Saturday, May 30, 2015

Summer Bucket List 2015: John Ball Zoo

Our summer bucket list starts off this year with a trip to John Ball Zoo. We have many things listed again on our list from years in the past and some things that we would like try out with the kids for the first time. There are just some places or things you have to do every.single.year to consider it a great summer!

My parents went up to get the cabin ready for the summer and Jason was gone working for the weekend. So I asked around to see if anyone wanted to join us for a morning at the zoo.

We got there just before 9:30 and didn't leave until a tad after 12:30. Needless to say the kids had a great time and we saw every.single.exhibit.

I love that my kiddos have cousins their age to play with at all the family events and that they love to get together with. You know there was no way I was going to get each kid to smile nicely, but the best part is Grace's face. I can imagine she is thinking 'you want me to spend 3 hours at the zoo with these crazy kids!?'

Austin was a little too excited to keep us going. It was probably a good thing because we took 3 hours to see everything including sitting down for an ice cream break, 5 trips to the potty for Ava (ok maybe just 3) AND of course checking out the tourist trap (gift shop).

It's hard to tell Austin to slow down and enjoy the animals and each exhibit but he was a little too anxious to see the Lions and of course ride the Camel. Somehow we finally got to the lions toward the end of the trip and since the only Lion out was sleeping behind a big bush, Austin still admits that did not get to see the lions and we have to go back! Although I am sure we will get back there sometime this summer to go with my parents since the kids were also dissapointed we didn't ride the funicular.

The kids were pretty good in the petting zoo too.

 Especially Gracie. She is a lover of animals. We all knew she would be when she met Lily for the first time and fell in love.
 Ava on the other hand is still a bit skiddish when it comes to animals.

Austin was especially good with watching out for Maxton. The kids were good at making him laugh!
The only way I get to get in on a picture is to threaten the kids with no camel ride unless they smile. Well, this is about as good as it gets with 20 frames. Thanks Kate for trying!!

This particular weekend the zoo was celebrating Earth Day. There were many demonstrators around the zoo to talk about animals. Austin didn't hesitate to partake in all the hands on booths.
Checking out the Big Bear!

Camel Rides!


Austin talks about the camel rides for weeks following our annual trips to the zoo.
My favorite part of the zoo was seeing the tiger exhibit for the first time. Last year when we went, we were there JUST before they opened the tiger exhibit so we missed them. It was crazy seeing them up so close behind the glass. The brothers continued to pace in front of us for a long time and Max was right up against the glass watching in awe.
After the tigers there is a little playground where the kids were enjoying running around in the warm sun. We all actually got pretty hot up there that day. It's a long walk to get up to the tigers but we took the walk back down bribing the kids with snacks and ice cream at the bottom.

And lastly we hit up the indoor reptile exhibit. I was surprised to see Ava jumping in this time since you think this would scare her the most. But I am sure Austin's no fear attitude made it look more appealing to her. Ewww. No wonder Kate brought along her own personal stash of hand sanitizer.
I am sure we will head back for a 2nd visit later this summer with Grandma and Grandpa. We are lucky to have such an amazing zoo right here in GR. The kids had a great time and the adults were exhausted after our 3 hour trip. One more thing crossed off our bucket list. Next up, our trip to the Critter Barn!

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