After months of being postponed due to storms, the Dengue epidemic, and my husband’s schedule, we finally made it to Avilon Zoo last October 31 and we can say that it was all worth the wait and the long drive. It’s a family field trip, nature walk, up close animal encounters, and a 4-hour hike rolled into one. It’s our greatest family adventure to date! The zoo houses more animals than we expected — a mix of native-born animals and exotic wildlife.
It was a good thing that my husband suggested that we go on the last day of October to ensure that the roads and the zoo would be less crowded. Avilon Zoo is located at 9003 GP Sitio Gulod, San Isidro, 1860 Rodriguez, Rizal. We live in the south of Metro Manila and it took us almost two hours to get there. This was considering the fact that we left home at mid-morning and we only encountered light to moderate traffic in the areas of Cubao and Montalban. The ride home was a different story. We went out a few minutes before the zoo closes. Since it was October 31, the day when most people were going to the cemetery to visit the remains of their dearly departed, there was a surge of people and vehicles that slowed down the traffic and made the streets and main roads busier than it was in the morning. It was a good thing that we ate snacks and have already freshened up before leaving Avilon. We also had plenty of food and drinks left in the car and Netflix to keep us entertained while enduring the traffic.
Despite the long travel and a slowdown in traffic, we had a great time as a family and we’re happy to have close encounters with animals. Seeing the joy in our children’s eyes is priceless!
Traveling from South to East is challenging enough; add the (almost daily) crazy traffic in the Metro and it sure becomes a test of patience. To ensure that our much awaited field trip would be enjoyable and pleasant as it can be, we did the following:
- Bought tickets at the Avilon Zoo website – Entrance fee is a bit costly. The walk-in rate for adults is Php800 and Php600 for kids. Children under 12 months of age get in for free. We took advantage of Avilon Zoo’s ongoing online promo where we paid Php600 for each of us. When we got there, we just presented a screenshot of our payment confirmation at the zoo’s entrance.
- Packed snacks and drinks – Wherever we go, I always pack snacks and water for all of us just so we have something to eat while in the car. This practice proved to be very handy during our trip to the zoo. We had food to munch on and drinks to quench our thirst while stuck in traffic. It may not be a full meal but it sure did save us from starving and being grumpy.
- Brought extra clothes for each member of the family – The Avilon Zoo is on a 7-hectare land that involved a lot of walking and going up and down the stairs and ramps. There are very few shaded areas and we went there on a mid-day and stayed until late afternoon. It sure was hot and humid even if we used our umbrellas and the kids wore their hats. It was a really good exercise — especially for my husband who had to carry our stroller when we pass through some areas — we burned a good number of calories, and we also sweat a lot. Having a set of extra clothes to change on really helped and made us comfortable on our ride home. It was a good thing that Avilon had spacious, clean, well-lit, and pleasant-smelling comfort rooms for visitors to use, especially for freshening up.
The Avilon Zoo is indeed a great place to visit for families with young children. I highly suggest that you visit the zoo on weekdays to avoid the huge crowd and to enjoy observing and being up close with the animals for as long as you like. If you are a homeschooling family like us, this is a schedule that might appeal to you. Though, according to the zookeepers, the Bird Show is only done during weekends. Should this be your goal, then you are better off going on Saturdays and Sundays. Whichever day, you plan to go, I hope that you would all have a great time as much as we did. 🙂