We hadn't been to a zoo in a few years so I was anxious to take Olive to a zoo while we were on vacation in Naples, FL. She was less than a year old when we'd gone to the Little Rock Zoo a few times and I knew this trip would be different. Now she could name animals, voice her opinions about animals she wanted to see and have a blast. We definitely had a WILD time.
We headed to the zoo early in the morning to try to be there during the coolest time of the day. It worked out pretty well and we appreciated some cloud cover. We walked around for about 2 hours, saw tons of animals. The zoo was not crowded because summer is their off season since it's so hot. We lucked out and only had a couple of really hot days.
I packed Fletcher a zoo themed outfit just in case we did make it to the zoo. Lucky for him we did and lucky for him he was perfectly decked out to go zoo-ing :) Too bad he mostly snoozed through the main events and woke up to enjoy the AC of the gift shop.
A flashback to baby Olive in 2013 at the Little Rock Zoo
We brought a stroller for each of the kids and let Olive hop in and out and she deemed necessary. It was great because it gave her a break from walking and kept her in the shade. PS I tried to get her to wear shorts, in typical toddler fashion she had other ideas for her outfit. Jeggings it is.
The turtle exhibit.
The lion was really funny. He gave us a show with a big yawn, rolling over and acting very cat like. Olive loved it and said he was just like our cat Topher.
The animals were very friendly and Olive thought it was hilarious to see them strutting around.
The zoo gardens and facilities were gorgeous!
The highlight of our trip to the zoo:
FEEDING THE GIRAFFES
When you go to the zoo with your grandparents they say YES to things that your parents might not. We went to feed the giraffes and it was so cool. We got to get really close to them and Olive really enjoyed it. The zoo took their giraffe feeding very seriously. They made Olive say she promised not to touch them, made her practice how to hold the lettuce and then said we would get a refund if the giraffe wouldn't eat from her hand. It was so funny and almost didn't seem real to be hanging out with such large animals. Look at all of the giraffes in the background!
I guess the animals were used to the heat because many of them were out and about. The black bears were really busy, but I forget to snap any pictures of them. My father in law walked around reading all the signs and telling us fun facts about the animals. I was too busy trying to keep everyone cool and hydrated to read much.
Proof that we were all at the zoo together.
Kevin wins the award for best looking. Everyone else looks a little uncomfortable haha
There were fun animal talks going on everywhere. Olive was FASCINATED by the snakes. They were huge and we had to pry her away from them. Fletcher was ready for some fresh air at this point.
We got a group picture with Kevin's parents as we were leaving the zoo.
Olive wasn't thrilled to be going - can you tell??
We headed inside and her grandparents told her she could pick out one toy to buy. She spotted a pair of MERMAIDS and was sold. I guessed she'd want to get a giraffe, but nope, the blue haired mermaids were what she wanted.
The boys needed a nap when we got home.
We rested up and headed to the outlet malls for a little shopping.
Olive rode this very pricey horse. We are used to the penny horse at Meijer and this horse ride was $1 a pop! At the end of the day she said her favorite animal she saw all day was the horse ride! Guess it was fun, but I would have thought she might have said an animal from the zoo. Toddlers are crazy :)
The outlets also had fountains and koi ponds everywhere to keep the kids entertained. Worked like a charm except she wanted to jump in and swim with the fish. Not a good idea.
What is the best zoo you've ever been to?
I have been to several -
Salt Lake City
Memphis with the panda exhibit was the best I've seen.
I'd love to check out the St.Louis zoo and the Indianapolis Zoo in the near future. My favorite exhibit is always the polar bears. St. Louis has a new polar bear exhibit that looks amazing and Indy is getting rid of theirs in a few weeks. Boo!