Spring break is just a few weeks away and I've been busy planning an exciting trip to Nevada, Utah and Arizona. I'm so excited about it, but before I focus on our upcoming trip too much, I feel like I really should finish sharing our Winter Break trip with you.
Back in December we took a road trip down to Southern California. I've already shared a few of the places that we visited in Los Angeles and San Diego (including The Broad, Legoland and The Queen Mary) as well as a couple of general posts about our trip (which you can read here and here) but I still have plenty to share with you.
So let's get back to it and have a look at a bit more of our Winter Break vacation starting with our day spent at San Diego Zoo...
Like most kids, my girls love animals. So when I told them that we'd be spending a day at the zoo during our stay in San Diego they were super excited. Unfortunately, it seems that half of San Diego spent the day at the zoo too! It was incredibly busy with a long wait to get inside. Despite buying our tickets in advance to avoid the queue, we ended up lining up for over 45 minutes to get to the entrance. I guess everyone else bought their tickets in advance too!
Despite the crowds, we had a wonderful day at San Diego Zoo. The zoo is gigantic and even though we were there for the entire day, we still didn't manage to see everything.
We started our day checking out the reptiles in Discovery Outpost area. The tortoises had drawn quite a crowd due to their amorous activity! As Lola said "They're falling in love"! All I can say is that tortoises make some scary noises when they're falling in love. Ha!
We then headed to the Petting Paddock where Mathilde was happy to find little goats just her size. The nearby Discovery Playground provided plenty of fun for the girls too. I swear, they would've been happy to just stay at the the Petting Paddock and Discovery Playground all day! There were still plenty more animals to see though, so after a little while we had to keep moving.
Ava wasn't keen to go into the Insect House so I took a quick detour through it with Lola and Mathilde while Ava and Kim grabbed a snack. Lola thought that the hissing cockroaches were pretty cool. I'm glad they were behind glass! Look at how huge they are. I'd hate to have an infestation of these in my house! They're also pretty stinky.
There are also penguins on display in this area and we were able to watch these little black and white guys from both above the water and below. Mathilde enjoyed watching the penguins underwater but she didn't seem convinced when I told her that they were birds!
A highlight of our visit to San Diego Zoo was riding the Skyfari gondola ride which took us high above the tree tops for a view over the zoo and surrounding Balboa Park.
We hopped of the Skyfari ride at the Northern Frontier area. Here the girls were excited to see polar bears and reindeer. There were also fun animal statues to pose for photos with. The girls might not have been able to hug a real polar bear (that would be a pretty bad idea no matter how cute they look!) but they were able to hug a fake baby polar bear. Much friendlier!
Speaking of animal statues, there were plenty more of them around the zoo for the girls to hug and climb on. The girls made it their mission to pose with as many as possible.
There were also fun masks props for funny photos. Ava makes a pretty good monkey, if you ask me!
Of course, there were plenty of real animals to see as well. Most of them didn't want their photo taken though! As we made our way back towards the zoo entry through the Lost Forest area we saw tigers, hippos, gorillas, apes, monkeys, antelopes, snow leopards, and lots of colorful birds in the aviary.
The girls were excited to find a large number of penny squisher machines throughout San Diego Zoo. They really do have quite the collection now as we collect them everywhere we go.
Before we knew it, the sun had gone down and the twinkling Christmas lights had turned on all over the park. The zoo was still open for a few more hours and the crowds were still huge, but we figured we wouldn't be able to see many animals now so we decided to call it a day. The girls were excited to see the Christmas lights in the trees though.
Oh, and we made one more stop before heading to the entrance... The flamingo enclosure was lit up with a pink light that made the birds look like they were glowing in the dark. Pink loving Lola was pretty excited about this.
San Diego Zoo is a pretty amazing place to visit with kids. As I mentioned earlier, the zoo is huge and you really do need an entire day to see it all. We probably only saw about two thirds of the zoo and missed out on seeing the elephants, giraffes, rhinos and the Outback exhibit.
The zoo is very easy to navigate, even with a stroller. The only time that we didn't use the stroller was when we went on the Skyfari ride. We were able to leave the stroller in a semi secure area and pick it up on our way back. As well as the Skyfari ride, there is also the "hop on/hop off" Kangaroo Bus that takes visitors around the zoo, and a 35 minute guided bus tour. We didn't make use of either of these as they were both quite busy.
For more information about San Diego Zoo visit http://zoo.sandiegozoo.org/