Day trip to Duisburg Zoo
As you may recall, I reviewed the Duisburg Zoo way back when we first moved to Germany, 2 years ago. While the Zoo hasn’t changed much, our family has and our traveling style has as well.
This will be the second year we purchase the annual pass, and we have visited a handful of times since the renewal in April. Baby girl doesn’t need a pass until she is old enough to pay, 3 years old. So far, we have spent 2-3 hours max each time, and always centered around the Dolphin show and the neighboring dolphin park. This time, we arrived just before opening, which meant the show didn’t start for 2.5 hours. This was perfect for keeping his attention focused on the end result; we can’t leave until after the show, which means best behaviour or we go home and no show. He was a perfect angel the whole time; surprise surprise.
As seen on; 70 day trips from Dusseldorf
A little background
As one of the largest zoos in Germany, Duisburg has a reputation to uphold. The tram is directly across the street, the station is called “Zoo” and a large, dedicated parking lot is not far either. We drove once, pretty easy to get to and lots of spaces available, but it can get pretty full on the weekends, so arrive early. The lot is also in the woods so your car won’t get overheated while you are out for hours, which we loved because we forgot our wind shield visor. There are 4 kiosks to purchase your tickets and they move rather quickly. They are also able to sell annual passes at the same counter, provided you bring photos – we forgot the first time; just pay, keep your receipt and bring it back with a photo next time you visit. There are wagons for rent at the front entrance as well; monster always wants one but with little sister still taking a nap during the day, I need daddy to help me. There are little play areas thrown throughout the zoo, and two big parks; one at the dolphinariaum and one at the seal feeding. There are also several restaurants throughout the zoo. Once in a while, you will see stalls that sell popcorn, nachos and balloons. Monster didn’t like the popcorn and I am not paying that much for 2 balloons; one for him and one for her, of course, but the other kids seemed to enjoy them.
What we saw
We started at the front of the zoo, saw the giraffes, elephants, pelicans and sea otters. Got our photo taken (to be picked up in the way out – I love it, only on weekends though). The lemurs were next. It starts with a bridge over a creek, completely surrounded by trees. Of course that got his attention. There was a lemur running around. Out side of his enclosure. Not sure if they were allowed or one escaped – a lion escaped from a Berlin enclosure shortly after – but it was neat. We walked all the way up the left side of the zoo, and saw many animals we had never seen here before. Monster had a great time; thanks to the great TV choices we have allowed him to watch, he knew each animals name and a few fun facts as well. Because English is not an official second language in Germany, the signs were all in German, save the name of the animal itself; Latin, German and British English name.
45 min later we arrive at the house – that was a 6.5 hour zoo excursion, 8 hour outing. Better believe the monster isn’t waking at 530 bloody am tomorrow morning.
Over all, I am quiet happy with the outcome of today. I have never had his attention, good behaviour and over all self-discipline this way before and I think it was largely due to his interest in the zoo itself. It is large enough, that despite large numbers, we were able to move around freely and not feel over crowded. The feeding times were spread out across the zoo as well so as to spread out the crowd even more. Each restaurant had abundant seating, roughly half of which was covered in case of rain/strong sun. Ample seating at the dolphin show also meant not too many had to stand in the back; there was also lots of space to park the stroller inside the dome so us parents could keep a close eye on our belongings. Toilets were nicely spread apart and well marked, and surprisingly clean considering how much traffic they must see in a day.