Last week John went to sleep-away camp for the first time. It was a special short session for very young campers. We dropped him off at 11 am on Thursday and picked him up at 9 am Saturday. It was about a 3 1/2 hour drive one way so it wasn’t worth coming home in between. So during the time he was at camp Ruth, David and I had a mini-vacation in Pittsburgh. It was a fun three days of seeing a new place and having some more concentrated time with the two of them.
We started out at the Pittsburgh Zoo and Aquarium. It was an excellent zoo, in particular the Kids’ Zoo. There were several areas where kids had the opportunity to get close to the animals. They got to pet a deer and get very close to a kangaroo.
Interspersed with the animal exhibits were several play areas. This was great for younger kids who like looking at animals but need a certain amount of time to run and play.
Ruth is like a magnet for water wherever she goes. It was a really hot day and the zoo had the misters on. Most kids ran in and out and got a little wet. She stood there with her mouth open and hands raised to the sky savoring the water. I finally had to drag her out drenched, soaked to the skin and kicking and screaming.
And of course there were animals. We had to skip the aquarium due to lack of time but it looked good. I was impressed with the layout of the zoo and the amount of space the animals had to roam. We were able to get really close to all the animals, more so than in other zoos I’ve been to. In the last picture, we were pretty sure that the baby elephant is nursing.
We are members of the National Zoo. One of the benefits of membership that I don’t think a lot of people know about is that as a member you can get reciprocal benefits at other zoos. It varies as to what this means but for this particular zoo we had free admission. If you are a member of a zoo or aquarium, it’s worth checking this benefit out. Many children’s museums and science museums offer similar benefits. Typically, we find the best offers the further from home we are.