3 Summertime Zoo Essentials

My kids just love the zoo! In fact, where we live, the zoo is like the summer hangout place for moms with kids. There’s animals, food, a splash pad, and an indoor play area for if the weather is bad. What more could you want?

Of course, when we head out to the zoo there’s 3 things I just can’t be without!

1. Little Red Wagon – This is definitely the best Summer purchase I’ve ever made. It’s also absolutely necessary for all the walking we do at the zoo. My kids are old enough to climb in and out as they want and the canopy gives them a little extra shade on sunny days – it also serves as a backup umbrella for surprise rain showers.

My only complaint with this wagon, it doesn’t have any sort of lock for the wheels. I just remember to turn the front wheels sideways when I’m parking it somewhere, so it doesn’t roll away on me.

I got this a couple of years ago and we’re still loving it. There’s room for 2 kids, our lunchbox, a small diaper bag, and a few towels. Talk about convenient!

2. Bento Boxes – I ordered these last year for school lunches and we’ve used them for that, trips to the zoo, and any other event that requires a picnic. They’re so convenient! Everyone knows which color is theirs so there’s no fighting over who gets what. And since I know who gets which color it’s easy for me to customize lunches. Best of all, I can easily fit all of them in my little portable cooler!

I don’t know about your zoo, but my zoo has really terrible concessions that are way overpriced. So everyone brings their own lunch. These little bento boxes have been a lifesaver!

3. Bobble Water Bottle – You just can’t go to the zoo all day without water. And Bobble has so many different lid colors so no one fights over which one is theirs. Have you noticed a theme? Yes, we color code practically EVERYTHING in my house. Then we always know who owns what. Plus, with the filter in, even if we’re just grabbing water from the water fountain, I know our water is well filtered.


So, tell me, do your kids love the zoo? What’s something you can’t go to the zoo without?

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Radio Flyer Wagon

I have a 3yr old and a 1yr old and we love to spend time at our local (or almost local, it’s about an hour away) amusement park and water park. Last year I pushed the oldest in the stroller and carried the baby but this year that’s not an option since they’re both getting so big. So, I went on a hunt for a good two-seater stroller option.

My first thought was to purchase this Graco Ready2Grow Stand and Ride Stroller. I love that the children sit back to back so they can’t kick each other. However, I have trouble with my current stroller getting wet and otherwise dirty at the water park and it’s so hard to clean a stroller. Plus, I would still have to lift my 3yr old in and out of this stroller. If I had an infant again this year this would have been my pick. But, since I have two young children and no infant I decided to go a different rout.

I decided to purchase this Radio Flyer Ultimate Comfort Wagon for the girls this summer. It’s plastic and it has drain holes in the bottom. So, when it gets dirty all I have to do is take it outside and hose it off. Or, I could have the girls clean it while I clean the cars.

I took it with me to the amusement park for the first time this past week and I loved it! It rolls really well – sometimes a little too well, it’s easy for my 3yr old to get in and out of, and the seats are super easy to move around for one or two children. Part of the time both girls rode facing each other, part of the time just the baby rode with the tray down and her bowl of popcorn on top, and near the end of the day when they were getting cranky they both rode facing the same direction so they couldn’t kick each other any more. It takes just a few seconds to move the seats, so much easier than I was expecting!

And the best part, it was so much easier to get all the popcorn out than it was with my stroller! I really think the girls had more room, and definitely more freedom, than they would have in the stroller.

As for cons, the wagon rolls really well, which is great unless you’re going down hill. With both girls in it it kind of pushes me down the hills. Next time I’m going to try turning it around and taking it down the hill backwards so it doesn’t run me over. On the bright side, it’s pretty easy to get it up a hill.

Also, there’s no wheel locks like on a stroller so if I need it to stay in place while my child climbs in or out I have to keep it still, and I can’t park it on a hill. And there’s a lot of hills around here.

And, I haven’t figured out how to get it up or down steps so if a place doesn’t have a ramp I’m not sure what I’ll do. However, I don’t think a two seater stroller would be any easier and most buildings have a ramp somewhere.

All in all, I thought it was easier to pull around the park than a stroller, the girls had more room and more freedom, and the snacking was way easier to clean up after.

The storage bag easily fit my two beach towels, diapers, cups, extra clothes, and snacks. There’s still room for more beach towels, clothing, diapers, and anything else I need. I also love that each of the girls has a cup holder for their cups and there’s two cup holders for my cups (though my 1yr old figured out how to reach my cup – while buckled in. Every time I turned around she was helping herself to my drink).

I really enjoyed my new wagon, and I’m very happy with how easy it is to use. I can’t wait to see what else I can do with it this summer!