Monday, August 29, 2011

A Dinoriffic Day at the Zoo

This summer the Hogle Zoo here in Utah has hosted a collection of awesome robotic dinosaurs. Because my children are rather obsessed with dinosaurs, particularly the male child, we have gone several times. It is their last week, though, and Angus is mourning. So today, despite the warm weather, we hit the zoo for our last encounter with the incredibly realistic robot dinos.

The T-rex is actually life-sized. And it moves. And growls. And roars. It is pretty awesome. I saw quite a few kids, though, that were rather terrified.

An allosaurus, and I think a stegosaurus, in the tall grass near the rhino enclosure. I honestly wonder what the actual animals think of these things that have invaded their zoo.

They also have a dinosaur dig site. Angus is: a) never one for shying away from digging in the dirt and sand, and b) never one to pass up a chance to discover something dinosaur-related.

They have dinosaur-related teaching exhibits throughout the park, as well.

By far, though, the kids' favorite dinosaurs in the exhibit were these dromiosauruses. It's a mom and baby, and they both randomly spit cold water at the kids. It's a really big hit, especially on a really hot day.

This is a mama and baby styracasaurus, which are pretty cool. The mom actually fusses and brays and tries to get you to back away from her baby.

The kids couldn't pass up the obligatory head in the dinosaur's mouth photo.

We didn't just see dinosaur robots at the zoo today, though. We actually saw zoo animals, as well.
Here Angus is exploring the exhibits in the snow leopard area. A halved ball that the leopards actually used to play with, with enormous holes and scratches in it, and of course, no almost 7 year-old boy could pass up the chance to pick the replica of the leopard's nose. :)

Wednesday is smelling some of the leopard's favorite scents -- allspice, perfume, and cat lure.

We visited the elephants, always a favorite, because of the sweet baby elephant.

We majorly lucked out today, too, as while we were walking around, we actually ran into our best homeschooling friends, the McKinney's, making the same last round of the dinosaurs. So for awhile, we hung out and played at the zoo with them.

All seven of the kids here are crammed against the railing, watching the 5 year-old orangutang playing peek-a-boo with them from her big swing.

And they all had to measure themselves against the gorilla shadows.

We spent a good twenty minutes playing on the playground with the McKinney's before they headed home to have their lunch, and we went on to explore the zoo some more.

We had the luck of running into the same zoo docent twice today, so we got to learn a lot about a peregrine falcon and an owl that she was carrying around at different times.

And then sometimes the best part of the zoo is just playing, which we also did plenty of.

We rode the carousel. Even me!

Played on the new wooden tree horses

Ate a little lunch.

Played in the misters.

And with the giant reflecting water ball.

It was a good day, and a fitting farewell to the dinosaurs.

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