St Augustine Day 4: The Gator Farm
Today we took 3 kids ages 7, 5, and 1 to The Alligator Farm in Saint Augustine, Florida. It was the perfect place to take them, as there was something for every age, yet it was small and safe enough to navigate with a newly walking baby who wasn't into the stroller. Mostly,she walked or got carried, but we were NOT exhausted by the time we reached the car at the end of the day. It was so much fun! I loved watching the kids' reactions to not only the amazing display of every kind of alligator in the world in one spot (the ONLY place in the world that has that), we enjoyed other animals as well, plus shows and mini-museums that were a nice break from the sun and walking. My personal favorite was the albino alligator right near the entrance.
This time of year (early April), we did not use sunscreen on our super-fair kids and they were fine. This is a shady place except for the bird sanctuary, which also means it stays pretty cool throughout. And even the bird sanctuary gets a nice breeze there over the water. I think we started out the morning with little sweaters and blankets for the kids on the way over but it wasn't long before I was pushing those in the stroller. Because apparently, I'm that mom who brings sweaters to Florida.
The crowds were light, especially when we arrived, around 10:30, and at one end, the Alligator Farm has a playground! We found a nice table to stop and eat the light snacks we'd brought, although they had plenty there to eat & drink that you could purchase, and no lines. If you're planning a visit with older kids, there is more going on they'd be interested in too, including a zip line! I would definitely recommend a stop at The Alligator Farm the next time you're in St. Augustine. I have to admit, I thought this was going to be really tourist-y or kid-oriented, but I was pleasantly surprised to find the surroundings were very natural, the signs informative and non-intrusive, and that it would appeal to any age.
We spent a rest day at home the rest of the afternoon, with a long rest for everyone, followed by cards, and another walk downtown for the Ben & Jerry's we were given free coupons for, a visit to the Pirate Museum, and at long last, seafood dinner! We ate at The Floridian, which was a modern restaurant with homage to Florida kitsch and an adventurous menu that seemed to be Southern-Cuban fusion....kind of like Florida! Portions were just right to large, perfect for one adult and one small child to share a main dish. The Floridian also had a super-creative and well-done cocktail menu we took advantage of. What a great way to end the day!
This is what I saw. (Plus a rare picture of me, taken by our gracious and tolerant waitress at The Floridian!)