A Day at the Cincinnati Zoo & Botanical Garden


Kyle started vacation yesterday and we have a whopping 12 days to spend to with him. Yay! Kick off of this vacation started with a day spent at the Cincinnati Zoo. After a long first day of kindergarten Thursday, we wanted to something fun this holiday weekend. We haven’t been to the Cincinnati zoo since Amelia was about two- and I don’t think Maddox has ever been. We purchased a membership again this year so we could go over and over again. We’ve purchased a membership in previous years and it really pays off. We always get the Gold Family Pass which allows us to get the four of us in, plus a free guest each visit, along with free train and carousel rides. It’s definitely worth the money if you plan on visiting often. We’ve been quite a few times, and it seems like we always have the best luck with seeing the animals in the morning. If you plan on going, I think it’s best to plan on being there when the gates open. Today we arrived just before 11. We were able to see about 3-4 animal exhibits with animals that were active and lively. After we took a break for a snack though, all the animals had had lunch and were snoozing on full bellies! Don’t get me wrong though, there’s nothing much cuter than snow leopards snoozing in the shade, paws up.


It was just so darn humid today! I think most of the animals were just trying to keep cool. Amelia was so disappointed though. She was SO excited to see Fiona; we haven’t been to the zoo since Fiona was born! But the sweet hippo was hiding. So we saw nothing but her little hippo tail! Another perk to having a pass- it’s not a huge deal that we didn’t get to see some of our favorites today. We could literally go tomorrow and try again. It’s perfect. Sleeping animals still make for a really fun day. So many cute little faces! Here a few of my favorites from the day!


The black bear was literally just balled up in his little cove! Ha! He was precious. My favorite part of the zoo is always the Wings of the World exhibit. I think that it’s great that you can walk into parts of the exhibit and that the birds are right above of you! They’re so beautiful. The Scarlet Ibis was just stunning! There were a ton of gorgeous birds all around us, even at our feet! Walking around next to us were these little birds called Masked Lapwings. I thought it was great being able to be so close to them. But Amelia was not having it! One came close to her and I thought she was going to jump through the roof! It was quite comical. She finally realized there was nothing to be afraid of. They were more afraid of her than she was of them!

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Can we talk about these bats a second? I never realized they were so big! They were beautiful! We were lucky enough to see them spreading their wings, and hanging upside down. Such amazing creatures!

We were lucky enough to be able to see a lot of the animals from the Africa exhibit! Pride Rock provided us with a great view of King John the lion! Amelia got to take a picture next the lioness!


The interactive exhibits at the Cincinnati Zoo provide you with oppurtunities to interact with all these beautiful animals. We got to pet the back of a tortoise, get up close and personal with the meerkats. We even got to feed the Maasai giraffes at Giraffe Cove! Maddox was too chicken to feed them the lettuce but he did get close!

To tie up our Africa visit, we moseyed on down to see the antelope and ostriches out in the recreated Savannah habitat. Pelicans, flamingos, and even vultures live in this area.


Out of all the exhibits today, I think Maddox loved the Reptile House the most. That boy is fearless. He would have climbed in with the Chinese Alligators if I would have let him. He wanted to get up close to the glass of the snakes. Amelia was proud that she even went in the Reptile House! She came out and told grandma that she wasn’t even scared one bit! 😉


The trip wouldn’t have been complete without a carousel ride or course. After a hard decision, Amelia chose the zebra. And I had to pry both kids off the ride by time we were done. If it was up to them, we’d ride the carousel and the train over and over again.

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The different animals to visit are endless. Zebras. Rhinos. Polar Bears. More reptiles and birds than I can count. And even an insect exhibit. (That i’ll unfortunately have to sit out! No bugs for this mama!) We cut our visit a little short yesterday because of the humidity. But we can’t wait to go back and see the rest of them! There’s so much to see and do, that you really should go more than once so you can fully enjoy and learn about every animal there is to see! Have you been the Cincinnati Zoo & Botanical Garden? If so, which is your favorite animal to see?


Happy Saturday!




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