The Sonia Show

Writer. Mocker. Beer drinker. Old movie watcher. Mother. Goober.

We bought a zoo (membership)


Yeah, so, before I had a kid, I almost never went to the zoo.

I think the last time I went to the zoo (that didn’t involve my kid or a weird work-related zoo board meeting) I might have been 18. I think a boy took me to the zoo on a date, because we weren’t old enough to go to a bar. “Want to walk around and look at animals?” “Umm, I guess.”

What I’m saying is, I go to the zoo all the time now, because my kid isn’t old enough to go to a bar.

Man, oh man, kids love the zoo. They go crazy. They run all over the place, screaming and pointing at animals in cages natural habitats. I like the zoo, too. Most of those animals have it pretty good. I mean, I wouldn’t mind laying around all day while someone brought me food. Sounds awesome.

Some of them are depressing sites, though. I think chimps are way too smart for a zoo. They look like me in a meeting at work; unhappy and bored. Also, the polar bears are a bummer. Shouldn’t they put them in enclosed area with the air conditioner turned up to high or something? They look uncomfortable. Of course, I guess these animals should consider themselves lucky to be here. Some other zoos are not so nice. Oh yeah, that reminds me. Fuck you, Copenhagen Zoo. You are the worst.

So anyway, in the Bay Area, we are really fortunate to have two really nice zoos. The Oakland Zoo is great. The weather is usually nicer in the East Bay, and the zoo is a little smaller. It’s walkable for a little ones. The San Francisco Zoo is bigger and has more animals. Also, it’s about a three-minute drive from our house. Last year we had a membership to the Oakland Zoo. This year, my aunt Jeanne bought us a membership to the San Francisco Zoo, so we go to the SF Zoo most of the time.


The Spawn doesn’t ask us to buy him things … yet. I’m sure that day will come. However, I think the panda hats are really cute, and I finally broke down and bought one.


Family selfie on the zoo train. I’m wearing the panda hat because I wanted to make sure we got our money’s worth.

The San Francisco Zoo has my favorite animals: penguins and giraffes. I could watch them all day. Also, and this is important, the San Francisco Zoo serves beer. I see parents walking around without a beer and I think, “Don’t they know they serve beer here?”

The San Francisco Zoo also recently added a ginormous playground. It’s got three playgrounds for three different age groups, and they are pretty nice. There’s a little area for babies; a medium-size area for toddlers; and a big wooden play structure for bigger kids. Give you one guess which one my kid insists on …


And here’s one of my new favorite things about this play area: There’s a little cafe! They serve coffee and tasty sandwiches. I got the turkey sandwich with pesto, and it was good. The sandwich was $10, and it came with chips. That’s about what I would pay for a decent lunch anywhere in SF.

I told mighty, mighty good man David that we should just start packing up the kid and going to lunch at the zoo on the weekends. It only takes us a few minutes to get there. We have a membership. We can eat our tasty overpriced sandwiches while our kid tires himself out on the playground. Maybe the zoo could be our go-to place?

What’s your go-to place?



Author: The Sonia Show

I'm a writer/podcaster/mother/goober in San Francisco who likes to drink beer, shop, laugh and make other people laugh, watch old movies, feed my unhealthy obsession with pop culture, kick breast cancer's ass, go on adventures with my mighty, mighty good man David and my awesome autistic son, Calvin, wear orange and root for the San Francisco Giants, participate in general jackass-ery, talk about TV, eavesdrop on strangers' conversations, make nerdy “Star Wars” and “Simpsons” references, and post personal things about myself on the web for all to read, which makes me some sort of literary exhibitionist.

10 thoughts on “We bought a zoo (membership)

  1. I liked your style. What a nice twist on the sometimes obsessive mommy culture. Your self-description is priceless. Thanks for a good a.m. start. You go.

  2. Thanks, Catherine! I’m glad you are enjoying my blog.

  3. We go to the zoo all the time. My mom renews our membership every Christmas. The Girl works there on weekends cleaning out cages of animals who can’t bite off more than a finger. If you’re gonna buy lunch, get a sandwich from Java Beach and take it into the zoo. Much yummier and prices are about the same.

  4. South Bay folks w/ toddlers get Happy Hollow memberships. In a couple of years (when kid is tall enough for more rides) try to make it to Gilroy (AKA Bonfante) Gardens. Very peaceful & relaxing.

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