What's the point of taking children under the age of 4 to aquariums, zoos, other expensive attractions?

I ask this in all seriousness, my feelings are a mix of curiosity and retained annoyance at the amount of screaming toddlers with f*ckface stupid parents who didn't know how to parent, which I met at the aquarium last Saturday.

Pros
-cute little outing
-hope these outings make your spouse love you again
-go to the front of the attractions because you need your 'kid' to see ;)

Cons
-usually cost money
-child usually won't remember anything from trip
-you're taking a toddler somewhere
-your spouse will get annoyed just as you secretly are

  • It's pretty dumb if you think about itWhat's the point of taking children under the age of 4 to aquariums, zoos, other expensive attractions?
    38% (10)22% (5)31% (15)Vote
  • It's worth it if you think about itWhat's the point of taking children under the age of 4 to aquariums, zoos, other expensive attractions?
    58% (15)70% (16)63% (31)Vote
  • One of the many reasons I'm not having kids.
    4% (1)8% (2)6% (3)Vote
And you are? I'm a GirlI'm a Guy
Updates:
Update: Hey guys, I was pretty annoyed with the little kids and their parents immediately after my trip to the zoo. It was pretty bad at certain points, one parent let his toddler put his stubby fingers in the petting tank, even though the lady said not to because they were eating (they were, there were fish heads everywhere) I was annoyed at the disrespect, safety issue there. I also kneed one little one in the head because it was dark and and he was only as tall as my knee.
And one particular toddler was very grinding as he kept screeching and looking back to his dad at the sea lion exhibit, and his father did NOTHING.
I love animals and really want to have kids some day, and I hope to instill the wonder I feel regarding the animal kingdom in my children. However, unless I'm sure I can be a conscientious and responsible parent, I will not take my little little ones to any major attraction because I might go insane, plus I'm not a total asshole.
trip to aquarium*

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Most Helpful Guy

  • To feed the animals. 😈

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Most Helpful Girl

  • I honestly wouldn't spend money to take a 4 year old to a zoo. If they need stimuli, I'll just take them to the park and play games. We'll learn board games, how to ride a bike, and how to swim. Well I am at it, I'll do what many parents FAIL to do, and teach them some stinkin' manners.
    I imagine it would be a waste of time to take them to a place that needs payment to enter. After all, they won't remember anything about it, and it's a public place so everyone can watch and judge your parenting skills. I would much rather wait for a child to be 8 or so before taking them to zoos, aquariums, and amusement parks. Money is a gift. If I'm going to spend it on something, I want them to be old enough to remember and enjoy it.

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    • That was my logic behind this matter as well. They need enrichment, but they are so little, they everything can be obtained for free. And before they get to go out, they need to learn manners.

What Guys Said 9

  • It builds their curiosity and interest. Kids have a short attention span, and start crying and getting bored fast, true. but seeing the animals live and close up is good for them.
    My niece, at barely 2 (sister's daughter) LOVED the aquarium. She spend about 40 minutes just watching the penguins.

    Several years later, my brother's daughter (also 2) was at the same aquarium recently, and was ecstatic watching the sea lion show. When my brother takes her to the zoo, she gets so excited, and loves to point to the animals and say what they are. I am in utter amazement at how many animal names she knows at just 2 and a half years old, how well she can say them, and how accurate she is with pointing and calling them out.

    Poorly behaved kids shouldn't take away from how fun, fulfilling, and useful an experience this is for well behaved kids. And especially if you buy a season pass, these places are not expensive. And many have reduced, or even free, child entrance with an adult ticket.

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  • Holy fuck vishna!
    When i was 3 i went to the Monterrey bay aquarium for the first time, I still remember that experience. Having kids be exposed to a variety of activities is an excellent way to subject them to experiences especially fun activities such as touching stingrays or sitting by a pool of fish. It allows hands-on activity and even though they may not remember that experience will be stored in their sub conscious as a "good or happy place". I understand where you are coming from, screaming kids, kids being in the way can become a pain in the ass. But there is a point :)

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  • To have fun
    Teach them something
    Enjoy spending time with your family
    To just simply get out of the house

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    • 1, 3, 4, valid. How will they remember? That's my question. At the end of the day, what was the long term benefit to the child/society besides as AzureGirl wisely pointed out, pictures and souvenirs. What does the child truly gain?

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    • You have elephant memory. That's pretty awesome.
      "It turns out that children of highly elaborative mothers tend to have earlier and richer memories. A study of adolescents whose mothers were highly elaborative during their preschool years found they had far earlier first memories than those whose mothers weren’t. Conversational style matters, because when children remember and talk about the past, they effectively relive the event—they fire the same neurons and reinforce the same connections. They are buttressing their memory of the event. And when parents scaffold their children’s stories—when they essentially tell the stories for their children, as a highly elaborative parent of a very young child would—they are reinforcing those same connections."

  • Although the child may not have memories, the stimuli and the variance in environment is important for enriched child development.

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  • They require stimuli to develop. That's all there is to it.

    Also you can't just leave them at home because they'll get themselves killed in a split second.

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  • They don't need to remember the event to be influenced by it. My four year old niece loves animals, and we can tell she always will. Will she remember the animals she's interacted with when she's grown? Doubtful. But she wouldn't have the love of animals she does it she'd never been exposed to them.

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    • I guess this makes sense, I always grew up around animals so, I want to be a vet. My only problem is that they are often just in the way, they scream, they yell, they tap on the glass, splash in the water, and the parents are pretty oblivious/lax with the issue. I know those people aren't conscientious, but it's like, couldn't they just spend time with the kid and read a book if they want to enrich the kid's day.

  • To see a real live Tigger go ROOOOAAAAAR.

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  • It's the same senerio as taking the little rug rats to a movie that's geared for the adult audience. All they do is distract those that ACTUALLY want to see the movie. Screaming and pitching fits. No I don't like the idea of parents bringing them to these places. They are seldom under adult supervision and run amuck kits mindless zombies that have absolutly noting better to do than reek havoc while mommy and daddy couldn't care less. Get a damn sitter

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  • 3 and 4 year olds enjoy zoo/aquarium trips a lot.

    They don't want to spend 8 hours there. They want to spend one hour there, every week.

    You get a membership.

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What Girls Said 13

  • Eh, it's mainly for the experience. I see families of all shapes and sizes at my work and sure, they may not be old enough to remember it but the parents will have pictures, souvenirs, etc. The family could also be visiting on the way to somewhere else or couldn't find a sitter before the trip so the kids had to come.

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    • Where do you work?

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    • That's pretty cool!

    • Thanks :) I've been working there for 3 years now and I like it. You meet a lot of interesting people from all over the world which is cool!

  • Haha, excellent question! Why people take their bratty children anywhere is beyond me. And 3/4 year olds are by far the WORST age group of all. I don't understand it at all to be honest. Although, I guess toddlers/three and four year olds could fit in well at the zoo, right? Haha

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    • I don't know man. I know more bratty and spoiled adults with shit memories than I do kids.

  • To give them a higher quality of life! You know... the same reason that you go to those places. Because it's fun.

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    • I'm all about enriching lives, my train of thought was, if they won't remember it, why bother everyone else with the annoying toddler.

    • Well, if you never take them places, it's YOU who is stuck at home with the annoying toddlers. :)

  • If you take them at the right time aka when they are well fed and well rested, it can be really fun. I'm sorry those parents sucked

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  • I don't know about you, but I remember quite a few things from my early childhood. Maybe the people in your area have shit personalities which leads to them raising kids with just as shitty personalities.

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  • No, I like this idea. I loved going to the zoo when I was little. I don't know about when I was under 4, because 4 is my earliest memory. If 4 year me enjoys going to the zoo or aquarium, then I imagine little toddlers younger than me would enjoy it as well. See when you're little those places are pretty magical.

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  • I don't think that's dumb, it's A good visual stimukating experience. what is dumb is taking children under 3 to the cinema.

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  • I don't get it. 4 and up if you ask me. Maybe three.
    Whats worst is when they take their 2 year old to Disney world. What in the hell is a two year old gonna do at Disney world? That's the biggest waste of money.

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    • I forgot about that, they can't even ride a lot of things because of size.

  • It's really dumb because they will never remember it at all.

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  • hey, i can playback memories from that time my family took me to the zoo when i was 3

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    • it was a cloudy day and i cried a lot because i lost my puffalump cat but still i had a nice time and i remember it vividly

  • Yea it makes more sense to take them when they have the ability to remember things.

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  • I think it's silly because they won't remember anything a few months from now.

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  • it's more for the parent this type of sortie

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