Friday, June 21, 2013

Twin Valley Zoo - Brantford

My daughter making her patented GRRRR face in front of the tiger cage.  Very ferocious.  
Brantford's Twin Valley Zoo  is nowhere near the size of the Toronto Zoo but when you have little kids in tow that is not necessarily a bad thing.
Checking out the highly comical camel.  Seriously, someone needs to get this guy his own sitcom or  website or something.  He is forever loping about after kangaroos or making faces at passers-by.  
Twin Valley Zoo covers about 25 acres which is enough to house dozens of animals, including bears, camels, tigers, lions, monkeys and zebras without being so big that you can't see it all.  It is the perfect manageable size for a family to do in a day.
The Creature Showcase is a great way for kids to see animals up close .
They can even touch some of them.

You can see all the animals, catch the Creature Showcase show that runs several times a day and, if you go on the weekend, get a pony ride.  The zoo has lots of shade which is also nice for those of the pasty persuasion (like me).  There is even a short wooded trail that you can walk along to hide from the day star if, again, you are anything like me (i.e. part mole).  The trail is, somewhat inexplicably, decorated with wooden gnomes which were actually pretty popular with the kids walking along.  So, someone at Twin Valley Zoo is clearly a genius and knows something I don't about kids and their latent love of gnomes.  
This pony's name is Grace.
You can also buy some deer and goat food in the main building where you pay admission.  The food is $1 a bag and a bag will go a long way.  
Appalled at having been licked by a deer.
For the deer, you have to feed them through the fence but for the goats you can go right into their little enclosure and frolic with them to your heart's content.  When we first went in I saw a sign instructing people not to pick up the goats and I thought, "pshaw, who would pick up a goat?"  Then we rounded the little building and I saw these little teeny tiny goats and I was like "eeeee!  I want one!" and it took every ounce of will power to not pick one up and make a break for it.  So, anyway, now I get the sign.  The goat area was a big hit with my family. 
Mulling over how fast she would have to run to get away with a goat.  
My kids were hard pressed to pick a favourite animal but some highlights for them were the camel, kangaroos, flamingos, bear, ring tailed lemurs and the baby bobcat in the creature showcase.  

The price of admission is just under $50 for a family of four.  You can sometimes find coupons online and in the Treasures coupon book.  

Some things to keep in mind:
  • If you are looking for directions on mapquest, enter the city as Brant, not Brantford since technically it is just outside Brantford.
  • Parking is free.
  • It is accessible for wheelchairs and strollers.
  • Twin Valley Zoo is a peanut free facility. While they can't stop visitors from bringing in nuts they do ask that you don't and the food items that they sell are nut free.  
  • In theory they have a place to buy sausage on a bun and a few other things but I have been twice and it has not been open either time so I would pack a lunch just in case.  They are perfectly fine with you bringing your food and they have lots of picnic tables.  They are also out in the middle of nowhere so if you don't bring your own food and the snack bar is closed you will be up a creek.  The only place to get drinks (assuming the snack bar isn't open) is the store at the front of the zoo.
  • If you go during the week in June, be prepared for the place to be overrun with kids on year end field trips!  Either go on the weekend or wait until school is out to go during the week.  
  • The store where you pay to get in is the only place to buy the deer and goat food so you may as well get it when you come in.  

If you let them, they will eat the bag the food comes in.  They are not picky.

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