Monday, May 24, 2010

The Calgary Zoo

After a mix up on Friday, I found out last minute that I would be taking my Friday kids to the zoo. Their Mom dropped them off at my apartment, and we set out on an adventure. We took a bus and the CTrain to get there, and this was the kids’ first time on either. It was rather cute watching them on their knees, craning their necks to get a better view of the city passing us by.

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We started off by hitting up The Prehistoric Park, as it’s the first exhibit once you’re inside the gates. A little background info: Southern Alberta is home to the Canadian Badlands, which is full of some of the world’s best dinosaur finds. True story. The Calgary Zoo created The Prehistoric Park, which is supposed to be a recreation of Alberta’s Cretaceous Period. I bet your zoo doesn’t have dinosaurs.

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Unbeknownst to me, the Calgary Zoo has been working on a little project called “Dinosaurs Alive”, where they’ve introduced 20 animatronic dinosaurs. The Zoo just got a whole lot more interesting for me! They made realistic noises, and moved around their heads, arms and tails. Way cool, although a tad scary for the younger kids. My kids were totally into it though, spending the majority of our time in the Prehistoric Park.

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After a (not so brief) stop for lunch and ice cream, we decided to see “real animals”. We had already been at the zoo for two hours, and all we had seen were dinosaurs!

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Peacocks roam free at the zoo, which meant I often had to stop D (3 years old) from chasing them down. There was also a Canadian Goose hanging out by some picnic benches, so D boldly ran up to him and got rather close. Canadian Geese are notoriously mean (they’ve got an awful bite), so I had to chase D down so that he didn’t get bitten. Very comical to the people watching us.

zoo 040 We actually didn’t make it around to too many “real animals”; the kids were more interested in getting more ice cream (apparently I bought the wrong kind) and trying to get into the gift shop to buy toys.
zoo 044We did have a blissful moment in the giraffe enclosure, all of the kids actually wanted to sit still and listen to a staff member talk about the giraffes and hippos (who are housed in the same building).
zoo 056 After being thoroughly disappointed about the Creature’s of the Night exhibit being closed for some unexplained reason, we came outside to see this guy putting on a show for us. You can’t tell, but we’re pressed right up against the glass, and he was jumping and flapping his wings right in front of us. The kids thought he was showing off just for them! (He’s either a vulture or a condor, I can’t remember which).

We also crashed some sort of lecture and got to pet a snake, which is basically the coolest thing ever for a 3 and 4 year old boy.

You know what? This was my first time at the Zoo with kids. It was a blast, but my feet hurt like you wouldn’t believe at the end of the day. There’s a good chance that there will be repeat performances of this during the summer.

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