Showing posts with label happy hollow san jose. Show all posts
Showing posts with label happy hollow san jose. Show all posts

Sunday, March 21, 2010

Happy Hollow Park & Zoo Grand Opening Weekend

Yesterday I took my goddaughter to the grand re-opening of Happy Hollow! The renovations and expansions are pretty impressive, this is definitely not the Happy Hollow Park & Zoo I remember from my childhood.

The park is now divided into 3 main sections: 1.) massive children's play area with rides and a titanic-sized play set  2.) the main zoo 3.) petting zoo (part of section 2 in the old park) and lemur play area. While everything was substantially renovated, what impressed me the most was the third section--which had one of the most innovative designs I have ever seen in an amusement park. A huge chunk of this area was themed around lemurs; however, instead of just having an expansive zoo exhibit of lemurs there is also a lemur-themed play area adjacent to it. So kids can essentially watch the lemurs while immediately imitating there actions in the play area. Excellent idea!

The entrance, store, restaurant, restrooms, and education facilities are all brand new. There are several new rides as well as new animal exhibits. Also, there are quite a few improvements still to come. Several areas are under construction and there are still 3 animal exhibits that haven't opened yet: bats, bees, and foxes.

One observation I had while walking back to the car was just how much underutilized space there is in Kelly park. We're talking dozens of acres here. How nice would it be to eventually build out a full zoo equivalent to San Francisco or Oakland? I think this current renovation and expansion will put Happy Hollow on the map as an exceptional children's park, but a full-blown zoo would increase it's appeal to a much larger audience. It could also be a profitable venture for San Jose, just a thought!