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Things To Do On Cold Winter Days: Go To PetCo

If you live on the East Coast you know that this has been one cold and stormy winter. Every week it seems there’s another snowstorm and when it’s not snowing, it’s still freezing! I love to be outside and normally I’m all for a winter-walk with JD, but not when it feels like negative degrees out. JD and I are no couch potatoes, so to beat cabin fever we play at indoor playgrounds, go out to lunch, visit the NJ Children's Museum, stroll around the Monclair Art Museum, go to the local theater, partake in story-time at the library, visit Borders and the mall…And we even hang out at the local PetCo—even though we don’t have a pet. I’m being dead serious (and you can make fun of me).

See, this past summer JD and I went to PetCo to by our neighbor’s new puppy a gift. I thought we’d pick out a squeaky, rubber steak and be out of there, but JD wanted to explore. Of course he did! The place was like a mini zoo in the eyes of my pre-schooler. (And JD loves the zoo! We’ve been to Turtleback Zoo, The Bronx Zoo and The Bergen County Zoo. Read about our adventure at The Central Park Zoo here.) I remembered how much fun JD had at PetCo and took him there a few days ago when we needed (I mean needed) to get out of the house for a little bit.

When we entered the store, JD picked out a little cart to push around (even though we weren’t buying anything.) He stopped and pressed his palms against the glass of a dome-shaped casing and jumped back, laughing when a ferret, then two, then three emerged from a tunnel. Around the bend we found cages of mice behind glass and JD thought it was silly they were all piled on top of each other sleeping.

We continued to explore, stopping at two giant bird cages and JD exclaimed: “That bird is green and yellow! That bird is blue! That bird is white! That bird is eating! What is that bird’s name? That bird is standing on a ladder! Why is that bird standing on a ladder?”

The best is the wall of fish. The PetCo near us has fish tanks that line the entire wall in the back of the store. They are filled with all different kinds of fish. JD loves counting them, telling me their colors, finding the Nemo-looking fish and making up stories about the fish. “That big orange fish is the mommy! That fish has fat lips so he can eat a lot of worms!” If you’re wondering if the PetCo employees get annoyed by people like me (you know, a mom who brings a kid to a pet store with no intention of buying anything) the answer is NO. This time, a guy that worked in the fish department let JD feed the fish. He knelt down and held a pile of flaky, stinky food in his palm and told JD to pinch some between his fingers and throw it in the tank. JD got a huge kick out of this. He wanted to feed the fish 100 lbs. of food! There’s also frogs, turtles, lizards and snakes for JD to marvel at. I know this sounds silly but we killed forty-minutes at the PetCo last week. I recommend taking your pre-schooler to a local pet store. It’s free (kind of smelly, ha) fun!

BTW, I also take my son to real aquariums, too. LOL! Here we are at Aquarium of the Pacific in Long Beach, California.

And Marine Habitat The Dig at The Atlantis, Bahamas (THIS PLACE IS SO COOL!).

Here are some PetCo pics (LOL) I took with my Blackberry. So Cute, right?

Do you ever take your kids to pet stores to look at the animals? Do you have unique places you go to entertain your child when it’s freezing out and you need to get out of your house? Please share!

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