Zoo Meet-Up

Friday’s weather started off cloudy, and it did look a little like rain.  But I was pleased, because I knew that the cloudy weather would probably keep many people away from the zoo.  A number of school districts in the area had a teacher inservice day as well, so I was hoping that the zoo wouldn’t be too crowded.  As it turned out, there was a private school on a field trip arriving at the same time we were.  But since we’re members, we just sailed through the line and into the zoo!

Friend and the boys were meeting up with us, so we hung out in the African village right in front of the savanna, waiting for them.

Rerun has gotten old enough now to want to walk around, so I decided to let him out to stretch his legs.

He liked looking at the animals out on the savanna, too, like the giraffes.

When Friend and the boys arrived, we started walking around to see all the animals in the savanna area.  The hippos were snoozing out on the beach, enjoying the cool weather, but we decided that the hippo statue was a good place to take a picture with all seven kids.  We managed to get precisely one shot, and this was it:

One and done, people.  I leaned over to Friend and said, “I think we had too many children.”

We then saw the penguins…

… and decided that we were too cold, so we went indoors to the Day Exhibit (formerly the reptile house), and warmed up by looking at all the snakes, lizards, dwarf crocodiles, swimming turtles and tree kangaroos that were there.  Friend and I had to leave the strollers outside (no strollers are allowed in the indoor exhibits), and I discovered a creative way to keep track of Rerun and give him enough height to see everything:

Friend and the boys left us at lunchtime, right after seeing the flamingos.  Tad thought hatching a fake egg might be fun, and Rerun thought his brother might be on to something.

After we ate our picnic lunch in the food court (it gave us another chance to warm up), the kids insisted on the rain forest trail.  The jaguars were obligingly napping right in front of the windows.

Then we went inside the rain forest house, which is warm and humid, and we saw the baby ocelot, more snakes, lots of birds (which Rerun loved), and poisonous golden and blue dart frogs.

Rerun thought they were pretty fun, too.

We can’t ever miss the bears and the river otters, so we walked up to the “bear aquarium” (as Tad calls it, because of all the water), and Rerun enjoyed the bears, salmon, and river otters.  He also got a close look at the river otter statues.

I decided to do something we’d never done before – go inside the Zoomazium.  It is a giant indoor play area with slides and rocks for big kids (on one side) and little kids (in a gated play area for preschoolers and younger), along with building blocks, puzzles, books and family bathrooms.  Ane and Tad took one look at the large play area with the slides, and were off as soon as their shoes were off.  Tad was so fascinated with the whole set up that, while I kept a very close eye on him, we had not one incident of him getting too wound up and pushing or shoving or hitting another kid. (Hurray!)

Rerun was just happy to be inside and have toys to play with.

By the time I insisted that we’d put off Rerun’s nap long enough, the kids were satisfied with their day at the zoo and Rerun was so tired that I didn’t even bother to strap him into the stroller – I just plopped him in and off we went to the car.  He was asleep before we left the parking lot.  The older two and I decided to stop at Dick’s in Lake City to get milkshakes as a special treat.

I think we made the most of having a day off!

One Response to “Zoo Meet-Up”

  1. Auntie
    October 17th, 2011 17:21

    Rerun is getting so big! They looked like they had lots of fun!