Thursday, September 20, 2012

Riverbanks Zoo Highlight Reel

Yesterday morning the kids and I packed up and met my parents for a day trip to the Riverbanks Zoo in Columbia, SC. I suggested we meet at Starbucks... shocker... then head south. The kids really enjoyed going to the zoo with nana and poppi who had never been there before. My dad's favorite part of the zoo was the bird exhibit with nectar. I always really enjoy this part too.

My mom and dad
Parker FINALLY liked the birds after our 5th visit here!
Note the 2 birds on my mom's shoulders. One is biting her ear and the other is biting Avery's bow off her head.
Parker really enjoyed the carousel... both kids rode elephants. This was a huge deal because usually Parker wants to ride it but right as it starts, freaks out and we end up in the "sleigh" that doesn't move... total waste of $2! This time, he rode it and liked it! 
Another "big to me" breakthrough he had today was using the air dryer in the bathroom! Parker has always hated those and yells "What's that sound!?!" but today he did it by himself and it gave me a glimpse of light in this slightly neurotic tunnel I'm in with Mr. Parkerman. More to come on that in another post...

What's a zoo without a cow? Who would have thought this would be one of the highlights of our trip? Parker keeps looking at these pictures saying "I was makin' the cow pee pee!"
A bit too excited to milk a cow!
She's a pro.... I feel for you, poor fake cow!
Sissy's favorite part of the zoo was definitely feeding giraffes! You can pay for lettuce or you can be cheap like us and grab pieces that were dropped on the ground. Avery saw other people doing it and had no fear to try it herself.
Check out the giraffe's tongue!
She fed the giraffes at least 6 or 7 times and giggled every time it would lick her hand. Watching her do this was probably my favorite part of the trip too! Parker enjoyed watching them up close but didn't want to feed them. Maybe next time!

There is also an aquarium, albeit not very large one. It's a little misleading because it says "aquarium" on the building but you pass through about 60 snake habitats first. My mom HATES snakes so I made a point to take pictures with my phone of all the creepiest ones with their tongues out or heads poking up. I think I'll text them to her randomly to be evil.

After seeing all of the animals, we took the tram up the hill to the Botanical Garden. I LOVE the gardens and wish the kids would have been in picture taking moods! By this time both kids were tired but the gardens are too beautiful to miss!
Parker LOVED the tram especially since he's majorly back into Thomas the Train mode!
Avie and I thought it was pretty fun too!
There is the most precious cottage in the garden for kids to play in. I think we need one in our backyard but I'm pretty sure no amount of convincing is going to make Daniel agree! The kids got the biggest kick out of putting their heads out of the window.

Parker was pretty much done after we forced him to leave "Parker's pink house" but sis still had a little life in her to swing.
I really recommend Riverbanks if you're looking for a day trip. It's easy to get to, clean, mostly shaded, affordable and beautiful. The food is priced less than you would think for a place like this ($6.75 + .99 for 3 chix tenders, fries and a soda) and where else can you eat nachos while watching orangutans swing? Feeding the giraffes is a MUST as is the bird encounter. Absolutely worth $2 to feed but beware... they are birds and they do nibble (it doesn't hurt) and poop... just ask my dad. Most of the animals are really easy to see which is great for kids but probably not so much for the animals. But I'm paying to see animals.... not enclosures. Taking the tram to the Botanical Gardens is worth the trip but I'm not sure walking it would be unless you REALLY wanted a great hiney work out. I've done it before and once you get to the top you're no longer in picture taking shape!

 Bottom line... my kids loved it and we'll be back before it gets too cold!
Both kids slept the entire way home and Parker was still asleep for a few hours after we transferred him into the recliner. This is the international mom sign of a successful day!


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