Some of my earliest and best childhood memories involve time spent with my family at York’s Wild Kingdom in York Beach, Maine.
When I was little, a bunch of us would get together and go there every July. Our day would start with donuts from Dunks. A dozen to be exact. From there we’d walk around the zoo, looking at all the animals before heading back to our vehicles for a quick lunch of homemade Italian subs. The afternoons were spent on the rides.
My mom still has pictures of the old play area that used to be inside the gates that included a huge metal slide and tire swing. One of those photos shows my brother and I, along with my cousin Jessie, all hamming it up for the camera like we so often did back then.
There also used to be an old schoolhouse that had a stool in the corner. Somewhere in my mom’s stash of photos there’s a pic of all of us children sitting at the desks and my dad facing the corner. Even without that picture, I still remember that day. And I’m sure I always will. Memories like that are hard to forget. And I don’t want to. When I’m down, I think back on memories like that to get me through. They never fail to put a smile on my face.
Creating memories that will last a lifetime is something that is extremely important to my boyfriend and I. We want to create memories that our children will remember long after they’re grown. I want our children to react the same way when they think about their time spent at York’s Wild Kingdom as I do.
I have grown up a lot since those days when I was “knee-high to a grasshopper”. I no longer have a gap-toothed grin. And as I have changed and grown, so has the zoo. It was always a fun place to go with the family. And even back then, I was in awe of it. Truth be told, I still am today.
I remember the first time we took my daughter there after years of not visiting. I stilled filled up with that same sense of wonder and excitement. And I felt it again on Friday when my boyfriend and I took my son and daughter there even though we were in the midst of a heatwave.
I admit, though, we didn’t pick the best day to attend. When we first arrived, the heat wasn’t too bad, but the longer we walked around the zoo, the more unbearable it became. My daughter ended up getting sick and puking because she was so overheated. But she was a trooper and wanted to go on rides once we were done looking at all the beautiful exhibits. Unfortunately, she was only able to go one before getting another sick feeling in her belly.
My son went on several rides, as well, and would have kept going, but both my boyfriend and daughter were looking green around the gills, so we had to leave earlier than intended. All that being said, we all still enjoyed ourselves and will definitely go back. Just not on a day that is so hot.
There were a couple of animals that looked really hot and we got pictures of them lounging around. One even lounged on my daughter and boyfriend’s shoulders. Picture below!
The exhibit that really excited me was the Butterfly Kingdom. Anyone that knows me knows how much I love butterflies and what they signify to me. I could have stayed inside the Butterfly Kingdom for hours, watching the butterflies flit about. It relaxes me and gives me a peaceful feeling inside that I love.
In total, the zoo has over 70 animals at their zoo, ranging from the Ring Tail Lemur (below) to the Fallow Deer (below).
Each habitat is clean, as are the walkways between. You can tell a lot of care is taken to keep the zoo clean and pleasing to the eye. Also, if you need to sit down and rest, as we did in the heat, there are plenty of benches available.
The rides at the park include, water bumper boats and the roller coaster.
You will also find several places to purchase meals and snacks. If you’d prefer to bring your own food, there are picnic tables as well.
Below you will find two slideshows of our time at York’s Wild Kingdom. We snapped a lot of photos, and the ones included in the slideshows are only a small fraction. We hope you enjoy viewing them.
Disclaimer: In exchange for an honest review of York’s Wild Kingdom, Frugal Maine was given free passes to the park. All opinions expressed within this post are my own.