I started this blog with one daughter, kept it up with the other, to spend time together doing something we enjoyed.
However, things change and people evolve. My daughters are older, busier, and not as interested in writing.
From now on this blog will be mostly mom with occasional contributions from my daughters and maybe even my husband.
Nothing else will change. We'll still focus on sharing fun places to go, fun things to do, and more, and we would  still love to hear your views too

Wednesday, September 2, 2020

Where-To-Go Wednesday - Turtleback Zoo

What: Turtleback Zoo

Where: 560 Northfield Ave.
              West Orange, NJ

Who: All ages


Me - The Turtleback Zoo was fun. The animals were cute. I love animals! My sister's favorite was the giraffes. I did not really have a favorite animal at the zoo though.  I  really liked the penguins, but I really liked a lot of the animals. The prairie dogs were fun to watch. One was following another one around, and two of them were fighting. We went into the Reptile House. You had to wait to go in there. Reptiles are not my favorite but I don't mind them. I don't remember that much about what we saw in the Reptile House. A lot of the animals that were not indoors at the zoo were hiding in the shade because it was a really hot day.  There was a hyena that was lying down and all stretched out sleeping. It reminded me of our cats. There was an adorable little monkey. I don't remember what kind of monkey it was, but it was just so cute! There were flamingos. Their pink color matched my sister's hair. That was funny! There were kangaroos.  Kangaroos are so cool! Unfortunately, we didn't see as many animals as we usually do at the zoo. This is partly because of the animals hiding because of heat, but also because we didn't have a map so we couldn't keep track of which animals we had seen and which we hadn't. Zoos are never organized in a way that you can easily go through them in a straight line so it is always hard to remember which animals you have seen and which you haven't without keeping track of it in some way. We usually like to mark things off on a map but because of Covid 19, they were not giving out maps. Also, it is very uncomfortable to wear a mask for a long time in the heat so we didn't stay as long at the zoo as we normally would. I still enjoyed visiting the Turtleback Zoo though. I always appreciate the opportunity to see live animals. I love animals!


Mom - The Turtleback Zoo is currently open daily from 10:00 AM - 4:00 PM, However, capacity is limited, and timed tickets are required. There is not a time limit on how long you can stay once you are in the zoo so at times it can be somewhat crowded although social distancing is required. You must arrive within a half-hour of your ticketed time no earlier and no later, and if you leave the zoo for any reason, you cannot return. Mask wearing is required, and your temperature will be taken upon entering the zoo. 

 The Zoo Cafe is open for takeout only. There are also some food carts open, but no sit-down restaurants. The water fountains are off so you might want to bring your own water. The gift shop is open, but only a limited number of people are allowed in at a time. 

Most if not all of the zoo exhibits are open. Some attractions including the aviary and the giraffe and goat feedings are closed. Other attractions that would normally be interactive like the touch tank and the pony rides are open for viewing only. The train and the playground are opening although it is questionable as to whether or not they should be. Indoor exhibits like the Reptile House only allow a certain number of visitors in at a time so you may have to wait in a socially distanced line. Also, at least some outdoor exhibits only allow traffic to flow in one direction. Accordingly, there are signs on the ground clearly indicating which way to go as well as signs indicating where to stand to maintain proper social distancing. Social distancing signs can be found throughout the zoo. 


All in all, they do a fairly good job of keeping everyone properly socially distanced although I did see one or two people who did not adhere to the mask requirement. Also, I would not say that you never come closer to anybody else than you should in particularly high traffic areas or when the zoo is especially crowded so if you are at a particular risk I would not recommend a visit. For the most part though, if you are not especially vulnerable and you follow the rules, maintain the proper socially distancing, and wear your mask, there is still plenty to do and see at the Turtleback Zoo, and you can still have plenty of fun there.

For more information or to purchase tickets, visit https://turtlebackzoo.com/

Tune in tomorrow for Theater Thursday.