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Jennifer Chu

Washington, District of Columbia

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National Zoo

3001 Connecticut Ave, Washington, District of Columbia

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  • Little kids (3-5)
Visited: March 2013 | Submitted: Mar 19, 2013 | I traveled with tots (0-2) and little kids (3-5)

Great Outing for Families

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With two kids, our goal for any zoo outing is just to enjoy the day out without any tears. Ha ha! We've pretty much got our method down to a science--we pack lunch and snacks, talk about the animals with my 5 year old in advance, and we pick an exhibit to start from. Some visits we manage to hit 4-5 exhibits, other times we stay in one place all morning and enjoy ourselves. In recent years, the National Zoo has taken on a lot of big scale improvements to really make enriching habitats for a lot of the animals, which has bettered the zoo-going experience for the people, too. American Trail is a great exhibit, it has a "sprayground" area for kids to romp around in. The new Elephant Center opens in late March.

Tips for Families

1) If you have young kids, don't expect to cover the entire Zoo in one visit. 2) Parking in the D lots (bottom of the hill) is plentiful, and it puts you closer to the Pizza Garden/Kid's Farm area of the zoo, but it means a long uphill walk to see the pandas. 3) Bring your own food. It is allowed andquite frankly, anything you bring will be better than what the Zoo sells. 3) If you live in the area, it is worth it to be a FONZ member. Not only is parking free, but you often get early previews at new attractions, first priority tickets for some of the big Zoo events like ZooLights and Boo at the Zoo.

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Ko Olina Beach Lagoon 4

92-100 Waipahe Pl, Kapolei, Hawaii

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  • Little kids (3-5)
Visited: October 2011 | Submitted: Jan 4, 2013 | I traveled with little kids (3-5)

Lagoons are perfect for young children

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The Ko Olina lagoons, while "man made," are really quite lovely and perfect for families with small children. The lagoons are very calm and best of all--sandy, not rocky! You can still see sea life snorkeling around the edge of the lagoons. There are 4 lagoons, but lagoon 4 is the only one that is not directly in front of a large resort, so it tends to be the least crowded. Because it's so calm, you can bring floaties/inflatables far out into the lagoon pretty easily. My 4-year old loved it since she could "swim" out with the grownups.

Tips for Families

Parking is very difficult to come by. Your best bet if you are not staying in Ko Olina may be to have brunch at one of the bigger hotels, leave your car there, and walk over to Lagoon 4. Umbrellas are not allowed on the beach, but you can set up on the grassy area just adjacent to the sand. There is an ABC market and other eateries in the marketplace that is just passed the entrance to Ko Olina.

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