This morning we woke up bright and early to pack some lunches and head out to meet some friends at our local zoo. I'm slightly embarrassed to admit this, but today was Finn's first zoo experience despite the fact we only live 45 minutes from a fabulous zoo complete with well-loved animals and delightful greenery. Finn's finally getting to the age where we can fudge his nap a bit without serious meltdown, and he was very excited about seeing some "roars" so I think the wait was a win-win.
While everyone was excited to see some animals, sometimes I think the kids are mostly in it for the great climbing opportunities. Between the natural rock formations,
cattail swinging gates,
and the beautiful animals that appear near most exhibit, I think you can tell by Finn's smile that the climbing is a big hit! (Notice the map in his hand...more on that later)
Of course, after all that climbing a group ice cream break is quite necessary.
Something I never knew about Finn until today...he loves maps! He kept his map in hand incessantly and whipped it out every few minutes wanting to know where we were and where we were going. Frequently he could even find where we were based on the animal pictures along the map. I was so impressed that the map made sense to him and he could associate the paths based on the pictures of animals we had just seen. That little boy amazes me continually.
And then there were the animals, of course. The alligator tried to pretend he was a log,
but we spotted him anyway.
Finn tried to have a full conversation with the turtle through the glass. Very cute!
We also spotted a bit of wildlife that wasn't behind a fence or glass.
The butterfly garden was amazing. Hundreds of colorful butterflies on so many beautiful, flowering bushes.
We always enjoy watching the sea lions glide through their pool.
But it was particularly enjoyable to watch their feeding time.
A new "lemur island" has opened in the last few months which was a neat sight. I had no idea some lemurs had raccoon-like tails.
And Finn was able to see his "roars" along with a few other African animals. (I have a telephoto lens so these animals appear close, but they actually have acres and acres of space to roam.)
We had such a fun day at the zoo. So much fun that we bought a family membership, and I'll think we'll return again soon.