Small Graces: The Zoo

Almost a year ago now, we decided to get memberships to Chicago's Brookfield Zoo and it's one of the best $100 we've ever spent. I've lost track of how many times the kids and I have visited, but every time we go they are super excited and we are still discovering new things. It's a huge zoo with tons of great animal exhibits as well other extraordinary additions that make it an exceptionally fun place for young families: a summer splash pad, the Hamill Family Play Zoo (think small children's museum), playgrounds, a petting zoo, picnic areas, etc. 

Maca joined the kids and I for a visit this past Thursday and it turned out to be a perfect day - well, as "perfect" as days can be when they are spent with three young children. Once we arrived at the zoo we had a mini picnic in the car since I was afraid it'd still be too cold to eat outside. The weather, however, was quite warm - they boys went coatless the whole time. We didn't see a lot of animals on this trip because the kids really wanted to go the the Hamill Family Play Zoo and spend some time on the playgrounds. The animal exhibits we did see were a special treat. Apparently, early afternoon is the active time for big cats because they were all putting on a show  The lions particularly were a delight. The male lion did lots of yawning, grooming, played with the female a bit, and pressed it's nose against the viewing window. Before we left he even let out a couple roars! A zoo keeper passing by says he roars everyday at 4:00 - who knew lions where so scheduled? 

picnic in the car
*for all the seatbelt fundamentalist - we were parked, the engine was off : ) 

a bird protecting her eggs

a sly egg-stealing snake

lucky this mommy bird doesn't mind the extra space

face painting. they were butterflies or, as little lady calls them, "butterflowers"

petting a rabbit 

you can't expect to skip nap-time with out a fallout - luckily, this was the
only one

maca enjoying a puppet show

a prowling tiger

this pictures makes me giggle

it's a little hard to see but the lion's nose if right under big buddy's hand -
talk about happy kids!

*this post isn't an advertisement, we just really enjoy the zoo. You can read a post about one of our other visits here

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