Today, we visited the original American institution that began the spread of state and regional zoos across the country. America's first zoo was located in Philadelphia as a wildlife refuge and zoological garden. The kids were a bit leery at first as our NC Zoo is vast and takes quite a bit of stamina, which is wonderful for the animals, but can be very tiring for the humans who want to visit them.
I loved seeing new and unique animals that aren't in our local zoo, including the fruit bat, which was Finn's favorite animal to see today. Those bats are huge! Most of the bats we've ever seen are so much smaller, and it was wonderful to see bats that you could really get a good glimpse of what they look like.
The prairie dogs were a new zoo feature for us too, and they are such cuties popping in and out of their holes and dugouts.
We were also fortunate (and grateful!) that my sister-in-law has a membership to the zoo which enabled us to do many of the activities that the park charges extra for, including the carousel.
My nephew, Aiden, was very excited that his favorite zoo animal, the cheetah, was free for the riding, while Aren was content to sit on the frog next to him.
The kids scored the caboose on the train ride, which thrilled them to no end.
After a break for a picnic lunch,
we stopped by the Children's Zoo, which has many animals for petting and feeding.
I love how interactive this section was for the kids with the pony rides
and animal brushing. The animals were so sweet and docile and all of our kids thoroughly enjoy getting so up close and personal with them.
Then we were off to see Aren's favorites, the lions, and other African animals. I couldn't believe the length of the horns on some of the gazelles!
And it was fun to see the baby giraffe bending down to eat grass. You always read about how they spread their front legs to bend their necks to the ground, but you rarely get to see that in person.
We meandered our way through the rest of the zoo.
We saw Elizabeth's favorites, the flamingos and the spider monkeys.
Then we headed home with tuckered out kiddos who took very good afternoon naps! We thoroughly enjoyed our time at the Philadelphia Zoo. It almost makes me want to visit more zoos to find other animals to observe that are new to us.