Wild Animals and Zoos in Zurich for Kids of All Ages
Life in the city doesn’t mean losing touch with the wildlife
Summer is almost here and schools will soon close for holidays. All parents are getting ready and planning their summer days with their little ones. Whether you are planning to stay in Zurich or go on vacation, one of the best children activities you shouldn’t leave out of your calendar is to visit a zoo, an animal park or a farm. Children love animals and enjoy spending time with them. Furthermore, going to the zoo is a great time for learning and an opportunity to see animals you don’t usually meet in the urban habitat.
Can’t decide what to do this summer with your children?
Why not take them on a nature and wildlife tour? Zurich has a lot to offer in that area. Animal and wilderness parks, farms and zoos like the ones we listed for you below, are great excursions for the whole family:
The Zurich Zoo gives you the opportunity to explore the animal world through its gates. You will find more than 380 different animal species. Children will enjoy seeing the animals in nature-orientated enclosures such as the Masoala Rainforest and the Kaeng Krachan Elephant Park and also learn how to protect both animals and their natural habitats.
At Knies Kinderzoo in Rapperswil-Jona, children of all ages can find their happy place. The animals are in close proximity with the visitors can be seen from up close and many even like to get a pat on the back by the young ones. Camels, ponies, and elephants can take visitors for short rides, while the sea lions show-off their talents and splash the audience during their daily shows. Playgrounds with climbing nets and water fountains are the ultimate destination for kids of all ages because there are multiple places to test their abilities and their senses, you may want to bring a dry t-shirt just in case! For the families that want to have a special lunch date at the zoo the Himmapan restaurant is the ultimate asian culinary experience in Rapperswil-Jona, with a view towards the animals and the lake! Birthday parties for kids are hosted in a giant pirate ship that be booked exclusively for the birthday party!
Langenberg Wilderness Park of Zurich is a great destination for a family trip outside the city. Families can plan their own trip when visiting the Wilderness Park and have a great adventure exploring nature and the wild life all together. If you like there are also guided tours you can go on and stops for a snack and drinks.
The recreational area of Central Switzerland hosts more than 100 domestic and European wildlife species including deer, wolves, bears, lynxes, birds of prey and many others.
The Nature and Animal Park Goldau is a really large area of 42 hectares in Central Switzerland where you can observe all animals up close in their natural habitat. Families and children are welcome to explore nature and observe animals, take part in exciting events and attend interesting courses. There is also a restaurant and a coffee shop, a crepe stand, a kiosk and grills where families can rest and have something to eat, have a nice picnic or throw a barbeque.
Hof Narr is a refuge for farm animals that need a home. Here, all chickens, pigs, horses and bunnies have a name, and children and visitors can spend time petting the animals while listening to an expert care taker. There is always lots to do in Hof Narr, and visitors are invited to help feed the chickens, keep company to the pigs and even take a pony for a walk!
One can visit the farm spontaneously for the day or book a scheduled visit and be guided by an expert through the life of the animals, listening about existing farming practices, learning about sustainable farming and understanding the link between the farm and the food we eat.
On a hilltop far from the city life, but still close enough to arrive easily, is a family farm that offers children and grown-ups the country side experience with animals. You can even help-out during harvest or collect eggs! The farm is open daily for a relaxing visit, to shop organic produce at the farm shop and to interact with the animals.
Don’t forget to pack:
Water and a snack
During any trips, let alone visiting the a zoo, children will always get hungry or thirsty. A packed snack for them and for you is handy, so that you don't have to make too many stops at the canteen or restaurant. Healthy snacks like fruit, cheese and crackers can be part of a short break. Be conscious not to leave any garbage behind and to follow instructions about the when and where it is allowed to eat your snack in each animal park.
Insect/tick repellent and sting cream
Going into natural animal habitats also means coming into contact with unwanted parasites. There are ways to protect yourself from mosquitos, bees and ticks. When in the forrest it is ideal to wear long sleeves and long pants tucked into the socks so that they don't brush against the grass or weeds. This prevents from ticks climbing onto the clothes from the grass or bushes. For higher protection spray the children's bodies with tick spray and insect repellent. A sting cream comes in handy often as bug bites or contact with poison-ivy is possible in any outdoor environment.
No matter where you choose to go you will definitely want photographs of your visit and your children will love having memories of those moments. Instead of an extra camera, a smartphone will certainly do!
The right clothes and shoes
Comfortable clothes and shoes that allow you to move around easily and are not too heavy are a must. Always check the weather on the morning of your excursion and keep a backpack with extra layers. A light fleece or windbreaker is often handy no matter the season, as weather changes quickly and shady areas can be chilly even on the warmest of days.
If you are not sure of what you and your children should wear you could always call or email the place you are visiting in advance.
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