Don't let the name fool you; the Fort Wayne Children's Zoo is by no means only for kids. Even as a 20-something, I still love going to the zoo. There are some things you never grow out of. Still, I want different things out of my zoo experience than I did when I was younger. I've figured out a great strategy to make the most of my time at the zoo.Waterfall at the Indonesian RainforestFirst, go early. I like to get there right when the zoo opens at 9:00 a.m. Not only is it cooler outside, making the trip much more enjoyable, but it is also much less crowded and the animals are more active. The animals get tired in the heat of the day too, but in the morning they are fresh and you are much more likely to see interesting fish, the Binturong up and moving about, the orangutans swinging around, and the giraffes up close. You may even see a flock of peacocks in a tree. Quite an impressive site, the peacocks sleep in a few trees by the tortoise exhibit.

Penguins at the ZooIf you aren't one for crowds, try going through the zoo backward. Especially if you get there early, you will have the run of the place for most of your trip. It makes the trip much more quiet and peaceful, and allows you the best views of the animals. You are never too old for rides either. I am a fan of the train or the log ride. The log ride is peaceful and quiet and feel very secluded. The train ride makes my nostalgia flare up and makes me feel like a little kid again.                    

While you can get food at one of the many places at the zoo, if you are a college student on a budget like me, that might be a bit too much to swing. Try bringing a bottle of water and a small snack in your bag to tide you over until you get home. It's also nice when walking through to let yourself linger at one of the exhibits. I like to sit down at the sea lions for a few minutes; watching them swim gracefully through the water is memorizing. Take a drink, rest your legs, and just take in the experience. The zoo is also a great place to learn something new. Read the signs that you may have thought boring as a kid, and see what interesting facts they reveal about the animals. Take the opportunity too, if you see a zookeeper, to ask a questions about your favorite animal. They can also tell you the names of the animals in the exhibits. I always end the day with a trip to the gift shop. All the proceeds go right back into the zoo, and they have a lot more than just stuffed animals. With bags, mugs, shot glasses, notebooks, and statues, there is a little something for everyone. You can also never be too old for a rock candy either, and its a nice souvenir that won't break the bank. No trip to the zoo is complete without a rock candy at the end! The Fort Wayne Children's Zoo really is worth a trip no matter how old you are. It's a great way to spend a morning that allows you to enjoy the summer season in a whole new way!