More Fun Than a Caravan of Camels - Adventures at Adirondack Animal Land

Wednesday, August 5, 2020
When life is more fun than a caravan of camels, you can't wait to hit repeat and do it all again.  That's exactly how I felt today when John and I brought our granddaughters to Adirondack Animal Land.

Located on Route 30 in Gloversville, NY, Adirondack Animal Land is a beautiful, family-sized local animal park just 60 minutes from Albany.  Katie and Mike had taken Alex last summer when the park was more of a 'walk around' zoo but for the first time, Covid actually worked in our favor and this summer the park has been converted to a 'drive-through' experience.  Now, I had an idea of what to expect from our visit thanks to photos on social media of our friends' visits, but I had no clue exactly how much we would all laugh at the up-close and in-person experience we were about to have.
We arrived shortly before 11:00 a.m. when the park opens and already there were about 10 cars ahead of us.  The line moved efficiently and before the kids could even complain about the delay, we were at the ticket booth where a masked employee collected our admission ($12.00 per person  CASH only).  Large solo cups of food were $4 each or 3 for $10.  Since there were five of us, we opted for the 3/10 option.  The first animals to greet you (from behind a fence) were the giraffes.  They were one of the few species that were restricted from a more intimate introduction which we would all receive a few feet further into our journey.

The next animals waiting to welcome us were the dromedary camels.  If you're someone who has a problem with people invading your personal space, I'd recommend you keep your windows closed when passing these audacious creatures. There were about 7 or 8 of them surrounding the cars as they entered, each of them ready and anxious to relieve us of any snacks we might have purchased upon entry.

Piece of advice....hold your cup with two hands because camels prefer to grab the cup and tip it into their mouth.  There went Cup #1.....some in his mouth, most in the car.  Belly laughs galore at that stunt and a moment of gratitude that I hadn't already taken my car to be cleaned.  Joining the camel in this group welcome were ostrich.  These birds are not only bold and brassy, they are so comical.  I think God created them for the sole purpose of making people laugh.  Once again....hold your cup.  These feathered giants attack the cup with a hammer-like jab, nearly knocking the cup out of my hand.  If you're not wanting 3 ft of ostrich in your vehicle and choose to close your window, they'll peer at you from a cocked head, tap on your window and you'll swear he's saying, "I know you've got the goods in there".

 Next came the zebra....the beautiful zebra.  The sign says don't feed or pet the zebras, but what it doesn't say is, "Be careful, they drool.  I mean....they drool buckets".  John learned this lesson first hand when this beauty leaned in to say, 'hey' and drooled all over the car door (inside and out) and on John too.  And yes....we all laughed .... a lot, because zebra drool is a smidge less gross than seagull poop.

The line of cars ahead of us just kept moving, at their own pace, and we followed at our own pace.  At no point did we feel rushed or held up.  We just kept moving as we finished with one animal group after another.  Further into the park we entered a more wooded area.  Here we were greeted by sika and fallow deer, llamas, alpacas, emu and rheas.  In some spots the animals, so used to visitors, blocked the road and surrounded the cars until an employee came along and encouraged them to step away long enough for that car to proceed and the next to take their turn with this group of animals.

We also saw sheep, potbellied pigs, zebu, wolf and eland, and at the end of the journey, we were able to get out of the car and stretch and feed a large bunch of pigmy goats.  All in all, our fun-filled, memory-making adventure took a little less than 90 min.  If you are an animal lover or have youngsters in your life who are, I highly recommend a trip to this beautiful animal park.  You won't be disappointed but be warned, these friendly creatures don't maintain a social distance.  In fact, if given the opportunity, they'll be in your car.
Right now they're website says they're open everyday through the end of August from 11:00-4:00, last ticket sold at 3:00pm.  Don't forget - CASH ONLY!  I'll post the link to their website and Facebook page at the end of this post.  I want to thank the owners of Adirondack Animal Land for such a wonderful, local venue, especially one we can all enjoy safely after these many months of quarantines and restrictions.  Our visit today was the best medicine for both body and soul and the most fun we've had since March.  I'm confident, though, it would have been awesome even without months of restrictions leading up to it!
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