This morning was my first major outing with three kids. We went to Lincoln Park Zoo for a couple of hours. I am not really a zoo person, so I used to think that Lincoln Park Zoo was just fine and never bothered to schlep out to Brookfield Zoo. Then someone gave me a free pass to Brookfield Zoo and I discovered how much it really does kick LP Zoo's butt as far as zoological parks go. We are members of both zoos, but have been going to Brookfield more often over the past year. My membership to Lincoln Park is set to expire in August, and in order to justify renewing it (I confess that I am a member mainly for the free parking as parking in the area is hairy and the lot is adjacent to the Peggy Notebaert Nature Museum and North Avenue Beach), I need to make better use of the pass this summer. However, LP Zoo's drawbacks are also advantages, so because it is closer and smaller, it was our morning's destination.
It went OK. Because school is already out in the suburbs and at most private/parochial schools, the zoo was pretty crowded. Even at 10:30 a.m. when we arrived (buildings open at 10 a.m.). The zoo offered all kinds of new "services" to attract children--face painting, air-brushed temp tattoos, etc., all for the low, low price of $5/pop. The lions (or "roars" as The Girl calls them) were conked out the whole time we were there. The Boy commented that the male lion looked dead--and he did! But he was just asleep. We also checked out the sea lions, the Pritzker Family Play Zoo, the monkeys, and the bat/reptile house. At the Pritzker Family Zoo, The Boy valiantly tried to climb the structure, but decided that he'd wait to try again "at [his] next birthday." He is a bit scared of those giant enclosed play structures like you'd find at McDonald's Playplace, etc. The Girl liked looking at the turtles, frogs and snakes in the small exhibit in this part of the zoo. She wanted to see the otters and the beavers, but they were hidden away from sight. The Girl really liked the monkeys, especially the gibbons, which nearly always seem to be playful and interesting. The Boy's favorite part of the day was when we left The Baby asleep in the stroller and had a 3-way race down the little knoll to the lamp post and back in the green just south of the cafe.
We drove home up Lake Shore Drive, which not only is one of my favorite drives, but now has become one of The Boy's favorite ways to go as well.