Please welcome guest writer and Lake Country Mom, Charlotte, as she writes about her family’s trip to the Shalom Wildlife Zoo Drive-Thru Zoo in southeastern Wisconsin, about 45 minutes away from Lake Country.
UPDATE: AS of MAY 18, the Zoo is now open regularly (not drive-thru). They will still do drive thru for the days of June 2,3, and 4. The Cafe opens on May 22. Please read all their updates HERE.
The Drive-Thru Zoo You Must See
“After a weeklong stretch of 30 and 40-something degrees, the warmer spring weather this past weekend was a welcome change. As a mother of a 6 year old boy and 5 year old girl, I find that too much time inside usually leads to one of the biggest struggles of parenthood: fighting. Our family normally spends quite a bit of time doing things outdoors; nature works its magic, and all of us just feel happier. Last week was a bit rough, so I was eager to plan something different that would get us out of the house.
I am always open to new adventures and experiences, so when my friend had mentioned that she and her kids had fun checking out a drive-through zoo, I was all ears. I had heard of the Shalom Wildlife Zoo before and had been meaning to visit, but the time just hadn’t been right. I did a little bit of research, finding out that the zoo was only approximately 45 minutes away from Lake Country, so we made a plan to go!
It was a pretty drive, and the kids and I watched for “quilt barns,” rivers, and other things out of the window on the way there. I think they only asked me once, “How much farther is it?” possibly a new record for our short trips. We found it easily with our GPS and pulled in line. We listened to some music and rolled our windows down to soak up some sun while we waited about 10 minutes for our instructions.
The staff was friendly, but they kept a respectful distance and were wearing masks to minimize the spread of COVID-19. The zoo also takes other precautions and asks that you bring exact change when paying for your visit. It was $20 for the three of us. There were no open restrooms, but they told us there were portable toilets along the drive-through that were sanitized at the start of the day. We did not end up having to use them, but it was nice to have the option if needed. On that Saturday, it took us about an hour and a half to drive through the entire zoo.”
“Although we were not allowed to exit the vehicle, the kids had fun looking through our different windows to spot various animals along the way. There were also educational signs and quiz question signs posted (with answers revealed farther ahead) that I was easily able to read from our SUV. I especially liked reading the signs that taught about Native culture. The kids really enjoyed when the animals got close to our car. It was very well organized, and despite being in a vehicle the entire time, the path was narrow enough for us to almost feel like we were outside.
Oh, and our favorite animals… I loved the bears, who were very active, my son liked the tiger, and my daughter is somewhat of a llama lover so seeing them was very exciting for her! It was the perfect afternoon activity for us. Life in a world like many of us could never have imagined can be quite trying, but I continue to be impressed with the creativity and all of the good as well that is coming out of these often difficult and challenging times. My wish is that the positive developments continue into the future, even once life starts looking a little more like it used to.”