I requested Saturday, June 30 and Tuesday, July 3 off work back in February so we could have a 4 day weekend and go somewhere for Kaylin's birthday. My 4 day weekend eventually evolved into a 7 day vacation, from Friday through Thursday! We had originally planned to go to Indianapolis for two days- one day at the zoo and one at the children's museum. Since we had the extra time off we decided to add a day at Louisville Zoo to check out their many new babies.
I've been to both zoos before, but both were before kids. Both have made some amazing improvements.
Logan loves sharks more than any other animal. He also loves other fish and aquatic mammals and birds. The Indy Zoo just opened a new Oceans exhibit that is the coolest zoo exhibit I've seen. They have huge tanks of hammerheads, jellyfish and eels/other cool fish. They have amazing exhibits of seahorses. They have underwater viewing of penguins, seals and sea lions, walrus, polar bears and dolphins. They also have the world's largest shark touch pool. I think we spent as much time at the Oceans exhibit as we did at the rest of the zoo combined. The kids loved that touch pool! Logan hasn't stopped talking about touching sharks.
On Sunday (Kaylin's birthday) we went to the Indy Children's Museum for the first time. Wow. We've been to lots of children's museums but this one blew the others away! It was fantastic! Kaylin especially loved the Chihuly "Fireworks of Glass" exhibit and the Maze exhibit. They had a blue screen area where the kids could put on sea animal costumes and dance around while they watched themselves on a huge tv (with fish in the background.) Logan had a blast shoveling rubber rocks into a dump truck in the Construction area. Gene and I liked the dinosaur fossils and the miniature dollhouse rooms. We will definitely repeat this Indy weekend! Oh, and compared to the horrible Chicago traffic (our usual weekend destination) Indy's traffic was nonexistant.
We drove down to Louisville Sunday afternoon and spent Monday at the Louisville Zoo. The highlight of my day (and the reason I went there in the first place) was a 3 1/2 month old baby elephant. We watched for about 30 minutes while he ran around his exhibit and played in the water and with the two adult female elephants. Very cute. Louisville also had a baby hippo and maned wolf puppies. Oh, and baby emus! They have great cat exhibits that are roomy and naturalistic AND you can actually SEE the cats. We got lucky and both the Amur tiger and Sumatran tiger were very active while we were watching. The kids played in the zoo's new water park (pop jets, small slides and spray fountains) and enjoyed riding the train and carousel.
On the 5 1/2 hour drive home Kaylin claimed this weekend was more fun than Disney World and that she wanted to do it again- but next time for more days and especially more nights in hotels with pools. The kids actually did better with all the driving than I did. We didn't break out the DVD player until we passed Indianapolis on the way HOME!
Wooohooo! I had a great weekend and still have 3 days off work (including today.) Then I only have to work two days before my weekend!