The kids were ready to go after the drive and anxious to see some animals, especially the "rah-tahn-er-rous" (translation of Lukese: rhinoceros).
We started off with the alligators and reptiles. The kids love turtles ever since the Creature Teacher at school brought one in to show them. They were quizzing me about what kind it was and I had to fudge my turtle knowledge a bit. I'm only familiar with the teenage-mutant genus of turtles myself.
We managed to catch the feeding time for the seals, which the kids thought was really great. They also thought it was gross that the trainer was feeding the seals raw fish with her hands (I concurred). Then we got to view the seals at the underground view tank. It was pretty neat and the kids loved that the seals would swim right up to the glass.
The zoo also had a garden themed playground we played at and a 4D movie theater, carousel, and train rides (that were all closed until April, bummer). Oh, and it also had walking. Lots and lots of walking. This is a BIG zoo and while having lots of land for the animals is great, it is not so great for little kids legs. They did great though and only struggled at the very end of the day when we had to walk back to the entrance.
As usual, things other than the main attraction (the animals) proved to be the biggest hits:
Pretend-eggs that they could pretend-hatch out of - Entertainment value: 20 minutes.
Statues of bison because the bison were lounging too far away to see - Entertainment value: 15 minutes (could have been more but we rushed away when Peyton began questioning and touching the bison statue's nether regions).
Playing with the binoculars that required a quarter to use (we had no quarters, rendering them useless) - Entertainment value: 25 minutes, and we still had to drag them away.
Overall, the zoo was a success. Next time we'll be sure to make the walking more manageable (more breaks and/or tram rides), but the weather was awesome. I'm against being within the immediate vicinity of wild animals if the temperature is above 70 degrees (heat + wild animals = stench I'd rather avoid), so we lucked out with it being cool and sunny.
As for now, our visitors are gone, I have pretty flowered plants on my porch, and my nose is itchy and stuffed up. Spring is in the air!