The Five-Year-Old Takes Pictures: Franklin Park Zoo

Lion at the Giraffe Entrance. (Photo: The Five-Year-Old)

As I mentioned last week, The Five-Year-Old is the proud owner of a Fisher-Price Kid-Tough See Yourself Camera and the shiny new title of Official Caterpickles Junior Photojournalist. The Five-Year-Old takes her new duties very seriously, and is already drawing up plans for a 15-post Caterpickles Investigative Report on a pop-up art project going on this summer in Dedham. (More on that later in the week.)

Mama Chasmosaurus (Photo: The Five-Year-Old)

In the meantime, we took The Five-Year-Old and her camera to Franklin Park Zoo this weekend to tour the Zoo’s new Zoorassic Park! exhibit and to see a rare titan arum (corpse flower) in bloom. Sadly the corpse flower, which only blooms once every 9 years, had not yet bloomed while we were there.

And her baby. (Photo: The Five-Year-Old)

Fortunately it’s the summer and I’m hooked into the Zoo’s Facebook page, which means a) we’ll know when it blooms and b) I’ll be able to make time to take The Five-Year-Old back so that she can get pictures for you.

Zoorassic Park, though, more than made up for the disappointment. An easy-to-walk wooded path around a large pond studded with 15 roaring, spitting animatronic dinosaurs, Zoorassic Park made for some excellent picture taking.

Zoorassic Park is only open through September 3, so if you go to Franklin Park Zoo this summer, be sure to give yourself enough time and money to see it (30 minutes and $4/person should do it).

No photodocumentary of Zoorassic Park would be complete without a picture of the T. Rex. (Photo: The Five-Year-Old)

Logistics: Franklin Park Zoo

One of many flower gardens at Franklin Park Zoo. (Photo: The Five-Year-Old)

Address: One Franklin Park Rd., Dorchester. Free Parking.

Summer Hours (through September): Weekdays: 10 a.m. – 5 p.m.
Weekends and holidays: 10 a.m. – 6 p.m.

Admission: Adults $17, Seniors (62 and over) $14, Children 2 and up $11, Members and children under 2 free.

To mark the zoo’s 100th anniversary this year, the 100th daily visitor to the zoo between now and September 9 gets in free.

Discounted admission is also available on Kids’ Price Saturdays (the first Saturday of every month) when all guests who arrive between 10 a.m. and noon are charged the children’s admission price ($11).

For more information, visit the Franklin Park Zoo website, call 617-541-LION (5466), or email

Related Links:

About Shala Howell

I spent two decades helping companies like Bell Labs, Juniper Networks, and a genetic testing company that was later acquired by CVS translate some of the world’s most complicated concepts into actionable, understandable English. Now I'm working on a much harder problem -- fostering children’s curiosity and engagement in the scientific, artistic, and linguistic world that surrounds them. The first book in my Caterpickles Parenting Series, What’s That, Mom?, focuses on how to use public art to nurture children’s curiosity in the world around them. My next book will focus on science, and how parents without a science degree can answer their curious child's questions without enrolling in a college level refresher course. In the meantime, you can find me blogging about life with a very curious Eleven-Year-Old at, chatting about books and the writing life at, and tweeting about books, writing, science, & things that make me smile at @shalahowell.
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