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Now THIS is a Family Vacation

taviano-zoo-familySome would call life with three kids a bit of a zoo. For the Taviano family, it really is.

Fifty-two zoos, to be exact, visited over a stretch of fifty-two weeks by the Ohio family of five. They started last August in Louisville and wrapped up their “Zoo Year” this week in Columbus, Ohio.

With a taste for travel and the pocketbooks of a family with kids, this was the Tavianos’ big splurge. No surprise, “52 Zoos in 52 Weeks” is intended for another of those “a year of . . .” books, with mom Marla, an author and Christian speaker doing the honors on one, a memoir. For the second she’ll join forces with her daughters. But thanks to the pre-book blogging efforts, American families can get a taste of what they’ll see at zoos from Fort Worth to the Bronx online.

The Tavianos fudged a bit on the fifty-two week schedule (with three young kids ages three to eight, can you blame them?). It was fifty-two, all right, but there were some weeks where they hit more than one zoo, some weeks where they hit none. And some days where they hit more than one.

lincolnparkzooBabble asked the Tavianos for some tips for your next zoo trip. Here’s what Marla had to say:

“Get a copy of America’s Best Zoos. It was an invaluable part of our trip–we met the authors, and they helped us tremendously. Save some loose change, and let your kids ride rides!

Pack a lunch–zoo food can be expensive.

Have each child pick 1 or 2 favorite animals, and make sure you see those, but if you have small children, don’t try to see the entire zoo in one day. (Our girls were an exception–they became quite used to long days and getting through zoos quickly!)

Take lots of photos! If your zoo provides opportunities to feed an animal, do it! Especially animals like giraffes!”

You can check out the Tavianos’ site here. Will you be planning your next zoo trip?

Image: Marla Taviano (cake made by Jessicakes)

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