The zoo: no agenda style

It's funny how kids become creatures of habit very quickly.  After we got home from being at Mama's for Christmas, the big kids started asking, "So, what day are we going to the zoo?"

(It all started over Christmas/New Year's 2008/2009 when Ian's company closed for the week between the two holidays.  We found out he'd have the time off late in the game and decided to celebrate a "stay-cation" at home.  The zoo was an easy day trip and the kids have come to expect it every year since).

And so on Monday 2nd (Ian's day off for New Year's), we dressed our kids in two layers, packed a slew of PB & J sandwiches, and hopped in the van for our yearly winter visit to the NC Zoo.
Because we had absolutely no agenda beyond enjoying time together, we obliged requests to stop at each statue we saw.
And spent a while on the playground too.
A long while on the playground.
A whole lot longer than we usually spend.  But again.  No agenda.  No worries.
On this trip we even did something we've never done before.  Pay to use the viewfinders.  That was compliments of our oldest son.  He hit his piggy bank just before we left the house and we heard his pockets jingling.  When questioned about it, he answered, "You know those looky things at the zoo?  I bringed my own money so that we can use them.  I have 'nough for Kylie and Darcy and Daniel too.  Please?"

So we did.
We spent a lot of time at the prairie viewing both the real bison (above) and the not-so-real bison (below).
Then just as we left the prairie and headed on to the African plains, our little trooper decided he was finished.  It was about that time Ian and I regretted making the decision to leave the stroller at home.  Thankfully he'll go to either of us pretty easily and he still weighs in under 30 pounds!
Did I mention that we stopped at every statue?
We did.
We even went searching for herds of elephants in the helicopter.
Oh yeah.  And the live animals?  We managed to see a few of them too.
we saved the seals for last and they were the highlight of the day!

Winter zoo days.  Cold or not, we love 'em.  No crowds and lively animals.  It's a great way to enjoy sunshine and some of God's creation!

It's a tradition we started in 2009 as a family of four...
our kids January 3, 2009
...and have continued each year since.  It's become a highlight of our Christmas vacation.
our kids January 2, 2012
Chances are you'll see us there one day in early January 2013 ~ after all, our membership goes through the end of that month...


Glenda said...

I love the picture of Kylie and Caleb as little ones. They've grown so much, still cute... just bigger!
Wonderful to live so close to zoos and such isn't it?

Nancy said...

What a fun family day and a great way to end Christmas vacation!

Grandma Shultz said...

Oh, the zoo. Grandma wants to meet you there sometime so I can see the animals with you. Looks like it was cold but then warmed-up. What a nice tradition.

Heather said...

Those kinds of days are the absolute best! Aren't they?

Traci said...

I love the ZOO!!! Glad it wasn't too cold for you!

Bekah said...

You were right here?!?!?!?! UGH! :)