Monday, January 18, 2010

Free Day At The Zoo

Today Kylie and I went to the Denver Zoo. Every year, they have a list of days on their website when admission is free. This year, they have two days in January, two in February, two in October and two in November. Do they figure it will be cold enough on those days that they won't be overrun by 8 billion people?

It's a good theory, but today was mostly sunny and in the upper 40s, so downright balmy for January. Needless to say, it was pretty crowded. But, since it was just Kylie and me and I didn't have any other kids/people to keep track of, I didn't mind the crowds.

One of the exhibits is called the Lorikeet adventure. It's an open-air exhibit and there are all these beautiful, colorful birds.

For $1, you buy a small cup of nectar and you can feed the birds. Most people just hold the cup up to the birds and let them drink, but I'm pretty good at getting the birds to walk onto my hand. You have to hold the cup just far enough away from them so that they have to step onto your finger to reach it.

I was trying to help Kylie, but every time a bird would go to use its beak to pull itself onto her hand, she'd yank away, thinking she was going to get bitten. So I finally got the idea to get one on my hand, then take my cup away and point it toward her cup. Yay, it worked.

The whole idea of going to the zoo on the free admission day was to not spend any money, right? I told the child to bring a sweatshirt, but did she? No. Notice the sweatshirt she is wearing that says "Denver Zoo, 1836." At least it was on the clearance rack, but it was still $20.

I had also planned on bringing a picnic for lunch, but then I remembered that if I brought stuff with us, I was going to have to carry it around all day. I don't care for that. So I ended up buying lunch too. Even with free admission, it still cost me almost $40. Sigh.

So, here's what I learned today:

1. If you're going to go to the zoo on free admission day, get there before they open at 10am so you can get a parking space. If you get there at say, 11:30am? You're going to be walking a few miles before you even get to the zoo entrance.

2. I miss having a stroller sometimes. You don't realize how much crap you used to carry around in the bottom of one of those things until you don't have one (or have a friend with you that has one.)

3. A 3' 9" tall child who only weighs 38 lbs is always going to be cold. Force her to bring sweatshirt/jacket.

4. The Denver Zoo, and every other zoo I've ever been to, has way too many effing birds. There's Bird World (which I refuse to go into, because it's hot and humid and, yuck), and also it seems every corner you turn, more birds. Enough with birds already.

5. Sometimes indoor exhibits are great, because you can see the animals whether they are inside or outside. An example of an indoor exhibit that is not great? Elephants and rhinos. And giraffes. The smell will make you gag.

And finally:
6. Denver Broncos attire is never out of season, or out of fashion.


Mary~Momathon said...

So funny! I will miss my strollers so much someday! The Lorikeet cup of juice at the San Diego Zoo's Wild Animal Park costs $3, see what a good deal you got!

Dawn in Austin said...

I absolutely love going to the zoo!! And yes, I really am a grown-up, why do you ask? When we visit places and are there for more than a couple of days, we always work in going to the zoo. Now I wish I had taken pictures and remembered all the zoos we've been to. That would have made a nice blog, eh?

Joann Mannix said...

So, we live about 90 minutes from Disney World and we have Fl Residents passes. Yesterday, my husband took one of our girls to the park, where the college girl met them. (Her college is in the same town.) It seems girls never grow up enough to remember their sweatshirt. It dipped into the 40's and my husband ended up buying a sweatshirt on clearance for our college girl, a Disney Princess sweatshirt. She was thrilled. You never grow out of wanting to be a princess.

We too, miss our strollers. We used to bring them even when the girls were way too big, just to have somewhere to hold all the stuff.

Anonymous said...

We are insanely lucky to live near a zoo that is free all year round - I'd never encountered that before moving here last summer. But yeah, you still end up spending money - and of course being free means it's usually busy.