By Katy Killilea
The Capron Park Zoo is just a few exits outside Providence on 95 North, but it was a complete mystery to me. Luckily, I have a friend who goes everywhere and does everything, and she invited me to join her and two of her kids for a short daytrip to Attleboro, Massachusetts.
Most people I know have mixed feelings about zoos. Whether we feel bad for the animals in mock habitats or feel bad watching our fellow humans act like imbeciles as they try to get the animals’ attention, there can be plenty of anxiety. But Capron Park Zoo manages to create an atmosphere of calm.
According to the friend who was guiding me around, the sunny January day we visited was the busiest she had ever seen there. Maybe, but it was not at all crowded. The animals were enchanting: meerkats lined up on a rock, watching us, turning their little heads in unison this way and that; sleek otters doing backflips; lions looking just as majestic as a stereotype of a lion; all kinds of monkeys; a big, dozing sloth bear. The kids (ages two to almost five) loved it.
In addition, there is a very enticing playground with new equipment (a sign stated the equipment is suitable for kids up to age twelve), plenty of picnic tables and bathrooms (all clean), and periodically brightly colored placards, behind which your child can stand, to be photographed as a meerkat or bat. Our kids found this hilarious. Sometimes these old-fashioned pleasures strike the funny bone in just the right place.
Capron Park Zoo
201 County Street, Attleboro, MA 02703
For directions, hours, and rates, visit www.capronparkzoo.com