I had to take a trip to Paso Robles and we decided to stop in Atascadero on the way back for some lunch and our first visit to the Charles Paddock Zoo. Our choice for lunch, mainly because we were starving was the A&W just up the road. After lunch, we hopped in the car, loaded the kids into the car seats and made the couple minute drive to the museum.
The Good: The zoo is very clean and modern. It is run by the city of Atascadero so I didn’t fear that the animals would break out of their cages. Seriously, seeing animal attacks at small zoos on the news always concerns me. The animals are close, very very close. If you have ever been to the LA Zoo, or any others you will be shocked at how up close and personal you can get with most of the animals. It is next door to a large park with a playground area and BBQ pits. You can easily make a day of things by visiting, and having lunch in the park.
They do allow re-admission with a receipt. Visiting during a weekday, pretty much gave us the run of the zoo. My kids loved it.
The Bad: It is very small, very, very small. We brought our stroller, but the kids had no use for it at all. Our two year old had no problem walking the entire thing. There were not that many animals and out of those, some exhibits were closed.
The Kids Take: Montana loved it, so did Eddie.
Overall: It is a cool small zoo, especially for young children. You can get up close to the animals, which the kids love. I can’t imagine visiting more than once or twice a year, and I’d definitely have plans for the rest of your day after your visit.
The Gift shop sells all the usual zoo gifts, plus Ice Cream
The little guys actually came right up in front of my camera.
The entrance to the aviary with small plastic chain links.
Montana tried to get them to talk, but had no luck :)
I would have loved to get better photos, but with the enclosure so high, I had to shoot through plastic.
Eddie LOVED this water fountain.
The farm exhibit was pretty cool.
We had a good laugh at this good looking fella.