Timeout New York Kids

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Time Out Kids' blogger series: Ellen Schmidt of Baby Meets City

Ellen Schmidt of Baby Meets City kicks off the Time Out Kids blogger series with a post on her experience at the Bronx Zoo's Boo at the Zoo.

  • Photograph: Marielle Solan

    Boo at the Zoo

  • Photograph: Marielle Solan

    Boo at the Zoo

  • Photograph: Marielle Solan

    Boo at the Zoo

  • Photograph: Marielle Solan

    Boo at the Zoo

  • Photograph: Marielle Solan

    Boo at the Zoo

  • Photograph: Marielle Solan

    Boo at the Zoo

  • Photograph: Marielle Solan

    Boo at the Zoo

  • Photograph: Marielle Solan

    Boo at the Zoo

  • Photograph: Marielle Solan

    Boo at the Zoo

  • Photograph: Marielle Solan

    Boo at the Zoo

  • Photograph: Marielle Solan

    Boo at the Zoo

  • Photograph: Marielle Solan

    Boo at the Zoo

  • Photograph: Marielle Solan

    Boo at the Zoo

  • Photograph: Marielle Solan

    Boo at the Zoo

  • Photograph: Marielle Solan

    Boo at the Zoo

  • Photograph: Marielle Solan

    Boo at the Zoo

  • Photograph: Marielle Solan

    Boo at the Zoo

  • Photograph: Marielle Solan

    Boo at the Zoo

  • Photograph: Marielle Solan

    Boo at the Zoo

  • Photograph: Marielle Solan

    Boo at the Zoo

  • Photograph: Marielle Solan

    Boo at the Zoo

  • Photograph: Marielle Solan

    Boo at the Zoo

  • Photograph: Marielle Solan

    Boo at the Zoo

  • Photograph: Marielle Solan

    Boo at the Zoo

Photograph: Marielle Solan

Boo at the Zoo


Here at Time Out Kids, we're very excited about our new guest blogger series. We're teaming up with mom and dad bloggers around the five boroughs and checking out some of the city's most popular weekend events. First up: Ellen Schmidt of Baby Meets City, who gives us her take on the Bronx Zoo's Boo at the Zoo.

Fall is my favorite time of year in New York City. There are so many fun autumn activities happening, and the weather is perfect for being out and about with the kids. To kick off the season, my family and I checked out the Bronx Zoo's Boo at the Zoo on Saturday, September 29. We are big fans of the zoo in general (my three-year-old Millie has a thing for giraffes. And elephants. And goats...you get the picture), but this was our first experience with "Boo." Here's a recap of our spooktacular day (sorry, I couldn't resist!):

Our first stop, after saying hello to a peacock strutting across our path, was the Hay Maze. We took off through the winding passageway and before we knew it, wound up at a dead end. And another. Millie took her daddy's hand and finally figured a way out while I prevented Vivian (a.k.a. Baby Sister) from stuffing her mouth with hay. All in all, it was a win-win situation, and the little gals were ready to head off to our next adventure, the Creepy Hollows Hayride. I'm not sure most kids can say their first hayride involved swans and skeletons, so my children are pretty lucky. The ride itself was comfy (not sitting on an actual hay bale is a real plus), and as we moved along, we passed under gigantic cob webs, rode by spooky houses and, because we're in a zoo, a pond full of geese and swans. A nice balance, I must say.

No scary Saturday is complete without a stop at a Haunted Mansion. Our tour, despite being educational (it was the home of wildlife conservationist Dr. Benton Broome, after all), proved a bit too scary for Millie, so her daddy took her out early. Vivian and I forged ahead, learning a bit about Broome's legacy of preserving animal wildlife and habitats and conserving the Earth's ecological resources. Baby Sister had a grand ol' time with the flashing lights and fog machine (babies, after all, are not easily spooked), and for an old-enough kid (five or six, maybe), the experience would be lots of fun, with just the right amount of fright.

Other highlights of the day included a meet-and-greet with world-famous pumpkin/sand/ice carver Andrew Gertler. He and a fellow sculptor were in the midst of carving an alligator and lizard when we stopped by. What amazing artwork! Gertler's reality TV show, Sand Masters, has aired for the past two seasons on the Travel Channel. While Gertler whittled away at his gigantic pumpkin, children decorated masks at a nearby arts-and-crafts station.

On our way to the Bug Carousel (a must-do for this family), we passed a costume parade that anyone could join. Most children we saw throughout the day were in costume—so cute! What a fun way for your child to try out their Halloween costume ahead of time (also, kids in costume get free admission with a paying adult). I wish I'd had them for the girls, but we have not nailed down ours as of yet. Millie is currently waffling between a dinosaur and a tiger, in case you were curious.

After stopping by the giraffes and tigers, we decided to call it a day and head home. We had a great time at our first Boo at the Zoo, and I have a feeling this event will become part of our family's yearly fall activities.

Boo at the Zoo runs weekends through October 28 at the Bronx Zoo.

Ellen Schmidt has been hauling a stroller on the subway since 2009. She writes about life with children in New York City on her blog, Baby Meets City. She is on her way to reviewing every children's book based in the Big Apple.


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