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Living Treasures

September 3, 2010

The boys and I took a trip with Squirt and her family to Living Treasures Animal Park in New Castle, PA. If you live in the Western PA area and are thinking about making a visit, here’s what I thought about the place:

It’s not like a big city zoo, but it’s much more than a little petting zoo. We got to see lions and tigers, feed monkeys, and watch a goat use a tortoise as a stage for his little dance. We all had a great time!

We arrived around 10:30 AM (a half-hour after they open). It only cost me $8.50 to get in since I had a coupon for Monkey (who would have been $5.50) and Bruiser was free. We also bought a bag of carrots to feed the animals  for $2.50. Squirt’s family grabbed a bucket of feed for $3.00 and we all shared in the fun.

The Three Munchkateers check out the water buffalo.

This little goat was quite entertaining. He was prancing around all over the place and the next thing we know he’s up doing a tap-dance on the shell of the tortoise! He was totally the zoo equivalent of a street performer.

Then after his little show he came and begged for his treats.

No, Bruiser can’t read.

These were some pretty friendly birds. Of course once they realized Squirt’s Dad hadn’t deposited a quarter in the machine to bring them some food, they weren’t too interested in staying perched on him.

I brought the stroller because Bruiser still has trouble staying close by without wandering. However, the paths are all lined with these pebbles which makes pushing the stroller not a fun job at all. Less fun, in fact, than continually wrangling my toddler. Once Bruiser discovered how fun these pebbles were to play with, he didn’t spend nearly as much time looking at the animals as he did looking at the rocks. I did notice (as we were leaving) they had jogging strollers available for rent. $4 for a single, $6 for a double. If we go again, I’ll just be leaving the stroller in the car. Even if I went with a baby, I’d prefer to wear the baby than bring a stroller. We stayed there for about three hours and that allowed us to see all the animals and some twice.

There were two different monkey exhibits. In order to feed the monkeys, you used a chain to pull a red bucket to you, then dropped your feed in. The monkeys would scurry over and grab the chain on their end to pull the bucket toward them. It was by far the most entertaining way to feed any of the animals there. Too bad they didn’t eat the feed we bought at the front; we had to put a quarter in a special crank-machine for them.

Even though the picture above is terribly overexposed on the left due to the bright sun, I’d say at least 80% of the trails were in the shade which was so relieving on the hot day we were there. Definitely a great place to bring the kids. Oh, and they do have pony and camel rides for a little extra. They were $2.00 and $4.00, respectively.

I didn’t see any people-food for sale there, so if you’re coming around lunchtime, pack a picnic and take advantage of their pavilion. That’s what we did and it worked out wonderfully!

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