My main goal for our little weekend getaway to Atlanta was THE ZOO! I love love love Zoo Atlanta. I grew up about 30 min from the zoo and visited it often throughout childhood. It's a place I've loved bringing my kids to over the years. I love sharing such a special place with my babies!
We were able to get free tickets for our whole family to the zoo from the library. They have dvd you can rent and when you return it you get a Zoo Pass! It worked out great and the DVD is pretty interesting too. The history of the zoo is really cool and learning about the early days of the zoo is interesting.
We got up that morning and had breakfast with Kelly's family and then they came with us to the zoo for the day as well! We got there plenty before opening. One of the reasons Zach agreed to go on the trip was that we went in the winter. He didn't want to deal with a zoo and summer heat. But honestly when I go in the summers I'm never hot! It's VERY shaded and unlike the aquarium it's laid out SUPER well too. It was pretty smart of me to have us do the aquarium first because in comparison Zach enjoyed the zoo way way more!
I'm super glad we went as a family but I did let Casey know how much I missed her! She and I get crunk on some zoo trips and Zach couldn't quite compete with Casey's level of excitement ;)
I've mentioned Tess has a HUGE love of animals and really zoo type animals are what she talks about most. She was precious and thrilled to see each and every exhibit!
Tess saw him and ran up saying "HAKUNA MATATA!!!"
She wanted to kiss the baby giraffe. I just have a feeling that somewhere in all my childhood photos there is one of me with this giraffe too!
The giraffes were Tess's most excited animal and they didn't disappoint! Zach said it was his favorite part of the day because he got to hold her and experience it with her :)
Lainey and Tessie!
The lions were awesome because we could HEAR them ROARING from another exhibit!
When I was growing up Zoo Atlanta was ALL about the GORILLAS. They are def my personal favorite part of the zoo ;)
They've added an entirely new reptile house and it's beautiful and we really spent the most of our time there :)
Willie B was THE MAN (well he was THE GORILLA!). A must take photo for me every visit is with Willie B :)
I was in gifted in school and in middle school we did field trips to the Zoo and had animals we would monitor and report on. Mine were lemurs!
I am so thankful she was healthy for this trip. Disney was a let down with Tess because she was sick most of the time and it was just SO FUN having her be WELL!
I love this girl!
Naked Mole Rats are a family favorite. My mom got Kye a story book about a naked mole rat so we've always liked them from that! (Naked Mole Rat Gets Dressed...it's super cute!)
We passed the tiger viewing area and couldn't see him so we all got really excited when we passed the lower viewing spot later on and he was out!
I always joke about the dumb pandas because Zoo Atlanta used to use Willie B and gorillas as their "mascot" and once they got the pandas they switched and now all their merchandise and such has the stinking pandas on it. Y'all know I'm a super loyal type person so the panda thing just feels wrong. Bring back the gorillas! Whatever. Pandas are cute I guess. #eyeroll
The baby ones are kinda adorable haha
We went through almost the entire zoo well before lunch time! We also brought in food again for the kids with no issues (good to note if you visit).
Tess sat with the big kids and was just happy as could be the entire day (LOVE this age! She had to wake up super early morning prior, and didn't have a nap and stayed up late and slept in a new place and still was happy!)
So thankful for a husband who is willing to do things he doesn't love just because he wants to spend time with his family. I love that he values experiences with our children and that he's willing to put his own desires on the back-burner to experience things they love and enjoy!
This trip did work in my favor because Zach agreed if we ever got Disney Annual Passes he'd rather do the "zoo" at Animal Kingdom than come back to Zoo Atlanta again ;)
One of my favorite things about going places as a family is that Kye always holds my hand!
Sweet Rhyan was both Kye's and Britt's fav. Britt could NOT figure out how to say her name and kept calling her "Rhyna"
Yes. I entered a petting farm. But no. I did NOT pet any animals (and especially avoided any poop!). I'd like to avoid a round 3 of "face gate" if at all possible!)
Kye was also pretty systematic and visited each animal.
When we walked into the zoo a random lady handed Zach family bands for the rides! They were good for one ride on each ride at the Zoo. I have NO CLUE how it all worked out because Zach and Kelly spoke to someone at the ride ticket area about them but at any rate we got to do the choo choo and the carousel for free. Score!
I always try to be "that stranger" who offers to take photos for others because it's SO NICE when people offer for us!
Kelly rode with her kids and on our way back into the station we saw Jeff cashed out on the bench hahahaha
Sweet friends had a BLAST together!
So thankful for our friendship and some face to face time! Who knew that me randomly staying at a strangers house for the night would turn into an almost 8 year long friendship? ;) HUGE thank you to Kelly and her sweet family for hosting us! We loved spending the time together!!!
Carousel time! I love that all the seats are zoo animals rather than the typical horses :)
Waving to everyone!
Kye specifically asked if we could go look at the flamingos on the way out ;)
Standing like flamingos!
We really didn't rush at ALL and were still completely done with the zoo by 2. It wasn't too crowded at all and stayed very cool the whole time. We couldn't have asked for better weather and I'm so glad we did switch up the days (thanks to Kelly's advice!) so we had the pretty weather on our zoo day! We had a GREAT time and it was the perfect little getaway for the weekend! I'm so glad we did this when we did as Tess truly LOVED it so, so much and who knows how long her love of animals will last :)