The Bergen County Zoo, part of Van Saun Park in Paramus, has always been among my favorite places. As a kid, my mom would gather up our cousins and take us all there for a visit with the animals and a picnic. We would buy a bucket of Kentucky Fried Chicken (back then, it wasn’t called KFC) and eat and frolic in the playground before strolling through the adorable zoo and taking a train ride. Now, it’s a joy to take my son and niece and nephew (and other young family members) for some good old-fashioned fun.
That’s why I was among the first to register for the zoo’s Easter Egg Hunt, which happened on Saturday. To my shock and delight, the entire event was free. There was an egg hunt (5 eggs per child), face painting, pictures with the Easter Bunny, story time with a live bunny, frog origami making, and cookies and juice at no charge, not even an admissions fee. Even though there were some big lines to participate in these activities, the kids had a blast. Baby Boy played with the plastic, jumping bunnies he found in his Easter eggs while he waited to have a duck painted on his arm. And he happily devoured an oatmeal raisin cookie while taking a walk through the zoo. Running buffalo, a friendly horse, and a nesting goose were among the highlights. Afterward, we headed to the picnic area, where I hid more eggs that I had filled at home, and we ate homemade everything – chicken wings, macaroni and cheese, string bean and potato salad, and peanut butter and jelly sandwiches in the shape of bunnies. Jumping in the pile of leaves near our picnic table was a bonus that this mamma didn’t see comin’. You can check out the animals we encountered below. And consider heading to the local zoo yourself.