Sunday, May 8, 2011

Baltimore Zoo Revisited

During the months of April and May, our B&O Railroad Museum membership pass is reciprocal with the Maryland Zoo in Baltimore. So, just like last year, we waited for a weekend with favorable weather to take advantage of free admission to the zoo.There are three main sections of the zoo, and last year we only had time for two of them (African Journey and Polar Bear Watch). This morning our priority was to check out the area we missed, Maryland Wilderness featuring The Children's Zoo. They aren't kidding when they say it's a children's zoo - there were so many cool things for the girls to explore! In the Marsh Aviary, Julia and Evelyn pretended they were birds and sat in an over-sized heron nest (shown below) and oriole nest. While we wandered around, in addition to birds, we also saw several snakes in and around the stream that runs through the aviary.
While in the aviary, we came across some kid-sized lily pads. I think Evelyn could have walked, hopped and danced on these forever. Julia, on the other hand, wanted nothing to do with them.
We continued our stroll through the Maryland Wilderness, where we saw otters and a red fox, we went inside a cave, and we walked through the trunk of a "tree" that housed native reptiles and amphibians. An added bonus here was a giant slide, which Evelyn loved. Not far from the tree slide were spinning turtle shells. Kids can climb inside these shells, and someone else can spin the shells. Evelyn barely fit inside this shell, but she had a blast once there (with Troy spinning her around and around).
The last two exhibits in the Children's Zoo were the eastern box turtles and the farmyard. The turtles were camouflaged in fallen leaves on the ground, so it was kind of like playing "Where's Waldo?" to see how many turtles we could find. We breezed past the farm animals on our way to the goat yard petting area. The girls were able to use plastic brushes to groom the goats. If we had more time, I think Julia would have used every single brush on every single goat - she was having that much fun!
With the farmyard our last stop in the Maryland Wilderness and Children's Zoo, it was time for lunch. After lunch, we walked through the African section, revisiting popular animals like chimps, elephants, penguins, cheetahs and leopards. We spent five hours at the zoo today, seeing all we could before the girls were plumb tuckered out. And we are already looking forward to next year's trip!