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Birdland San Diego
3069 El Cajon Boulevard, North Park
www.birdlandsandiego.com
619-284-9601

Pet stores are great places to visit with kids, as long as you aren't prone to impulse purchases. But it's unlikely you'll suddenly decide to drop $999 on a Persa Touraco or $1899 on a Rose-Breasted Cockatoo. You can see all kinds of exotic birds up close here, on open perches. You can even hold them -- if you're brave enough. (The staff will assist if you ask.) The caged lovebirds are especially fun to watch; prices start at $29.99. Parakeets are $9.99 and up, and the store sells cages, food, and lots of bird toys. Kids can see the hand-raised babies being fed in a glass-fronted nursery. And if you're lucky, someone will bring in a Lilac-Crowned Amazon ($699) for a toenail clipping.

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