At the end of a short Spring Break week, we piled into the van and headed to the Metro Richmond Zoo. It had been recommended to us by a few friends as a great place take the kids. We put it on our list of places to go before we move to Texas. The Mr. took the day off and we headed in the direction of the zoo after running some errands that morning. We treated the kids to lunch at Panda Express on the way. We're kind of in love with their orange chicken and it had been ages since our last Panda fix. It was so worth the stop. My mouth is starting to water just thinking about it....
The zoo itself is small enough that we made it through the whole thing in four hours. I like small zoos. By the time we arrive, the kids are pumped to be there. By the time hour four rolls around, they are all done and ready to go home. Our time there included a couple trips to the bathroom (there are only two) and really taking our time to enjoy each animal exhibit. We paid a couple extra bucks for two cups of animal feed. There are several animals around the zoo to feed so we started with the giraffes (while Tatum and I took a bathroom break) and fed a little to the goats and camels toward the end of the day. A little girl in front of us did a pretty spectacular face plant on the pavement just after we had entered the park. Her cup of animal feed went flying everywhere. Poor thing. I had Hailey give the little girl her cup of animal feed while her mom was checking her knees for scrapes. The cups were large and had plenty of feed for all four of our kids to give the animals, so we really just needed one anyway. Hand sanitation stations speckle the park - just enough to keep the kid's hands clean. I'm pretty sure they were sick of me telling them not to touch their faces until we found another sanitizer station. I'm kind of a germ cop with my kids when we're in public.
We spent a good deal of time in the bird exhibit. For a dollar, you can buy a popsicle stick with sticky bird feed on one end. If you are patient enough, eventually a bird will cautiously land on your stick and peck at the feed. We had to stay in the exhibit until each of the kids had a bird land on their stick. One mama bird was super protective of one of the birdhouses. I'm guessing her eggs inside were not yet hatched and she was just doing what any mama would do - protecting her young.
The penguin exhibit was my favorite. I crouched down as one of them was waddling by. It stopped and we had a little staring contest. It's like it knew that I wanted to reach through the fencing and touch it. But soaking in our little 20 second encounter would have to suffice. And then a worker opened a door and a little herd of penguins waddled out to the pool's edge. My heart skipped a beat. Seriously. I love penguins. Like a lot. You know how Kristen Bell loves sloths? That's pretty much me with penguins.
It was fun to mark off another fun outing off our list of things to do in Virginia. It's a cute zoo with a good variety of animals. It was a huge plus that we could feed the animals too, allowing us more interaction with them than other zoos we've been to.