat, the numerous trees keep the entire area of the zoo shaded and cool. Last year when we went it was 90+ degrees out, and we brought about a gallon of sunscreen with us to keep our little Irish girl as pale as she started out. We were pleasantly surprised at the amount of shade, and this made for a much more relaxing day.
There is a wide variety of animals to see and interact with, from baby chicks to zebras and giraffes.
The website has a full list of animals if you are interested. The first stop is to visit the monkeys, and they are always very entertaining. Last year we were lucky enough to visit just a few days after a new baby was born. This picture is of the proud momma monkey nursing her 5 day old baby.
After the monkey exhibit, you have your choice of which way to walk around the big loop. There are a few steep hills to navigate, but they aren’t long enough to really complain about.
You could navigate the entire zoo in about 2 hours, if you don’t count lunch or dilly-dallying toddlers, but you can easily make a half day out of it if you want. Throughout the zoo there are many opportunities for feeding animals; some by hand, and some through a tube for when you don’t want to get *that* close. Our daughter loved feeding the goats- they were very relaxed and didn’t startle her by eating food from her hand. The petting zoo had some not-so-relaxed deer that you could feed as well. We thought there was only one nearby, but as soon as the other deer noticed that we had food, we quickly became the most popular visitors in the petting zoo.
Another highlight was the peacocks, but we were disappointed that they didn’t open up their feathers for us this year. Hopefully you will have more luck! Besides animals to see, there are are quite a few playgrounds to play on, and a little western town with houses, a school and a jail to play in.
They do have a snack bar, but we’ve brought a picnic lunch both times so I can’t comment on what they sell. There are picnic tables all throughout the zoo, so you can just plop down whenever you are ready to eat. Also, there is a little outdoor theater where they host shows. It might be worth calling ahead to find out the details if you have kids who might enjoy a show. (We missed it both times).
The price of admission is $13.75 for adults, $11.75 for kids 12 months to 12 years, and free for kids under 12 months. They have printable coupons on their website to save $1-$2 per person, and only accept cash, though there is an ATM on site. The price of admission includes a cup full of animal feed, and there are food dispensers throughout the park to fill up if you need to (for 25 cents each). Also included in the price of admission are passes to the safari ride. I would highly recommend you take the time while you are there- it was the highlight of our trip. They feed the camels so that they follow the wagon the whole time. If you want a *really* up close experience, I dare you to sit on the end of the wagon. (The camels were trying to lick the people on the end!) The safari tour guide does an excellent job of pointing out all of the animals and keeps the crowd laughing.
There is a souvenir shop on your way out, filled with typical class-trip destination animal-related products. We quickly guided our daughter out the door so we weren’t stuck taking home yet another stuffed animal.
Despite being a small-ish zoo and visiting on a day when there were about ten buses full of kids, we felt like we had the park almost all to ourselves. If you are looking for a great zoo experience without driving to a big city, and a place to enjoy the summer weather without actually cooking in it, Adirondack Animal Land might be just what you are looking for.