Saturday, March 20, 2010

More Spring Break Fun!

Thursday was our craziest spring break day this year. It was our annual spring break trip to the zoo. We go to the zoo A LOT. If you don't believe me, check out this post and this post and this post. Oh, and don't forget this post.
We've been waiting since about this time last year for the OKC zoo to open it's new children's area. We've seen the signs around the zoo and in our Zoo Friends newsletters and we've even tried to sneak a peek behind the fences. Finally, last Friday they officially opened it.
I knew last weekend would be pretty crazy with all the kids being on Spring Break and the new children's area being just opened, so I avoided going during that time. My plan was to go in the middle of the week when fewer people would be out. Thursday was forecast to have beautiful weather, so that was our plan.
We decided that rather than take a picnic lunch and have to lug around an ice chest with us, we would hit the McDonald's drive thru and grab some lunch to take in with us. When we pulled out of the parking lot, there was a giant line of cars. I made a joke about "I sure hope all those people aren't going to the zoo too." Famous last words!
Oh, yes, they were ALL going to the zoo too! Thousands of them. So many, that the zoo parking lot was closed as well as the Science Museum next door to the zoo. The only parking was across the street at the race track. Here's a map of the area. The red flag with A is the zoo entrance. If you go north and west from there where the t in the word Luther (N. Martin Luther King Ave.) is, we had to park waaaaaaaay over there! Google Earth says it's only a half mile to the entrance, but when you're trying to keep up with 4 kids in a giant crowd, it feels A LOT longer than that. (and when you're trying to get back to the van after 5 hours in the zoo, it feels like 100 miles). I heard later over one of the employee's walkie talkie that there were 15,000 people in the zoo! Wow!

View Larger Map

It turned out to be a pretty nice day for the zoo. We were able to leave our jackets in the van (except for Dakota because she's always cold) but it wasn't too hot. There were so many people that we didn't get to see many animals, but we did get to check out the new children's area and make some mental notes about where we want to go first on our next visit.
The best animal encounter we had this trip was definitely the giraffes. They have a brand new baby giraffe at the zoo, born January 17. It was so cute!

There was a really big crowd around the giraffe exhibit watching the baby and it sure did want to come over and check everyone out. The dad and mom giraffe wouldn't let it get close though. They kept chasing it away when they thought it was too close to the people. The mother giraffe came REALLY close though.

(please ignore the green haired child. He was NOT with me)

On our way to the kangaroos, we passed some people planting trees. One guy was using a bobcat to dig the holes while the others put the trees in. Landon LOVED watching him. We stayed there for quite a while.
Finally, we made it to the children's area. It is really neat! It has several different sections to explore. The first area we went into is the "underground". It has all kinds of bugs and spiders to look at. You walk through cave-like tunnels to look at the animals that are in cages in the walls.
Pretty cool!
At the end of the underground there is a giant slide shaped like a tree. It was a pretty popular spot.

No visit to the zoo would be complete without a ride on the carousel. I hadn't ridden with them in a long time. It was fun!

Another cool spot in the new area was the waterfall and stream. The kids are allowed to take off their shoes and walk in the stream and get wet in the waterfall. I bet we'll be spending a lot of time in this area when it gets hot outside.

The flamingos are also in the new section of the zoo. They have been one of Cheyenne's favorites since she was a baby.
There is also a petting area called "The Barnyard". Lots of things to touch in this area-goats, pigs, sheep, bunnies, donkeys, etc. It's a pretty fun place too.

The kids are excited to go back when it's not so busy and we can see more animals. We didn't make it around to the lions and tigers and bears this time. And Landon was sad that we didn't play on the playground. I can't wait til the girls are out of school so we can do it again!

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