Thursday, June 3, 2010

Washington Park Zoo

If you get my tweets or are a fan on Facebook, you might already know that Memorial Day weekend was very busy for us! We celebrated my Dad's upcoming 70th birthday with a little family getaway. On Saturday we drove over to our neighboring state Indiana and visited Michigan City. We spent our first few hours at Washington Park Zoo; it's unique from others that we've been to because it's built on the side of a hilly sand dune on the shores of Lake Michigan.
One of the highlights for ER was the Australian Avian Adventure, where you can feed the free flight parakeets with specially made seed sticks. I was pretty surprised that ER even wanted to try feeding the birds, and it was quite an undertaking to get them to actually land and eat off her stick. It was Daddy to the rescue. Brad got one to hop off a branch and onto his stick, which he then gently lowered down by ER.

I didn't realize that parakeets can be found in flocks that can number in the thousands in Australia. I always think of them as a fairly common household pet bird variety. Until now, it never really occurred to me, to think about where they might exist naturally in the wild. One of the last things we toured was the petting zoo area, not that ER was willing to actually touch anything. On the way out we stopped at the interactive otter exhibit, where kids can crawl through this Plexiglass tube. If the otters had been swimming, it would've been really neat to see them swimming around as you go through. But they were sleeping, just like they always are at the Detroit Zoo, whenever we try to see them!
Besides feeding the birds, there were two other highlights to our visit. At the beginning we saw the white Bengal tiger being very frisky. I'd never seen one of the "Big Cats" so active. Zusha is just a cub, born last January; she probably had a lot of energy to burn off. ER knew exactly what kind of tiger she was from the get go, knowledge courtesy of the Wonder Pets. The other was when we saw the grizzly bears walking very close to the side of their glass enclosure.

Overall, the Washington Park Zoo is a very nice little zoo. I wouldn't make a special trip just to go there, but when coupled with the sandy beach just across the street it makes a nice day trip. The Lighthouse Place Premium Outlets are also in town so there is a nice variety of things for families to do in Michigan City. The city itself is well situated from Chicago, approximately one hour away; there are several chain style food options and lodging is more affordable than in Chicago. More of our adventure tomorrow☺

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Graphics used in this post are from Safari Adventures by Lliella Designs.

8 Friends Said:

Jennifer @ The Toy Box Years said...

Looks like a lot of fun! Glad you had a good time!

Tara said...

We had a little adventure to a local 'zoo' and Andrew would not dare touch anything. He fed the donkeys, zebra and llama though. That looks like a great little zoo and too bad the otters were sleeping. The tigers caught my eye first thing when I saw the pictures at the top. Beautiful!

Michelle @ Flying Giggles said...

Happy 70th to your dad! I like smaller zoos, they tend to be less crowded and perfect for the young ones.

Mama King said...

What a great way to spend time with family! It is really wonderful to see how close you are with your family.

Mommyof2girlz said...

Cool you got to see the tigers being active, ours are always hiding.

malia said...

good work taking pictures-- looks like your little one had a great time!

Nichol said...

We're off to the zoo tomorrow with the kids can't wait!

RoS said...

Just think, it was only a bit of thick glass separating us from those pacing bears! It was a thrill staring them right in the eyes, knowing those claws couldn't get us.

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