Monday, October 15, 2012

Zoo Trip

We went to the zoo two weeks ago.  It was a beautifully warm day.  There was hardly anyone there and we had such a fabulous time just the 3 of us.  Natalie wanted to see the zebras first so we went over and saw the hooved animals first.  We saw the giraffes and then they said they wanted to go to the pet zoo.  Of course we were the farthest away that we could be but that was fine.  I didn't really mind what we saw.  So we went over and spent quite a bit of time in the "pet zoo."  They pet some goats but the most entertaining part was watching the donkey that was misbehaving.  A zookeeper had gone into the pen with the miniature horse and the donkey to scrap stuff out of their hooves.  He started with the donkey and when he was finished he tried to work on the horse but the donkey came over.  I'm not sure if he was trying to head butt the zookeeper or nip at him but the zookeeper had to hold onto the donkey (he put his arm around his neck/shoulders.  Every time the zookeeper thought the donkey was calm, he would let go but the donkey would keep coming at him.  I think we watched this for at least 10 minutes.  I made them move on but every time we looked back, the zookeeper was still working on the donkey.  I wonder why he didn't just move the donkey to another area.   After the pet zoo we had lunch over by where the bears used to be and I realized why we don't eat there more often-you can smell the farm animals from there and that is not the most pleasant smell during lunch!  Then I decided to take them to the Hamill Play zoo which we can get into free with our membership.  Wow is that a fabulous play area!  We could have spent all day here-it's its own children's museum!  We'll definitely be heading back here when it gets colder!

N2 pretended to be zoo keepers.  They could wear zoo keeper costumes and sweep up after the animals.  They could also prepare food for the animals.  I got to be the animal (they brought me food).  They had pretend cages (although they could not open them).  This whole area looked like what I imagine behind the scenes at the zoo would look like!

There was an area like a house that had rabbits and various other pets there.  We didn't spend much time there.  Then we went into the project room and made pine cone bird feeders (which I still have not hung up).  They have a cave like area where they have a few reptiles and there is a place they can play with blocks and toy animals.  There is an area that kids can pretend to be birds and build nests.  I was impressed that in almost all the areas there were costumes that kids could wear.  In the bird area there are random pieces of felt and fabric that kids can use to build nests.  They also had plastic eggs that could be added to the nest.  I got N2 to sit on their eggs.

Then they decided to play catch with their eggs.  Not the best bird behavior.  I don't think I would trust them to watch my eggs if I was a bird.
I didn't know that Brookfield had lemurs.  Well they do and they are in this play zoo.  Not quite fair if you ask me!  There is an area where kids can dress up like lemurs and they can also paint their face to look like animals.  Once we figured out what the crayons were for, Noah went to town decorating his face!

 He kept this paint on the whole time at the zoo and the rest of the day until he had a bath.  We ran errands after the zoo.  Oh well!  Who cares?

 There was an office like area where you could pretend to be a zoo director.  There was a big table where you could make your own zoo plan-there were rocks, trees, fences, animals, etc.  Noah loved to play with that!
There was an empty fish tank in the office that you could crawl in to be a fish!

The last place we played inside was a vet hospital.  This was such a fun place!  There were tons of stuffed animals, stethoscopes, bandages, cages, etc.  There were xrays you could look at.  N2 loved to play doctor to the animals.  Natalie's patient was the polar bear and Noah's was the wolf.  They could have played there for an hour!  I finally said we had to see more animals before we went home, so we went to see the penguins and bears.
There was also an outside area with various instruments, a garden, a site to sit around a fake campfire, and a area where you could build with tarps and logs.  Such a fantastic play place!

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