It is summertime and I am a stay at home Mom with a 7 and a 5-year-old. This may seem a daunting task to some but I have made it my mission to not hear the words…. “Mom, I’m BORED” this summer. How you ask? I say it’s all about planning. I spent a few evenings, while the kids were in bed, researching activities, places to visit, and fun craft ideas.
Finally we embarked on our first day trip and visited Lake Tobias. We went with a group of 11 people and I was a little nervous. I had never been and hoped that I had planned a fun experience for all.
It takes about an hour and a half to get there from “The Zone” and the kids were ready for fun when we arrived. After researching on-line I found that everyone recommended the regular admission and adding on the Safari Tour. This cost is a total of $10 per person (if you choose to skip the Safari tour it is just $5 per person). I loved the Tour and would do it again but if money is tight you will have a full day without the safari tour not to worry.
I learned, again through my on-line research, to get crackers at the snack stand for the Safari Tour and to take the tour first so you don’t have a long wait. Wow what a fun ride. You take a school bus that has the top cut off which makes it easy to touch and feed the animals you see along your tour. We saw so many kinds of animals and most had babies that were adorable.
One person in our group had been out West and said she got much closer to the animals on this tour than she had in Yellowstone. Our tour guide gave us information about the animals we were seeing and answered all of our questions. She was funny and entertaining too.
After our tour we ate the pre-packed lunches we brought along. There are great pavilions ,most with playgrounds, nearby for the kids to run off some energy. They do have a snack bar there and most prices seemed extremely reasonable (more on this later).
After lunch we headed to the petting zoo, at least this was the plan. Along the way we saw lions, monkeys, peacocks, turtles etc, all before we got to the official petting zoo. At the petting zoo you can feed the animals more crackers or they sell food for a quarter out of the machines. Lots of animals to feed, the kids really loved it. Who am I kidding I loved it too.
When we were finished at the petting zoo we went to the reptile house. They have shows at different times and there was a short wait for the next one so we decided to visit the snack bar where the kids got gigantic freezie pops for $1.00. What a deal! I was really impressed that all prices seemed reasonable.
I will admit snakes freak me out so I let my group go into the reptile house without me. They said it was GREAT with snakes, and crocodiles you could touch. Plus a lot of large snakes (EEK!). By this time we were quite pleased with Lake Tobias and started to head to the car only to realize there was more…much more. We saw tigers, bears, zebras, black swans, alligators etc. Check out their website for a complete list of all the animals, hours and other FAQ’s.
Our whole group LOVED Lake Tobias. The animals were well taken care of, the food was reasonable, dare I say cheap even, the bathrooms were clean and the staff members were very pleasant and friendly. Best of all, we definitely had a day where no one said they were BORED! Our next trip is the Turkey Hill Experience. My fingers are crossed for another FUN day.
Michele Evans Wieland (pictured below with her husband, Charles)
Check out our August issue to find out how Michele’s Turkey Hill Experience went with the children and their friends.