The stay at home orders were hard enough on adults. Teens and tweens had a hard time without socialization. But kids too young to really appreciate the ‘why’ behind what was asked of us? Possibly the most miserable of all.

So it’s with a happy heart that I can share zoos in New Jersey are reopening. Cape May County Zoo lets the humans back in Saturday morning at 10. And tickets are on sale now for what I feel is the gem of Jersey zoos, Turtleback Zoo.

It reopens Thursday June 18.

There will be certain changes of course. Your ticket will be a timed entry in interest of keeping crowds lower and social distancing higher. You’ll need to wear a face mask, certain paths will be one way, you can’t rent strollers, and certain things will remain closed like the train, aviary, carousel, playground, pony rides, etc. Also closed will be the gift shop and the cafe but you’re encouraged to bring your own snacks. Find a full list of what you need to know before you go here.

It’s all worth it. The kids will love it. Turtleback Zoo has been around since before I was born. It opened way back in 1963. It was in trouble by the mid 90’s and almost shut down in 1995. After funding came in to make improvements and turn into terrific zoo you’ll find today they received their first accreditation in 2006 by the Association of Zoos and Aquariums.

For a smaller zoo they have some amazing animals. Alligator, giraffes, lions and kangaroos among them. The staff there is amazing. When my son Atticus wasn’t quite 3 he had already been diagnosed with autism and I once told the story of the kindness of zoo staff as well as patrons over an incident that happened there two summers ago. You can read it here.

Trust me, if your little ones have been going bonkers these last few months the Turtleback Zoo is the perfect thing at the perfect time.

The post above reflects the thoughts and observations of New Jersey 101.5 talk show host Jeff Deminski. Any opinions expressed are Jeff Deminski's own.