First, we learned to just spend time walking and talking and second, we learned that not all zoos are created equal. There is something to be said about how the animals react to different habitats and what each zoo's interpretation is on what a habitat should look like. We really enjoyed the Bear Country USA in Wyoming which we had never heard of but looking back was a highlight. The bears roam freely in their habitat and you drive through each enclosure. We were lucky to be driving through as the bears were being feed, and the sheer amount of hotdogs they were able to consume in one sitting was impressive. Watching them eat them one by one, while holding on to them like a Popsicle, was adorable.
A zoo tour is perfect for all ages since it is a relaxed atmosphere and is hardly ever crowded. Many have trains for people with difficulty walking. Take the time to talk about the animals and how they work together as a family, and what other animals they might be related to. If you have little ones going, make sure to have them do a scavenger hunt for different types of animals, how they defend themselves, or how they live (being in groups or alone). Many grandparents are great resources for the youth and can interact with them in a positive way and their knowledge can open up many discussions.