Just an ordinary trip to the zoo except we haven't gone in a long time. It is always at the top of Jonah and Jill's request list but it's been too cold, etc. The annual zoo pass is my best bargain all year. It has provided us with many hours of joy. It is about time to renew so that Mia can get in on the fun. She has been to the zoo, but I can't quite manage all 3 of them alone just yet.
It was a school holiday on our last trip and very crowded so we had to leave the car far away and walk through the park and across the bridge where a creek leads to the river. Jonah's favorite place. I have to drag him away from the creek each time to get to the actual zoo. He is just as pleased with a butterfly or a turtle or a snail at the creek as any zoo animal. He loves them all.
After many trips, we have a routine. First a pond where the swans and ducks swim, then the aviary. Next we go by the monkeys and stop to feed the lorikeets (bright colored birds, bigger than parakeets, that land on your hand to drink sugar water from a cup). The lorikeets were full each time we went by so we had to skip that part. Then we ride on the carousel. On very hot days we just go to the Outback Downunder area where the kids can get wet under spraying water and there is food and refreshments, even beer for the grownups. There is music, a playground, pony ride, gold fish tank and lots of shade. Just a great place to stay when it is too hot to move.
Otherwise we go on the boardwalk past many different animals including a white tiger with two cubs until we get to the Stingray Bay where the kids can actually PET the stingrays and the manatee exhibit which is a large indoor aquarium which is AIR CONDITIONED! After that it is a short boardwalk to the entrance area where the kids can again get wet at a little water park area. I've learned to be prepared with towels and flip-flops. Then we have to navigate past the gift shop to get back to the parking lot. This plan skips a good half of the zoo containing the baby elephant, giraffs, etc. but that branch is dusty and hot and too much for grandma on most days. P.S. I included old pictures of Jaime and Mia from last year to show the stingray tank and the indoor acquarium.