|North America Entrance|
Special Exhibit: DINOSAURS (until Oct.)
All of my kids are home for Spring Break, plus, my five year-old niece has been over a couple of days this week while her parents are getting ready to move. So my wife has the ambitious idea to take all four of the children to the Zoo. We were at the Zoo for maybe a half an hour before my wife turns to me and says: "I don't know what I was thinking and I am definitely not ready to take them to Disney!"
It's not that the Zoo isn't kid friendly because it is, with all of the animals to see and the animal sculptures that the kids can climb on. But if you've ever tried to herd four children - all five and under - through a series of exhibits, you know how hard it can be on the parents. There are the runners, who run way ahead of us - too far, in fact. Then there is my two year-old, the lingerer, who likes to hang back and absorb every last ounce of an exhibit before he can move on to the next thing. And of course, there is my seven month-old who doesn't understand why he has been strapped to the stroller and decides to voice his unhappiness through tears.
The NC Zoo is an awesome place to take the kids. It is designed like a theme park with its' two continents. But it is HUGE! And you will do a lot of walking which can generate a lot of complaining from young children. My daughter tends to get clumsy the more tired she gets so the injury count on this trip was: 1 skinned knee, 1 skinned elbow, and a hurt finger (Don't ask!). My advice is to make use of the trams that run between the two continents to cut down on some of the time little ones need to be on their feet. My other advice is don't try to see everything in one day. The Zoo has a lot of exhibits from bees to zebras and almost everything in between and everything is spread out. So if you can, stay overnight and conquer it in two days or plan on multiple trips.
Financially speaking, the Zoo is not the most expensive place you can go in NC. With two adults, three children, and one child less than a year, we spent $54 on admission, including admission to the special Dinosaur exhibit. We didn't buy carousel tickets or pay for the Dinosaur 4-D Movie. And lunch at the Park wasn't as expensive as it could have been. We spent about $6 a person on lunch without buying drinks (which were $3 a piece) because we brought our own water bottles.
Special Exhibit: DINOSAURS
The last two dinosaurs - one on the right and one on the left of the trail - spit water from their mouths every minute or so. I avoided the first spray only to take the second directly in the face.
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The kids all had a great time and were oblivious to all the work we, as parents, put in to making it a good day, which is how I suppose it should be. When asked, both girls said their favorite part was stopping for ice cream on the way home.