Today’s Field Trip: Washington Park Zoo

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The sun has been shining so brightly this week that I haven’t been able to justify sitting at home, even though it’s been kind of chilly outside.  So Josh and I have been bundling up with hoodies, jackets, and blankets, and hitting the pavement.  While we both enjoy our lengthy stroller rides through the neighborhood, I decided to change it up a bit.

Today, I took him for his first visit to Washington Park Zoo.  I haven’t been there since I was a little kid, so I couldn’t wait to take him up to the tower and show him the beautiful aerial view of Michigan City.  Unfortunately, it was closed, as was the big monkey jungle-gym thing – my two favorite zoo attractions!  I hope they are both up and running again this summer.

Fortunately, most of the animals were easily visible (I expected they’d be hiding in their little homes because of the cold wind), so Josh still had a fantastic time.  He was able to see free-roaming peacocks and wild turkeys, monkeys of all kinds, lots of reptiles, giant birds, bears, tigers, kangaroos, farm animals, otters, a bobcat, a mountain lion, zebras, and more.

It was great to see him get to interact with some of the animals that he had only seen in books until today.  He knows all his animal names and sounds, so he was really excited to try to communicate with them.

Below is a picture of Josh and his cousin, Connor, feeding the goats.  He really enjoyed the challenge of trying to get the food to their mouths, which proved difficult because the wind kept blowing it out of his tiny hands!

Here he is hanging out in the tunnel under the otter tank.  They were sleeping on land when we went through, but he didn’t seem to mind.  Even though they weren’t swimming around him in the tunnel, he was not a happy camper about having to get out and move on.  He’d have sat in there all day and waited if I’d have let him.

Here’s one of Connor and Josh in front of the little waterfall.  My intention was to get a picture of all the pretty flowers behind them, but that clearly didn’t happen.  Maybe next time…

My personal favorite moment of the day was seeing Josh hold and feed a bird all by himself.  He was very calm and gentle, which is the opposite of what I expected from my busy, one-year-old.  He’s becoming such a big boy!

I look forward to returning the Washington Park Zoo, especially once the weather is warmer.  It is surely one of this city’s greatest attractions, and at only $4.50 per adult ($5.50 for non-residents of Michigan City) and free for kids 2-and-under, I may just take him weekly!

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