The zoo was opening two new exhibits that day (which added to the amount of people there): the flamingo exhibit and the penguin exhibit. We started at the polar bears and then let the kids ride on the big carousel. All of the animals were actual animals in Africa (since that's the part of the zoo we were in) and the carousel was huge and we had a super long ride! Neither had ever ridden on a carousel and they were both fans! Jonathan stayed back to take pictures.
We went to check out all of the African animals next. It's pretty cool how they have this exhibit. All of the animals that would naturally be with each other in the wild are in the same exhibit: giraffes, zebras, ostriches and others. It's a very "natural" exhibit. The kids loved looking at the animals.
From there we had to go check out the new flamingo exhibit. Not that flamingos really do anything but they they are pretty fun to look at.
We were watching the flamingos stand on one leg and Adalyn started doing this. So stinkin cute!
Next we went to check out the elephants, hippos and rhinos. The hippos gave us a serious show. I've never seen them very active but they were in the water right next to the glass catching apples that the zoo keepers were throwing down to them. It was crazy to see right into their mouths! We also got to stand and watch the baby and mama elephant have their lunch. The baby elephant is so cute!
We saw a lot of other animals that we didn't take pictures of - the chimps, monkeys and gorillas were a favorite since they seemed to be putting on shows for the viewers and were right up next to the glass. The last exhibit we stopped at was the penguins. There was a line to get in since it was the opening day for it. But the line moved pretty quickly so we didn't mind waiting. And it was well worth the wait. It was the Penguin Walk and we were seriously walking through their exhibit. I mean if we reached out we could have touched them! And between the ropes Adalyn was nose to nose with them. (They had a zoo employee standing guard so people wouldn't reach out and touch them.) They aren't afraid of humans so they just hung out staring back at us standing in sprinkler water. They also could dive into the water and after you left the main area of the exhibit you could watch through windows to see them swim underwater. Since Jonathan's favorite animal is a penguin this was a favorite exhibit!
We had a full, fun day at the zoo and both kids were asleep on the way back to my parents' house. I know I'm biased since I grew up at this zoo (and had many of my birthday parties there too) but this zoo is seriously the nicest I have ever been to. Their exhibits are impressive and the kids enjoyed it so much. I loved how they would say hi and bye to each animal we came across. Even Cayden would talk to the animals like he thought they could understand him. So cute! Ok, so I guess it was proved and not just my bias since the weekend we went, the Toledo Zoo had just been named #1 in the country! Wow. We're lucky to have access to enjoy it whenever we're in town! Such fun memories with Nana and Papa.