100 S. Randolph Way, Tucson
HOURS: Daily 9 a.m.–4 p.m.
COST: $6 adult, $4 senior, $2 child 2–14
Take Broadway Boulevard east to Randolph Way at Reid Park  to Tucson’s small but prestigious Reid Park Zoo. The zoo specializes in anteater research, and there are several of these strange beasts to look at here.
There’s also a polar bear, Boris, who seems to be very happy living in what you’d think would be the absolute opposite circumstances in which a polar bear would want to find himself. Not so, zookeepers say. The arctic, a cold desert, is actually drier than Tucson , so as long as they keep the air-conditioning pumping and his water hole cold he’ll be staying for years.
Make sure to take the kids to the giraffe habitat, where for $1 they can buy some treats to feed the long-necked residents, who stick out their long, purple tongues, dripping with saliva, to capture the treat—much to the squealing delight of the feeders.
If you get there early enough you might catch a glimpse of the elegant black jaguars, sisters born at a wildlife park outside of Phoenix, lounging in the cool of the morning.
A gift shop sells all kinds of zoo-related stuffed animals, shirts, and books, and a fast food–style eatery serves hamburgers, corn dogs, and the like. Reid Park Zoo is small enough that little kids aren’t likely to get too tired out. Plan about three hours, less if you don’t have kids.