If you are in the Southern California area visit the free zoo in the city of Whittier. The Parnell Storybook Zoo is free, small and has a park right behind it. Parking is a breeze; the park is clean and pretty big. You can lunch at one of the tables within viewing of the animals or in the park area away from the smell of the animals.
In the zoo-like enclosure you will two ponies, one donkey, a few pigs, chickens, turkeys and even a turtle. It is nice for a short visit and to great some great reactions out of the kids without having to do a lot of walking for small toddlers. My son was momentarily startled by the pigs’ snorts and then got over it. My daughter loved pointing at everything. Both were engaged with the chickens that get out and roam around the zoo but don’t quite make it to the play area of the park, (see pictures below).
It is only a few short miles from the 605 Freeway and fills 2-3 hours’ time with your kids. Here are some cute pictures of what you can expect. It is closed on Thursdays so make note of that in your planning.