If you grew up in the Triad of North Carolina, you’ve probably been to the North Carolina Zoo more times than you can count. I grew up just 20 minutes down the road from this attraction, and I’m pretty sure I visited at least once every year from Kindergarten to 9th grade. It was one of those field trips that was easy to arrange and reasonably inexpensive being that it was only a short drive down the road. After visiting so often as a kid, I felt like I had seen everything that the zoo has to offer.
The thing about having a child of your own, though, is that it makes all that is familiar seem like something totally new. Going anywhere with W, even if I’ve been there a hundred times, feels like a brand new adventure. I suddenly find myself nostalgic for all the places I visited as a child and wanting to take W everywhere!
He visited the NC Zoo for the first time around his second birthday. He enjoyed it then, but he wasn’t really old enough to fully understand what exactly it was that we were doing. And I doubt seriously that he has any memories of that trip. He has since been back twice; once in November, 2016 and then again this summer.
We’ve had fun every time we’ve been, but this last time was particularly memorable for W. He knew what animals he wanted to see before he got there. He walked the whole time and got to climb over all the statues placed along the walkways. We visited the elephants, giraffes, zebras, baboons, lemurs, rhinos, crocodiles, polar bear, seals, puffins, and the aviary. The aviary is and always has been my favorite exhibit at the zoo. The variety of birds is incredible, and it feels like you’re in the middle of a rain forest when you’re walking through.
The part of the trip that W was most excited about was riding the Dino Bus to see the animatronic dinosaurs that the zoo currently has on display. This attraction requires the purchase of a separate ticket which includes two separate bus rides to view a total of 8 dinosaurs. I’m not sure if this is a permanent addition or only a temporary exhibit. I’ll be honest, I wasn’t all that impressed with the ride. It pretty much sounds like exactly what it is; a short ride with a quick view of some fake dinosaurs. But W, being the dinosaur-obsessed 3-year-old that he is, absolutely loved it! We ended up only taking one half of the tour to see a Brachiosaurus, Edmontonia, Tyrannosaurus Rex, and a Dilophosaurus. Wyatt loved the T-Rex of course – definitely was the most impressive of the four dinosaurs that we saw.
Other adventures that W has taken this spring/summer include a trip to the NC beaches at Oak Island, Lazy 5 Ranch in Moorseville, Greensboro Science Center, and a few fishing trips to some local fishing holes.
We’ve had a great summer so far! What about you? What adventures has your family been on this summer?