This labor day weekend we had a staycation! On Saturday, we had a Union Station Extravaganza. We intended to take a day trip to Omaha zoo in Nebraska (which is AMAZING), but learned the night before that the highway from Kansas City to Omaha is closed. The detour would have made the trip too long to complete in a day. We were super bummed, because we were excited to spend the day with our friend Megan, who lives in Lincoln, NE.

So we hit up the Kansas City Zoo instead.

Zoo 2011

It was very busy because the weather was so amazing, but the only times the crowd were a problem were the ticket line and the concessions line. We never had trouble getting in to view the animals, even the main attractions, like Nikita the polar bear.

Jonas was so excited the whole time (except for during his nap, which he happily took in his stroller). His favorite parts seemed to be the big cats (tigers and lions, oh my!). I think he just saw them as ridable versions of our kitties at home. He squealed and reached out to them. He also really loved the petting zoo portion, where he made friends with a sheep. He pulled out a little wool (sorry sheep), but he fed her too, so she didn’t seem to mind.

Zoo 2011

Eliza loved the polar bear, “because he did tricks. We got to watch him walk, but then he went in the water and did tricks like flips and stuff.” She also liked the big cats, “like the lions and cheetahs and leopards and things.” She didn’t like that there were a few animals that we couldn’t really see. “They were hiding and we could just see the cage, so that was the boring part.”

*A little side note about one of the pictures in the photo collage above. In the tortoise habitat, a little bunny was feasting on some lettuce. We don’t know if they bunny snuck in or the zoo did it on purpose as a nod to The Tortoise and the Hare, but we thought it was funny.

Zoo 2011

I really loved that there were so many baby animals. There was a (very silly and playful) baby orangutan, a baby black rhino, and two baby giraffes. I don’t know what it is about baby animals, but they make my heart melt.

Jake really enjoyed the gorilla because he was so close. He’d never seen one up close before, and by now the rest of the zoo is sort of old hat to him. Jake also loved the super cute baby orangutan, who was swinging from her adoptive mama while the mama was trying to nap. We know that feeling.

Zoo 2011

It was overall a lovely day filled with bonding time, adorable (and sometimes stinky) animals, and good exercise (going to the KC Zoo is like walking a marathon). I’m excited to go again next year when Jonas will be old enough to know what he’s seeing.

Do you have a local zoo? Do you like going there with your family? How did you spend Labor Day Weekend?

Stay tuned for Part 3 of our Staycation!