Friday, May 17, 2013

Richmond Zoo

Let me go ahead and warn you now before you even start reading this post--there are a TON of pictures. I know I always post a lot of pictures, but there's really a lot in this one. Over 50 pictures and over 20 of those are just of the giraffe part of the zoo. You've been warned. ;)

I've been wanting to take the boys to the zoo for awhile. We took the boys to the Reston Zoo last year about this time, but that was more of a large petting zoo. We're actually closer to the DC zoo which is supposed to be nice (and it's FREE!) but parking can be difficult and the thought of trying to park and take the metro with two toddlers stresses me out. The Richmond Zoo has giraffes that you can feed, which I thought would be so fun! I read some reviews that it was a little small, which actually works out for us and the boys at this age. It was calling for about 30% chance of rain all week, so I've been checking the weather a million times a day. We got so lucky and it was warm and sunny. We got left a little before 8:00, so we could get there right at 9:30 when they opened.

When we first walked in the zoo, they had the flamingos, which the boys thought were really neat.

They had so many primates. The boys are 2, so we just referred to them all as monkeys. :) When they're older, it'll be fun to read the different names and learn about them. Greg has actually wanted to sell our stroller for awhile now because we never use it, but luckily we haven't because we needed it today. The boys did a lot of walking, but Evan liked having it when we started and when they got tired, they used it.

When I told Carter about the zoo, all he talked about were ducks. Haha, I told him that there were going to be zebras, giraffes, monkeys, lions, etc. He just wanted to know if there were going to be ducks. So, luckily, there were a lot of ducks.

I read somewhere that the Richmond zoo has one of the biggest primate collections. I believe it because there were monkeys everywhere!

The Richmond Zoo website said that only a few zoos nationwide let you feed the giraffes. I was so excited for this. I thought it would be so much fun for any age, but especially for the boys being so young to do something so hands on. We ended up getting to that part before anybody else and had the whole are to ourselves--which was perfect.

I loved how close they were able to get to the giraffes.

They had the longest tongues! You can see Evan's expression as he's putting the piece of food on it.

I love Evan's face. They were so excited.

I thought the boys might be scared, but they weren't at all.


I know there's so many pictures of this, but it was just so much fun and I love them all.

It looks like Evan has the giraffe's tongue, but I swear he doesn't. It's just the angle, he was putting the food on the giraffe's tongue. The boys are so gentle and nice with animals.


There was a bird atrium where you could go in with a stick of bird food and the birds come and eat it out of your hand, but it hadn't opened yet. We did that at the Reston Zoo, so it wasn't something we planned on doing anyways, but it's nice that they offer that. I felt like this zoo was so hands on and perfect for young kids.

The boys loved the things you sit on and ride, but I don't think they know that you can put money in and make them move. They think they're just fun things to sit on. We're going to enjoy that for as long as possible. ;)

There was a huge petting zoo area where you could feed the animals, but the boys were so hyped up at this point. We didn't spend a lot of time here, the boys were ready to explore the rest of the zoo.

I love how sweet the boys are with the animals. It's surprising to me because they're so high energy and definitely "all boy", but they're always so gentle with animals.

Evan got so tickled at this goat. He's laughing in this picture.

And they're off. This was why I wanted to come on a weekday before school got out and first thing in the morning, I knew the boys would want to walk and be independent and we were able to let them.

The boys both stopped to look at the alligators. They know what those are from "Peter Pan" and "Jake and the Neverland Pirates" they were so excited to see a real one.

There were some deer to feed too.

There was this huge play set for the kids and a picnic area in the shade next to a concession stand. The boys spotted it a mile away and ran for it. At first, I thought it was silly to spend time on this at a zoo, but the point of the trip was for the boys to have fun, so we let them play. They climbed and played and just had the time of their lives. We were right next to the safari train station that we had bought tickets for, so we let them play until it was time to take our train ride, so almost 30 minutes. It was perfect that we had the train ride, actually, because they were happy to get off when we said "Let's go ride the train" I don't know how we would have got them down otherwise.

There were so many levels and so much climbing, I wish we had one of these at a park or something close by.

The boys were so excited for our safari train ride. They were exhausted at this point and it was a perfect way to rest and still get to see animals.

There weren't really any rails or anything and the ride was bumpy at some places, so I just stuck my leg up as a way to make sure the boys didn't  fall out, so don't mind my leg in these pictures.

I will be happy if I never, ever see an ostrich this close again. I think they look evil and I about had a heart attack when this thing got so close to us. They give me the creeps, but the boys loved it.

We went through a little gated part of the zoo and got to see animals up close and personal. it was about 15 minutes and definitely worth the money.  

After we got done, the boys were ready for a snack, so they rode in the stroller and ate while we looked at a few more animals. Carter got out to walk the last couple of minutes and he thought the big turtles were so neat.

They had some little riding things as you left the zoo, so the boys had to go sit in them before we left.

We were only at the zoo about 2 hours and it was the perfect amount of time. We ended up getting to see almost everything because it was a small zoo. The boys were wore out when we left. Evan fell asleep almost immediately.  

Carter looked like this for a little bit, but then fell asleep too.
 We grabbed sonic for lunch and then drove home. It was an easy drive and we got home about 2:00. We had so much fun and I'm so glad we went. I know the boys really had a good time. I love doing things like this with the boys.

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