Ark Avilon Zoo and Cat cafe
We have gone to the zoo several times since my son was an infant and it always feels like a different experience every time. Now that he’s almost two years old, he has better understanding of the different animals in pictures or from toys. Luckily, there was a 50% off deal for Ark Avilon Zoo at Metrodeal so we went there last Father’s Day weekend.
This was our first time to visit Ark Avilon Zoo near Tiendesitas in Pasig. If it weren’t for the discount, we would not have gone because I’ve heard that it was a small zoo and the regular rates are 400 php for adults and 300 php for children. We got our tickets for only 189 php each and it was a really good deal!
The zoo is shaped like an ark hence the name Ark Avilon. First thing you’ll see are their pet and gift shops. They have Guinea pigs, rabbits and hedgehogs for sale. Check out their website to see more of their animals for sale. You’ll be greeted by their birds upon entering: parrots, hornbills, cockatoos and mynas perched on branches, and without leash. We spent a lot of time here just talking to the birds.
This zoo is focused on interacting with the animals and feeds are being sold for 40 php each. You will have to buy a different feed for different animals like the birds, fishes, a bearcat and a tortoise at the ground floor. We arrived early at the zoo and although we didn’t feed them from our hands, we saw some of them eating their morning meals.
There are some animals that you will need to buy tickets for if you want to take pictures. For 50 php, you can have your picture taken with either the parrots, a python or Jenny the resident orangutan. Jenny seemed ready for some photo ops because she was even wearing a perfume. I was really amazed at how big her hands were, like she could crush my skull if she wanted to. My son looked a little scared of Jenny and didn’t want to feel her fur.
There were glass cages at both sides of the ground floor housing different animals. If I remember correctly, there was a white tiger, jaguar, leopard, two female lions, sun bear, jackals, penguins and a gibbon who tried to jump at us. We were a little freaked out.
I’m guessing that the tortoise exhibit was my son’s favorite because he has been talking about it the past few days. “Big turtle!” “Eating fruit!” I don’t know if he understands what big is because it was not in his vocabulary last week.
There are several bird and reptile exhibits at the second floor and more animal feeding opportunities. There were some rabbits, a group of Guinea pigs, some goats and sheep, a pony and a donkey. I decided that it was more fun to feed some goats so we bought some kangkong leaves for 40 php.
There was a play area at the second floor and we also spent a great deal of time just resting and playing with sand and the playhouse. They also sell snacks at the second floor, if you want to bring your own food, prepare to pay some corkage fee of 25 php/meal/person.
We kept going back to our favorite exhibits and spent about 2 hours in the zoo. It was really worth it! But I think the regular rate is expensive and it would be best if you can get the tickets at a discount.
Although the zoo was probably intended for bigger kids, I was still really surprised that they did not have a diaper changing station. I mean, it’s not like you are going to leave your baby at home when you bring your kids to the zoo.
If you would like to visit Ark Avilon Zoo with your family, you can visit their website here.
Here’s how to commute there. You can just walk from Tiendesitas.
The zoo has a few parking slots but they have a sign that says you have to spend 600 php to park for free otherwise you can pay for 100 php. If you don’t mind walking, you can park at Tiendesitas or at the building beside Fun Ranch.
Velvet friends cat cafe
In the afternoon, we checked out the recently opened cat cafe at Blue Bay Walk. I thought this kind of cafe was only available in Japan but there are actually several cat cafes in Metro Manila. You can order some drinks and desserts while looking at their cuddly cats or you can go inside and cuddle them for a fee.
You can play and cuddle with different breeds of cats at the cafe. Just remember to bring some socks so you won’t need to buy some.Visit the Velvet Friends Facebook page for more information.
Cat lovers and children are really going to enjoy being with the cats. The entrance fee is a bit pricey in my opinion, but you can still watch the felines’ cuteness from the cafe especially if you have cat allergies. Just be careful, you might become addicted to their charms!
It was a great Father’s day weekend, I’m really happy that my son had lots of fun and I did too! I can’t wait for our next zoo adventure.