This spring we really went to the animals. For our 14th anniversary our family spend the day in St. Paul. First stop was Como Zoo. The zoo had added on and updated many of the exhibits since we were last there, so it was a real treat. We started with the monkey and ape area. The kids had to pose with the gorilla statue (it's in there somewhere, trust me):
This sloth has relaxation down to an art:
One of the orangutans had her baby with her. She was wearing an over sized t-shirt, and used it as a baby sling and nursing smock. The baby kept sneaking a peak at the crowds.
That wasn't the only baby. Nora loved seeing the baby giraffe and it's mother. The mother was quite photogenic.
The big cat area was a thrill as well. Alex was hoping the lions would be a bit more enthusiastic, however.
One of the more different thing the zoo has done is add mice to many of the exhibits. It was a bit weird to watch them scurry about everywhere.
We all really enjoyed the new tropics area. Birds flew freely everywhere, some almost landing on us! Here are a couple:
There was even a large aquarium with big exotic fish.
The fauna proved breathtaking as well.
The girls got a kick out of the new children's area. Nora helped some flowers grow,
Rosa "washed" a seal with a hay bale (it looked like a sponge to her),
and Anna loved riding a baby zebra.
The zoo was having some sort of bird festival that day, so there were free games and real birds all over the place. The kids really liked the build-a-bird area. Caleb made a loon colored one, of course.
Nora's turned out to be a colorful parrot.
Rosa was just enjoying coloring, so mommy made one for her, so she wouldn't feel left out later on.
Here's the gang with their birds:
After the zoo side of things, we went to my favorite place, the Como Conservatory. The kids run through it much too fast, but I managed to get a nice shot of them in the spring flower room.
From there we went to the Twin City Model Railroad Museum. It is a family favorite. The kids love watching the trains, and there are even some interactive buttons they can press to get in on the action. Here is a shot on a train zooming by.
After that, we went to one of our favorite thrift shops, Unique Thrift, before heading home again.
This spring proved to be long and on the cool side, so when it finally warmed up enough to go without jackets we decided to go enjoy it. We packed the kids in the van and headed to the A Maze'n Farmyard for the day.
After briefly chasing a young calf, the kids spotted a neat water contraption. It consisted of colorful water hand pumps connected to rain gutters that flowed into watering basins. There were toy ducks of various colors for racing. The kids loved it! Here they are, racing ducks:
Anna enjoyed watching the action with daddy.
She especially liked the ducks.
Rosa was so excited to go on her first ever pony ride unassisted and without her sister.
The farmyard has lots of small buildings with chickens, pigeons, and such inside. These chickens seemed a bit odd, though.
The main barn was full of babies. Kittens, puppies, ducklings, chicks, even baby turtles. A baby camel mistakenly thought Anna's toes were for suckling on.
A very young goat kid thought I should adopt him.
Anna really had a blast. She loved the baby goat kids. Here are some shots of her with them:
Nora spotted a horse out in the pasture, and called it. Incredibly, it came over to her!
The farmyard also has a maze, mini golf, and a big slide. The kids loved the latter, and the 3 boys and Nora went down again and again, until they were so tired they couldn't climb the stairs again.
Before we left, the gang played on the playground for a bit. Caleb tries out the digger.
Another springtime favorite is our local town's own gardens. Here's Alex marveling at how big a tree there is:
Anna matches the apple blossoms!
We all had a great spring. Anna really grew, too. She took her first unaided steps, and in May, at 10 months old, she started walking everywhere.
Next adventure: summer!