Hawaii Mom Blog: Visiting the Honolulu Zoo During COVID is Wild




January 18, 2021

Visiting the Honolulu Zoo During COVID is Wild

Before having a baby I honestly don’t remember the last time I visited the Honolulu Zoo except for the summer concerts my parents would take us to when we were kids. Not that I don’t looooove zoos (refer to pics of our trip to Australia where I dragged Todd to two different zoos), so I don’t know what was stopping me.

And for some reason we never found the time to take E before he turned one so it wasn’t till months into COVID that we found ourselves at the zoo.

For one, it’s outdoor so the exposure is less and they are pretty strict about mask wearing (I’ve seen employees on several occasions correct people whose masks have fallen below their nose). They’ve also created a one-way experience so you walk through.. and that’s it, no backtracking or crossing by many people again and again which is nice. In enclosed areas they limit it to one or two families depending on the space and they’ve closed off several areas including the keiki petting zoo and jungle gyms (which is kind of a bummer because E would love both).

We typically breeze through in about an hour – a little longer if we stop and make a picnic on the lawn and let E chase the peacocks. It’s the perfect weekend diversion for a toddler.

Our tips and tricks for having a koala-ity experience (ironically Honolulu Zoo does not have any koalas): 

Get the annual pass. I HIGHLY recommend it. We have already gone at least four times since getting it a few months ago making it well worth the price. Plus during the weekends I’ve seen the regular admission line stretch well into the parking lot where we just breezed in in the members line. If you hate waiting in line that alone is worth the cost of admission.

Get there early. We typically arrive before 10:30 or about there (the zoo opens at 10 right now) so we are often in and out before the real crowd arrives. On several occasions we’ve gone long stretches without even seeing anyone in the zoo because the lack of people there. Plus arriving early gets you out of the heat faster. 

Wear shoes. It’s all paved but if you and it’s rained recently there will be puddles. And there is a lot of dirt everywhere cause well, it’s a zoo.

Don’t forget your mask. Even though its outdoors masks are required at all times except in designated dining areas. 

Bring sunscreen. This is like for every outdoor activity. It’s hot. Yes, even in the winter. 

Bring water. 

Pack snacks. Just make sure you’re eating them (and removing your mask) in designated dining areas.

Visit the Honolulu Zoo website for more info, their latest hours and other COVID protocols here: www.honoluluzoo.org/. 

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