We went to the zoo yesterday. Brookfield Zoo just outside of Chicago to be exact. It’s almost an hours drive from our house, but it’s worth it. Brookfield has a huge variety of animals to look at. Unfortunately, no one wanted to look at any. :/
It’s very difficult finding things to do for kids that are such a huge range of ages like ours are. Things that a 6 year old would want to do, an 11 and 13 year old do not want to do. Even though Asher wants to be just like his brothers, he still needs to do stuff that’s appropriate for his age.
James, our oldest at 13 (going on 19), was very annoyed about going. He argued with use incessantly about it. We weren’t going to let him stay home alone for several hours though. Quinn, our middle guy at 11, didn’t complain at all. He is usually very easy going about things. We are very thankful for this. Asher, our youngest at 6, was kind of excited to go, but couldn’t tell us what animals he wanted to see.
After the long drive, we got a good parking spot (yay us!) and made our way in. Grandma had gotten the boys a year long family pass for the zoo (thank you Grandma!) so we didn’t need to pay for anything (not even parking!). Brookfield had a special arachnid exhibit on display, so we went there first. Asher does not like spiders so he was not too thrilled, but he was brave and got through it OK. The arachnid exhibit was pretty awesome. Lots of different spiders to see, along with scorpions and other bug like things from the arachnid family. Everyone like that exhibit.
Afterwards we went to the playground (for Asher). It was kind of sad watching him on the playground equipment without his brothers. 🙁 The older boys just sat with us on the picnic tables.
Then we went to get some zoo food. We did need to spend some money on that. Luckily we just had to get snacks for the boys. No meals or drinks (Angie had come prepared with a stocked backpack filled with capri-suns, water bottles, chips, candy, and other stuff). Angie is amazing at planning and packing for things! We are blessed to have her.
After snacks came penguins! As always, the penguin/sea exhibit smelled of fish. But that’s OK. That’s what the little guys eat, so of course it would kind of smell. We saw large fish, small fish, anemones, shrimp, coral reefs, jelly fish, some sea birds, and of course, the penguins. The penguins were having a grand old time splashing and swimming about.
The last place we went for the day was the Hammill Family Play Zoo. Again, James was not too keen on going to this place, but we felt we should for Asher. We explained (again) to James that we have to do stuff for Asher, and can’t just do things that he finds interesting. The boys all ended up having fun here. They built a fort together outside and walked around in the garden out back. Inside, James chilled in a sensory room for a bit while the rest of us went to the different exhibits.
On our way out, James admitted that he was glad he had come and had had fun. 🙂 Asher on the other hand was in a horrible mood. Probably due to his brothers being not too nice to him during our zoo excursion. Ah, brotherly love.