A few weeks ago, a package arrived at my house filled with, according to my kids, the coolest back-to-school items ever: new sneakers. And, not just any new sneakers: the Trip to the Zoo sneakers, a new collection from New Balance. The kids were thrilled! They loved the bright colors, and the way the sneakers made them run faster (that’s what they said at least).
My daughter, who was convinced “they” (the sneaker elves, I guess) personally made her sneakers, has been wearing the shoes every day, coordinating outfits to match the rainbow stripes now encasing her feet. She has received many compliments on her sneakers, especially from adults–many of whom have asked where they can get a pair for themselves! My son, who hasn’t yet mastered tying his shoes, has been inspired by his blue, yellow, and black sneakers to learn the loop-de-loop himself—a miracle in my mind! My favorite elements of the sneakers are the treads underneath (they look like animal prints) and the laces (tough enough for little hands).
The sneakers came from New Balance with tickets to the zoo, so, one recent afternoon, the kids and I headed off to the Stone Zoo, the smaller of the two zoos in the Boston metropolitan area. Situated on 26 acres, the Stone Zoo was founded in 1905 and is home to flamingos, bears, a one-armed monkey, jaguar, cougar, and more. The kids wore their new sneakers, of course, and were, as already explained to me, so fast—I had a hard time keeping up with them—running up and down the paths of the zoo, around the exhibits.
The kids loved their time at the zoo. They enjoyed climbing around the playground, and seeing the animals up close. Feeding the goats and “petting” a baby alligator were particular highlights. They also asked many questions about the animals, wanting to really understand each one’s habitat and habits.
I’ll admit that the zoo is not usually on the top of my list of activities for my kids. I find them a bit sad — wouldn’t animals be happier in their natural environments? — but my kids’ enthusiasm reminded me that a way to build an appreciation and admiration for animals — to create future conservationists even — is to see the animals up close and fall in love with them. Fall in love, my kids did, and we’ve been hearing stories about our trip to the zoo ever since.
The A Trip to the Zoo sneakers feature a lightweight EVA midsole, synthetic/mesh upper, and hook and loop closure for easy on/off. The collection is available on the New Balance website and in stores and comes in infant and kid sizes, retailing for $47.95-$54.95.
Disclosure: I received the sneakers and tickets from New Balance. The opinions in this post are all mine.