If you plan on visiting your local zoo this summer, here are a few things you should do to make sure your kids have a fun time, but survive the heat.
First, visit on a cloudy day whenever possible. If this is not possible, be sure to get there when the zoo opens at 9am to avoid both the heat and the crowds.
Next, let your children climb on to any statue they see.
If one of your children falls down and scrapes his knee because he was running, be sure to take a picture before making him feel better. That will teach him not to run when you told him to walk.
If you come across a large piece of statuary that includes multiple animals, be sure to take a picture with every child sitting (or lounging) on their own animal. If you don't have enough kids of your own, borrow one from a friend if possible.
Take individual pictures of the child who fell if he looks especially concerned about his scraped knee. It will remind him of the lesson he learned today for years to come.
If you have a child under two, take an extra picture of him or her as well. Babies always get more face-time with the camera.
If your kids are territorial and competitive, be sure to let them rearrange themselves and take another picture so they all get a chance to be on the dominant animal.
When you observe animals cuddling, be sure to say, "Awwww!"
If it's a dangerous animal, such as a grizzly bear, be frightened by their long claws.
Visit the bald eagles and take a moment to stop and feel patriotic. It IS almost Independence Day, after all.
Be impressed by the velvet on the elk's "rack", and think of your brother-in-law who would like to shoot him during hunting season.
And when you just cannot stand the heat another second...
Go to the splash park in the Children's Zoo area.
See if the water is strong enough to propel the baby into the air.
Get the older kids to watch the younger ones while you relax in the shade.
In order to be thoroughly soaked before leaving, let the kids take turns sitting on the water spouts to see how much water their clothes can absorb.
Finally, when they (or you) are done, head for home.
I hope you remembered to pack the towels!