Sunday, August 29, 2010

Goin' to the Zoo

Friday, Peanut and I took a field trip to the Columbus Zoo and Aquarium. I've been wanting to take her for a very long time, but it's been a scorcher of a summer and it just didn't seem like it would be fun in the extremely hot weather. Thankfully we got some relief from the heat last week and I decided it was a good opportunity to make a break for it.

I wasn't sure if she'd really "get it" because she's still pretty little. She absolutely loved it from the word go! That little mouth was gaped open with wonder from the moment we entered the gate.

It could not have been a more perfect day! The weather was fabulous and I felt like it was a great bonding experience. I'm with her pretty much 24/7, but seeing her in an environment other than home or our other usual places (grocery, craft store, families' houses) was extremely eye-opening. It really made me appreciate her as an individual with a personality all her own.

I thought she'd probably pay the most attention to the biggest animals because they're easier to see. Wrong! She couldn't have cared less about the lions, tigers, elephants and other animals that seem to be kids' favorites. Nope. Not my kid. What did she like? Things I never thought she'd give a second glance.

The manatees were probably her favorite. It's a really great exhibit. We were in there for a pretty long time.

She also really liked the otters:

I thought she was going to try to escape from my arms and into the penguin exhibit. I can see how that one might interest little ones if the penguins were swimming or jumping in and out of the water. They were all asleep when we were there, but she was still fascinated.

The flamingos might have been the favorite that surprised me the most.

We covered a lot of ground over the three and a half hours we were there. I wasn't sure how long she'd last without a nap. My plan was just to see whatever we could see before she fell asleep and then head for the car. She stayed wide awake the whole time! Our only breaks were for the restroom/diaper changes and water refills. Here are just some of the other animals we saw:

elephant family
aldabra tortoise
Angolan colobus
komodo dragon
koala bears
black rhino
Our last stop was at the zoo's newest exhibit, the polar bears. The setup was pretty incredible and we got lucky that one of the bears was feeling playful.

After seeing the bear from above, we went down to the lower observation tunnel. The bear was sitting right on top of the glass. Audrey thought the bear behind was hilarious!

He even waved to us!

Being the pushover loving mother that I am, I caved and bought her a stuffed manatee in the gift shop. We originally went in to get change for the smashed penny machines, but she kept reaching out for this one particular toy and saying "Awww! Awww!" She slept with him in her car seat the entire way home.

I'd say the day was a hit for both of us, well worth the hour and forty-five minute drive to get there. I'm also really glad I went ahead and bought a season pass. It's good for a year from the date of purchase so we'll be able to go as much as we want this fall, see the Christmas lights display this winter and then go even more next spring and summer.

Kudos to the Columbus Zoo for such a great experience. The animals are clearly well taken care, it's fantastically educational, the facilities are clean and the park is beautifully designed. I can't wait to go back!


  1. It's such a great zoo! I went there a few times while I lived in Columbus.... Jack Hanna did a great job designing it I think. So glad you both had a good time!

  2. I love when little kids love animals early on. The stuffed manatee was a good purchase! She'll love it for a long time, hopefully.

  3. Oh my goodness she is just so adorable! I would love taking my baby to the zoo! Each time, she will probably get more and more interested so it will be fun!

    And I think it's adorable that she wanted a stuffed animal :)

  4. Your daughter is so beautiful!

  5. Your little peanut, is too cute. We love the zoo, and now that the weather will finally be cooler, the animals might actually come out, so we can see them. During the hot summer days, they are never to be found. :)
    Katie thanks for checking out my semi completed LIST, it was hard, and took me 2 weeks, but finally done. Now I have to get to some projects. I'm glad your laptop is OK, and you only had to replace the power cord. Take care, and stop by next week to link up to my party girl. Thanks!!

  6. Wow...looks like you all really got to see some cool stuff at the zoo!! I have taken my son to the Nashville Zoo, but it is no where near that cool!

    Thanks for stopping by my blog!!! Hope to see you around!!