Plan to meet at a reasonable time. 11am is a good one.
Run late. Need gas. Pack a lunch. Spend time on the phone with a friend.
Decide that you REALLY meant to meet at noon!
Eat lunch right away, the kids will need all the energy they have. There are about a million animals to see. (I counted.)
Then, you are gonna want to take the Skyway. The buckets. All 9 of the kids are jumping up and down, its free and it gets you to the back of the zoo really quickly.
Be sure to arrange all the moms in 3 different buckets with the right combination of kids-friends with friends and fighting siblings away from fighting siblings.
Watch the first bucket of 4 people take off....
Ride in the second bucket of 3 people taking off...
Do some quick math and realize... there are 5 people left. And only 4 people are allowed in 1 bucket at a time.
Answer the phone call from the 1 mom left with 4 kids and zoo workers not letting her on the buckets.
Hop off the buckets, leave 1 mom with kids who want to see polar bears and drag 2 kids that wanted to go back on the buckets back in line to ride to the front of the zoo.
(Thank Jesus that the buckets are free for annual pass members.)
Bucket your way back to the front of the zoo, redistribute children and hop in line. Realize you don't have enough kids' annual passes for the amount of kids you are trying to get back ON the buckets.
(Thank Jesus that the bucket worker lady didn't pay very close attention when checking for tickets.)
Ride the buckets back to the back of the zoo and meet up with.......
You know, I guess this really isn't an effective way to see every animal at the zoo. But it is a way to have a funny story after a full day at the zoo. And you will probably fit in a couple of monkeys, a hippo fast asleep on a rock and a tiny, precious, colorful bird bathing in a small puddle of water so that really isn't so bad after all!