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Bay Explorers

My vision is to inspire families of all backgrounds to explore, be present, and have fun with their children in the Bay Area.

Happy Hollow Zoo and Park

Happy Hollow Zoo and Park in San Jose is a great place to take your family for the day, especially younger children. My husband drives by this place all the time when he is at work and has been trying to convince me to go for months now. I guess for some reason I had been reluctant to go, maybe because of the distance or because of how I usually feel about zoos, but we finally decided to go and we loved it! I have to say I was very impressed by it! The whole place is very clean and welcoming with friendly staff. If you have a AAA card you can get a discount- $3 off each ticket woo hoo! The trip is very affordable.

There is a small zoo portion with only relatively small animals which I sort of appreciate because I hate seeing large animals caged. They have a cute petting zoo complete with a mini pony, sheep, a small cow, and lots of lots of goats! Goats are me and my baby's favorite and there were plenty of friendly ones on hand at the petting zoo for us to pet and brush. Near the zoo portion is the crooked house. This house has a steep slide for kids to go down, best to stay off if you are an adult. It goes way too fast for adults, lol. I took my baby down after my daughter warned me not to. It was so steep I practically shot out the bottom and landed on my butt. I thought I broke my ankle and had to sit there in shame while other parents stared at me until I had the strength to get up. My oldest daughter loved it though.

There are two different ride sections. One in the front of the zoo with the cutest animal themed merry-go-round you will ever see. In the back there are more rides and a giant playground. I like these attractions because my littlest one had rides she could go on too. Sometimes you go to places and they don't have any options in terms of rides for toddlers, but Happy Hollow had multiple options for her including ladybug bouncers, cars, and the slowest dragon train ride ever. All the rides are free with admission and do not require any extra tickets. The grounds at Happy Hollow are very well manicured & visually pleasing. Also everywhere you turn is a play structure for kids. I was surprised at how many different structures there were and that they seemed to be sprinkled throughout the park. The main structure is towards the back and is a sight to behold with lots of climbing and sliding opportunities. Although I was originally reluctant to go there, now I can't wait to take my kids back!

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