Tuesday, March 11, 2014

Riverbanks Zoo

Sunday, Greg and I took the boys to the Riverbanks Zoo in Columbia, SC. I have been wanting to get a membership there for awhile, but we were waiting until it warmed up a little bit. It's only an hour drive (over an hour closer than the Atlanta zoo) and there's a ton to do there.

We got the membership that includes all the activities for free every time we go. They have a carousel, train, pony rides, parakeets to feed, giraffes to feed, etc. The boys loved the carousel. It's right at the entrance as you go in and they wanted to ride it immediately. They ended up riding it 4-5 times before we left for the day, so I know we got the right membership!

They loved picking out a new animal to ride each time. They liked the carousel more than seeing the animals, which is fine, whatever makes them happy.

Our plan was to get there at 9:00 when they open, but we were dragging a little bit because of Daylight Savings, so we ended up getting there about 9:30. It was perfect, there was hardly anybody there and no lines. When we left about 12-12:30, it was getting really crowded.

We honestly could have spent 3 hours just riding that carousel over and over. and over! Greg and I took turns riding with them.

After the boys rode the carousel a couple of times, we went and fed the parakeets. This was my favorite part of the entire trip! We all really enjoyed it, it's a lot of fun. They give you a cup of nectar and you hold it out and the birds will drink from it.

They land on you to get closer to the nectar, the bird was on my arm while Carter was feeding it. The boys were not scared of the birds at all.

I don't know how much a cup of nectar is, but it's free for members.

There was a huge monkey area that was surrounded by water. The monkeys were being so loud and the boys loved watching them play and yell.

There's a kangaroo walkabout. You enter a door and walk through the kangaroo area, there's a walkway, but there's nothing between you and the kangaroos.

The gorilla exhibit was neat, there was a huge gorilla sitting in front of the class. All the kids that came in got such a kick out of it. There was another one eating that was really close too.

Evan thought he was pretty cool.

Evan loved this hand print/foot print thing. I guess a lot of the cartoons they watch have a lot of "follow the footprints" and he just thinks they're so neat.

There was a little train ride that we went on with the boys. It's short but the boys love it.

There's a picnic area outside of the zoo, so we just packed a lunch and when we were ready to eat, we went out there and ate and then went back into the zoo. It saves us so much money packing our own food and drink.

After lunch, we went back in to ride the carousel on last time and let the boys go to the bathroom before we hit the road.

On the way out, the boys saw this bubble machine and stopped to play for a few minutes. They loved chasing the bubbles and popping them.

There were several things we didn't do (ride the ponies, feed the giraffes, etc) and we didn't even go through the whole zoo. We stayed until everybody was tired and then we drove home and all took naps. Now that the weather is starting to warm up, I plan on taking the boys back a lot. I love stuff like this, so going to the zoo is as fun for me as it is for the boys. They had a great aquarium/reptile area that the boys LOVED! they had all the fish from Finding Nemo and the boys thought it was so fun to see them in person. They even talked about seeing "Dory" after we left. It's the perfect distance from the house, only an hour's drive. We're able to go there, spend the morning, eat lunch and come back in time for naps.

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