Who doesn't love the zoo? You and your child can while away the hours watching animals on your own, or you can join a class for some organized fun. Most zoos offer a take on the "mommy and me" theme with sessions designed for toddlers (or preschoolers) and a parent. Along with guided tours, most zoos offer an up-close encounter with an animal, and other hands-on activities. Expect each session to center on a theme, take an hour or two, and cost less for members than non-members.
Not only will your child learn about animals from around the world, but you can turn your outing into days of fun. Check out zoo-related activities from the Smithsonian during the days leading up to your zoo adventure. The site shares facts about different species (did you know a lion's roar can be heard up to five miles away?), photo galleries and games. Have your child choose an animal to search for during your zoo visit.