Monday July 16, 2012 – We woke up today knowing we wanted to go do something that the babies would enjoy and that we wouldn’t have to be in the car for more than 30 minutes each way. Originally we thought we would head to the Royal Gorge today, but after the Mountain trip yesterday with all the traffic, we didn’t think it was a good idea. Pat and I decided that Angel and Gabe probably wouldn’t enjoy the zoo as much as Courtney and Carson, so we sent them to Elitches while we went to the zoo. I don’t know much about Elitches other than everyone kept telling me it was like a smaller version of World’s of Fun. Angel and Gabe seemed to have a good time, so I guess that is all that matters, but anyway on to our zoo trip.
So I had never heard anything about the Denver Zoo and I was a little concerned that it was going to be a lot of walking in the heat with two hot irritable babies. The Omaha Zoo and the Kansas City Zoo are both really large and require a lot of walking so I was basing this concern on those two zoos. Boy did I have nothing to worry about! The Denver Zoo is by far my favorite zoo at this point. The animal exhibits are right next to each other, and the animals were situated as to make viewing from a stroller perfect.
BUT the most perfect part of the Denver Zoo, The Northern Shores Play Area. Oh My Goodness!!! Every zoo in America should have this feature. It was absolutely the highlight of the zoo for Carson. We had been there about an hour when we happened upon the play area, I couldn’t believe my eyes! A little river for the kids to play in! With little waterfalls, and even little wooden boats to play with. But even better the edges of the river were just perfect for us parents to sit on with our feet in the water while we watched our little ones. I had brought both kids a change of clothes and their swimsuits, so I wasn’t too concerned with them getting wet. Carson was wearing his water shoes all ready, he had a blister from his sandals, and Courtney was without shoes. Well Carson was in heaven! He kept running back and forth from the waterfall to the stream part, playing in the water and getting all wet. I set Courtney down in a little shallow area and let her splash around while she cooled down. By the time we left the play area, both kids were completely cooled down and wet. We didn’t change their clothes as it was still hot out and we had 1:30 arrival time for the elephant exhibit. I think the fact that they were wet really made a huge difference for the next couple of hours. With it being almost 95 it was hot, and they were so good!
The Toyota Elephant Passage was really neat. Pat liked the area before the entrance the most though, that is where they serve ice cold beer. At first he was a little put off at the $6.25 price, but as soon as he took his first drink he decided it was worth it. I like how the Elephant Passage had a time entry, it meant that it wouldn’t be too packed. All the animals were easy to spot and very active. The Tapir was a lot of fun to watch. He was being vocal and bouncing around. Carson kept saying Moo Moo when we were watching him.
We made one more stop at the Northern Shores Play Area after we finished walking around, that way Carson and Courtney could cool down again and have some free time play. Again Carson LOVED it!
Both kiddos were perfectly wet and exhausted when we got back to the van and headed to go get Angel and Gabe from Elitches. Of note, it only took a few minutes before they both passed right out too!
I am looking forward to many more visits to the Denver Zoo, as far as I am concerned if you have young kids in the Denver Area, then you should most definitely have a season pass to the zoo. What a wonderful zoo!