Thursday, May 22, 2014

A Day at the Zoo

Alright, so it's now May and I've done a few "Day in the life" posts.

A Day in Our Life (original day in the life post way back in Sept. '13)
Just Another Day (January)
One Day in February
Project Days (March)
When Order is Reversed (April)

Pretty much the first three are along the same lines and the last two are completely different from the norm. I thought I'd share another "different" type of day this month. A field trip day!

Yup, we did a field trip in the middle of the week! Don't you just love homeschooling freedom??

We went to the Detroit Zoo, which is between an hour and an hour and a half ride away from us. YCJ received a zoo membership for her birthday this year (her one big item on her list and she's already requested another membership for next year!) which allows us to go as many times as we wish throughout the next twelve months, gives us access to membership only events, AND she'll get a newsletter from the zoo all year long! 

Our day started not as all as I had planned (check this post to see how I planned our day to start). I had picked all of the outfits out. Snacks were grabbed after I woke up and got dressed. Children had eaten their breakfast, gotten dressed, and I'd just finished the girl's hair when Noni showed up! 

So, we said some prayers in the car with Noni on the way to the zoo! Ended up having to park at the top of the parking structure, stopped and bought the membership pass, and we were good to go!

First stop, Butterfly House! It was so neat checking out all of the different kinds of butterflies and then the birds (other side of the building) that were housed there!

Then of course a picture by the GIANT fountain near the entrance. One simply cannot visit the Detroit Zoo and NOT take a picture (or several) by this fountain. It's tradition!

We saw several more exhibits...

The Red Panda napping in a tree
sleeping lioness

Tiger taking an almost midday cat nap in it's den

This old guy kept sitting there for a long time, a lot of kids got their pictures taken with him!

The great Silver Back!!

Stopped for lunch in the Arctic Cafe (HUGELY expensive, we're picnicking from now on) and then went into the Arctic exhibit, which is one of my personal favorites! The female Polar Bear, who was the only one we got to see today, we'd seen when she was just an itty bitty cub. Her mother has gone back to her own zoo now but they stayed together for two and a half years (just like they do in the wild) in our zoo and we hadn't seen her since she was a baby! Man, she's gotten BIG!!
The campers inside of a replicated whale bone shelter (minus the fur coverings of course)

We love the tunnel where you can sit and watch the bears and seals swim around you (they are separated no seal meat for the bears) and the viewing area up top as well.

Look at those feet!!! She was so little when we saw her last!

Then of course a few more exhibits where Peanut became fascinated with the "fairy dogs" and how she could get so close to them.

And finally to our main attractions (well, the campers main reasons for going)...

The Reptile House...

The Amphibian House...

and the Penguinarium...
The penguins were all really cute. Over 17 species. I'm sure they'll be glad for the new exhibit next year!!
They'll be building a new penguin exhibit next year where there will be a viewing tunnel just like there is for the seals and polar bears!!! We can't wait to see it!

We bought a few souvenirs on the way out and then headed over to a local park for some cake! OH! Did I forget to mention? This was all about an early celebration from Noni to YCJ for her birthday next week!

A quick stop at the store, after some horrible traffic, and we were home. Things got put away, supper got made and eaten, campers tucked into bed, some quiet time with Daddy for Mommy, and a bit of crafting then sleep! It had been a busy day and my legs were sure letting me know!

All in all we were outside for 7 full hours today! Plus, we had an awesome time of it and plan to go back really soon. I didn't assign anything special about the zoo today, but little do the campers know that I want a creative short story (or illustration in the case of Peanut with me taking her dictation) on what their favorite part of the day was sometime before the end of the week! (Yes, I am a devious homeschool parent! LOL)

Linking up this month with Our Busy Homeschool

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  1. Thanks for sharing Chrystal. When my son was 2 years old, I took him to the zoo, entered the penguin exhibit and there we stayed for an hour and a half until the little guy nodded out. He LOVED those penguins and would start to cry each time we would try to leave the exhibit. That was 35 yrs goodness, it seems like yesterday.

    1. She remembered her last time being there which was about her 3rd birthday. With everything going on we just hadn't gotten back. So she reveled in the polar bears and her beloved penguins and refuses to miss a minute of it again. My goodness! That means that the cub we now saw all grown up is about six years old now! Holy smokes!!

      Poor little guy ;-) seems we may have been little around the same time.

  2. I'm glad you shared pictures of animals so we could see some that we don't have here at our zoo (Columbus). I think my favorite was the seal. I love learning days like this, where the kids are exploring and having a blast while soaking up all sorts of learning.

    Happy early birthday to YCJ!

    PS> This is my second attempt at commenting, the first disappeared, so if you get two just publish one of them. ;)

    1. I love sharing pictures of all the animals. Of course I took over 100 pictures so I couldn't share them all. I think I might have tried though! LOL

      I'm going to be looking into stopping at the Columbus zoo sometime within the next 18 months or so. We'll be keeping the membership we have and most zoos nation wide honor a 50% off admission for members of other zoos. I would really like to be able to see some of the animals we don't have here either :-)

      That seal wowed all of us! It would sun bath and then swim and they swim and flip upside down so it's a real wonderful thing to watch!

      I'll tell her you said so, but I'm sure she's going to want a special birthday post next Tuesday on her birthday LOL (they all think that the whole world should know pretty much everything about them now that Mom blogs)

  3. Your zoo looks like a fabulous one! I have always wanted to live close enough to a zoo to make a membership worth it, but our zoos are all so far away that it is at most a once-a-year event. If I had a membership, I would love to do a nature study at the zoo and take the time to sketch a particular animal.

    1. We'll certainly be doing a nature study at the zoo sometime within the next few months. Each child will get to pick an animal and sketch it out and write some facts on it. Then I'm thinking of breaking the zoo down into "zones" (arctic, savannah, etc) and doing a nature study on each of those. Any zoo's we're able to visit other than our own after that we'll add whatever animals they have that we don't for each "zone". The kids have already asked to go back! LOL