Thursday, July 23, 2015

The Detroit Zoo {Summer Day Trip #1}


While we are loading up the van in just a couple of days and heading out for a two and a half week trip back to the great midwest, we have no plans for our own little family vacation (a la last year's trip to Cincinnati) this summer.  Instead, we hope to make at least two, if not three, fun day trips throughout our state to explore, see some new sights, and spend a little out-of-our-ordinary quality time together.

Our first trip came together at the beginning of this week as we planned today's trip to the Detroit Zoo.  Detroit is about a two hour drive for us, so it's not too far for just a day away.  It was an absolutely gorgeous day - low 80s for the high with blue skies and sunshine - and with our water bottles and lunches packed and sunscreen applied, we arrived at the zoo just after 9:00.

{thus follows your run-of-the-mill zoo day photographs...}




I had heard really good things about the Detroit Zoo, and it did not disappoint!  There's a great variety of animals as well as several interactive experiences for kids.  One of the first things I noticed was the amount of green there!  I was particularly struck by how much grass they had on the property; it seems many of the zoos we've been to recently have a lot of pavement, and while certainly there was ample walking room, it was a really beautifully cultivated habitat there.  That, and the wonderful weather day we had, made this trip especially enjoyable.






Making this kind of trip a bit more budget friendly - I packed our lunches and brought along snacks.  Thankfully, it satisfied!  {Although there was that trip to McD's for ice cream on our way home. :) }

Reed, in particular, loved today.  He was super attentive with the map, finding the animals and observing them, too.  About halfway through the day, he declared he is going to be a zookeeper when he grows up.  His favorite from today was the polar bear, and then walking down the "Arctic Path" to view the polar bears and seals from down below.

This here is the only angle we got of the polar bear.  He's peeing.  That'd probably be why that was Reed's favorite...totally his humor.


I was most looking forward to seeing the bears - they have black, brown, and grizzly, along with the polar and red panda.  I was really excited to see that most of the animals were spot-able in their areas; however, once we reached the bears, it seemed most of them were nowhere to be found.  Special thanks to the brown bear for lounging around for us to see!



One of the funnest, and most surprising, parts of the zoo is the Australian Outback Adventure.  It's a completely fenced in area full of kangaroos and wallabys (no baby joeys this year) and the kicker?  Zoo visitors get to walk right through the middle of it!  Meaning, if a kangaroo wanted to say hi, he can hop right up to you on the path and give ya a hardy slap on the back!  Absolutely no barrier between the animals and the sidewalk we were walking on.  On our walk through, we saw what seemed like dozens of Australian natives lounging in the sun.  Only a few were up and hopping, but none close enough to say hello.  It was very, very cool.





My most favorite photo from the day.  

They have pet rocks, too!
Ha!

The Penguinarium was cool, as was the reptile house (so say the boys) and the wolf exhibit.


The afternoon sun started to get warm and while we did opt out of just a couple of the bigger displays, we were very satisfied with everything we did get to see.  We left mid-afternoon and headed home.  I think our kids have been to more zoos in their lifetime than I have in mine - it may be time to broaden our adventure-seeking horizons! - but the Detroit Zoo is top notch and I'd definitely recommend it!


   

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