Adventures,  Kids

Lily’s 8th Birthday Zoo Trip

Happy birthday to my not so little girl! My giggly baby is now a giggly mini-adult with dancing shoes and the curiosity of a scientist. My imaginative artist who still loves animals… She is growing like a weed! We love her so much and wanted to do something special as a family to celebrate her birthday. Hogle Zoo last time was so much fun, we came back! This time we brought $$ and were in a mood to spend it on everything to make the birthday girl feel special, hahaha! Well, within reason—a special food, a special encounter, and all the zoo’s paid attractions, plus a souvenir from the gift shop. Totally different experience, as you can see below!

Feeding the Giraffe at Hogle Zoo

Birthday Girl was able to have an up close encounter feeding lettuce leaves to this giraffe. She was a little surprised when the giraffe’s really long tongue touched her hand as she was feeding it, but that was the most memorable part! She said it was amazing and she got to see its beautiful brown eyes.

Meerkat Exhibit

We were really excited about the new Meerkat exhibit, which we missed last time! They had a nice viewing area with spots to hide inside a glass enclosure protected from sun, plus an open area filled with toys and shade. It made spotting the little Meerkats a lot easier, and we even had an unobstructed close up view when they came out!

It was also very humbling to be this close to a Brown Bear. They are huge with thick fur! It was really hot outside so they were trying to cool off and rest in the shade which happened to be right up against the viewing glass.

Pinniped Show (Seals and Sea Lions)

The Pinniped Demonstration wasn’t running last time, but today it was! They showed us their amazing swimming skills, different vocal calls, exercises they do, and even showed off their lovely flippers and tails… My favorite was their bobbing heads that looked like dancing!

Zoo Conservation Carousel

This was the birthday girl’s only request since it’s about $1 per person per minute for this attraction, and the ride only lasts for a minute (Jer timed it)! She loved being able to select her animal to ride—there are some unique ones that you don’t usually see on a carousel—and hearing the music and just having the experience. If we didn’t have cost restraints she wanted to ride over and over to select a new animal since she loves so many of them, but the lucky winner this time was a dolphin.

Zoo Train

Our carousel tickets also had discounted train tickets, and this was our last stop since it’s right by the entrance/exit and the boys were on meltdown since they wanted to ride the train so badly. We passed by a lot of the African animals exhibit and then by some part of the old zoo I think with teepees and American bison. The boys loved the thrill of riding a real little train, and it was the perfect way of ending L’s Birthday Zoo Trip! Baby also didn’t want this one to end and tried to run back on so he could go again!

She chose a special item from the gift shop, a super soft stuffed little elephant that she named Ellie. It was super hot outside and the boys were done so we stopped at a gas station and got some cold drinks, and that really helped! All of them fell asleep on the way home.

When we arrived back home, the kids were still asleep so Jer moved the “big present” to the house while I drove in circles so that the Birthday Girl could see it first thing when she walked inside! She was thrilled (and I guess her brothers were, too) and all the kids went with Daddy outside to ride their bikes together.

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