Saturday, September 17, 2011

Blank Park Zoo

Henry loved the zoo in Oakland, so one of our first family outings in Des Moines was to Blank Park Zoo.  We spent about 2 hours there and covered most of the exhibits.

We went on a fairly warm day, so it was nice to spend a little time at the indoor Discovery Center which had a variety of snakes, birds, fish and insects.

Henry gets up close and personal with a snake!

Another nice aspect of this zoo was the open feeling of many of the exhibits.  I think this was the first time I saw penguins without a pane of glass between me and the animals.

This zoo also provided more opportunities to get close to the animals than I've seen at other zoos.  The petting zoo area allowed the kids to pet and feed the animals, and in the Australian Outback exhibit the wallabies hop right through the visitor area.

Henry really bonded with this wallaby.

The biggest surprise was the dinosaur exhibit.  I was a little skeptical when I heard that they were featuring this traveling exhibit, but it was actually very neat.  The dinosaurs are rubber-covered robots, so they move and make noises as if they're real.  Once Henry got over his initial nervousness and saw a demonstration of a robot without the coverings, he even had to go back through for another look.

All in all, a visit to Blank Park Zoo was a great way to spend an afternoon in Des Moines, and I'm sure we'll go back for another visit.  Maybe next spring we'll make a trip to the Omaha Zoo when George is old enough to enjoy it too.

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