Over this past weekend, our family of four (including our little bun in the oven) went to Smithsonian's National Zoo in Washington, DC. I have been a handful of times with Lincoln, but it was the first time that Ryan has come with us! Lincoln really does enjoy the zoo now that he is around sixteen months. I'd say a little after his first birthday is when he really started understanding and enjoying the animals. That day we saw a sloth bear, a leopard, elephants, a panda, bison, five otters, two gorillas, a donkey, a zebra ... and I'm sure I'm forgetting a few more. Needless to say, we had a lot of fun and ended up getting close to 7 miles, or 17,000 steps that day - go us.
If you ever get the chance to take your littles to the zoo, I highly encourage it! I believe the Smithsonian Zoo makes efforts to save endangered or injured animals, which makes me feel better about going. I am definitely one of those people who have a very hard time seeing wild animals caged up. I watched the movie Black Fish, and really wasn't the same. But seeing my son's eyes when he saw a real live elephant (his favorite animal) for the first time (not just in board books) made my heart smile and I understood why zoos are there to educate our youth. Other than that and with that, I really have a hard time with zoos, but again enjoy experiencing the learning process with Lincoln.
In the future, we hope to take our kiddos on a trip to Africa to experience real African safari! Cate will be going on a trip next month - and I'm sure will showcase some killer photos.