Saturday, July 16, 2011

The Park and Zoo

Every year I buy a family membership to one of the fun museums or zoos in our area. This seems to work out well because we try to make it to that museum a few times in that year and we often also visit some of the other places that give us reciprocal benefits to other places. This usually means half off admission or something.

The membership that we bought last year is up at the end of July so I decided to surprise the kids and take the day to go and play at the park and zoo while our cards were still good. They were very happy to not do our usual school routine for the day.

We went early, as soon as it opened and this ended up being a good strategy because we quickly rode all the different rides at least once with relatively short line waits before the park got crowded.

The carousel, as it usually is, was my kids favorite ride of the day. I think the different animals are a fun but most importantly there is usually very little wait. There are so many animals you rarely have to wait longer than a few minutes before you get to dash to try to get to the animal you want to ride next.

 Molly loved the little kiddie cars especially the 2nd time around because she got a fire truck and could pull the cord to ring the bell, over and over and over again. Ian and Sophie, who are too old for this ride, told me they don't like it because it is too loud.

Ian loves the wiggle cars. It is the "ride" that he was most looking forward to doing. It isn't much of a ride it is just some cars that drive by feet wiggle power. They raced them around and around and are now very good at them.

The Granny bugs were not very exciting. I could tell by the less than enthusiastic faces as the ride bounced along around the track. I think my kids are getting too big for this park.

The Granny bugs were not very exciting. I could tell by the less than enthusiastic faces as the ride bounced along around the track. They came up with some smiles for the camera however. I think my kids are getting too big for this park.

The boys wanted to ride the roller coaster next. Sophie is not a big fan so she sat out with me and watched the boys wait in line and finally get to ride the roller coaster.

I am so glad my little guys are big enough to wait in lines on their own and patiently wait for their turn. This trip would not have been as fun for them if we had had to drag Molly into all these lines. I took her to roam around in the trees and flowers around the different rides while we waited for the bigger kids to get through. Sophie didn't enjoy having to wait for the boys and had a lot to say on the subject but I have a feeling that was the empty stomach talking more than impatience. This liquid diet is really difficult (More on that in another post)!

There is a really large play structure with all sorts of rope bridges, stairs and slides. The kids played in this playground for quite awhile enjoying just running around.
Molly is right there in the thick of things too. Nothing stops this girl.

Once the playground excitement waned a bit and the kids could see that the lines were rather long for the rides we decided it was time to visit the animals. So we headed off to the petting zoo.
There was a "meet and greet" going on as we walked by so the kids listened as one of the zookeepers talked about tortoises and then let everyone touch one.

Then off to feed the goats!

Near the petting zoo there is a climbing wall of which the boys took advantage.

We took a break from the animals to sit through a puppet show. The Elves and the Shoemaker was very cute. I didn't take any pictures because I was busy shoveling food to each of the kids during the whole thing. Poor Sophie only got yogurt that I had mixed with strawberries and banana blended into a drink. She drank it happily (most likely because she was hungry and it was the only thing I had she could eat) and so did the boys (I purposefully didn't make sandwiches since I knew Sophie would be able to eat them) but she really wished she could have the granola bars I passed out or the oranges I pealed.

After our puppet show lunch we went to see the more exotic animals. The capabarra, jaguar and some monkeys were about the most exciting ones we saw. This is a very tiny zoo with only a few small animals in it. We never did make it over to see the wallaby or bats. Somehow we missed them. Perhaps we are going to need to go back next week to see those little animals and get one more trip in before our passes expire.

In this area of the zoo there is a sand pit where the kids took some time to brush away the sand to reveal dinosaur bones hidden beneath.

We headed to the small aviary where we saw some parrots and a few other strange looking birds.
I was starting to get tired but the kids still wanted to ride the carousel again. And since we were walking by and the line was somewhat short, of course we did.

Sophie wasn't thrilled with the animals that were left for us. I thought the red panda was cute but she said no it wasn't a red panda it was "just a boring old fox".
Ian was happy with his hummingbird. I don't think I heard him complain about any of the animals he rode on the many many trips around and around the carousel.
Henry wasn't very happy to have to ride the elephant because he really wanted to ride the eagle. It is so hard to be disappointed when your heart is set on something. To make up for it I said we could walk quickly over and he and Ian could ride the roller coaster one more time. He was happy again:)

Then we headed to the gates to go home. We pass the carousel to get to the gates so we got on for one last ride. And guess what? Henry got to ride the eagle. He was so happy!

But we couldn't go only once. We had to run back around when that ride was done for one more ride and this time Sophie got the eagle.
I don't know what it is about the eagle but my kids always want to ride it.

Molly is very tired by this point since she hadn't had a nap and it was now about 3:00 in the afternoon. She was happy to ride and ride the carousel though.

Henry didn't care what he rode this time. He was just happy he finally got to ride the one he had wanted to ride that this time he just jumped on one and was happy to be there.

I don't know which museum/zoo membership we will buy for next year. I am just happy my kids have used this one several times this year and I feel like we certainly got our moneys worth.


Bibliophile said...

I loved the fact that you included so many pictures of the children. That must have been a fun day for them.

Cellista said...

This reminds me that we have soon-to-expire planetarium passes.

We have a zoo pass too, but rarely go and while there's a carousel there, you have to pay extra for each ride. I wish it was unlimited. It looks like you had a lot of fun.

aly in va said...

what fun. We do the same thing (buy up memberships for the summer). I will say that I have on account, when funds were low, searched for the most economical reciprical membership to purchase maybe instead of the local place.