Monday, June 26, 2017

Tampa's Lowry Park Zoo Summer Day Trip

We took our girls to Tampa's Lowry Park Zoo recently and had an absolute blast. The girls had such a great day, the weather was perfect because it did not rain and it was sort of over cast so the sun wasn't blazing hot, and we made some really fun memories as a family. One of the best things is that with the purchase of our tickets we get to go back anytime we want until the end of the year without having to buy tickets again! This was our first time here but I am sure it's going to be the first of many. The girls are already asking to go back and I know we will have to soon! Here is our day at Tampa's Lowry Park Zoo.

 The staff was really nice and helpful, we needed two adult tickets and a child ticket. Makenzie is still free until she is 3 years old! You see that "pay for a day come back all year for free!" How awesome is that?!

These girls love to look at borchers, this is a map of the park and we found it super helpful. Zoey loved looking at her map and helped us find all the animals she wanted to see. 

Makenzie sees that Dinosaur on the map! She loves dinosaurs and was so excited when she saw that, that is the main reason I wanted to bring them here. They are doing a limited time dinosaur theme area and I wanted to bring the kids out to see it.

 First we wanted to go see the dinosaurs but on the way over to them we found some tortoises!

Dinos Alive! The REAL reason we came to the zoo!

 Zoey has her map and she is telling us which way to go, not sure if she saw the big DINOS ALIVE sign behind her. Haha! Kenzie's face saying "cheese" and anxiously waiting to go see the dinosaurs that she loves!

 These were so cool!! The colors were just awesome and they moved and made sounds, I was surprised at how close the girls got because they were pretty realistic.

Under the vines we go! We all had to duck and go under this path, these kids found this to be really exciting!

 THIS was the freakiest one of all! It looked so scary and was screeching at us and moving its head all over! 

 This gator looked the most realistic to me, it moved and made noise! The head was moving around and the mouth opening and shutting it kind of freaked me out!

"Don't get too close kids those are dangerous!!" I do not want them thinking they can just walk up to animal like this, but it is just pretend.

 This one was sooo tall! It kind of blended in with the trees but it's a plant eater so..

 Now this is not a gathering you want to walk into! These little guys are probably very dangerous.

I think these are the Velociraptors and they were pretty scary in this number! 

This one was moving his head around and shooting water out of his mouth! I am not sure if they can actually shoot poison or saliva or something (I probably should have read those little signs explaining each dinosaur) but I hurried by so I wouldn't get wet.

Kenzie did not want to get wet either. hah!

 The juvenile Tyrannosaurus Rex was pretty big.

 But this full grown Tyrannosaurus Rex was huge!

 Kenzie was not scared of any of the dinosaurs and really liked the big ones! I was surprised because even though she loves dinosaurs I don't think she realized how big they were and is usually easily scared. She loved it though!

At the very end they got to touch and climb on this one which is really great because they really wanted to touch one!

 Zoey is so cute she climbed right in there and smiled for a picture. Kenzie was not quite tall enough.

This dinosaur egg is actually an odd shaped ball and zoey threw a few of them before we headed out to the rest of the zoo.

After we were done in the amazing Dinos Alive area we headed on into the Asian Gardens. We saw these Gharial Crocodiles and I could not get over how odd their snouts were! Look at those long thin mouths! I have never seen a crocodile like this before!

Indian Rhino, you know like a normal Rhino but from India.

We somehow skipped some of the Asian Gardens on accident and ended up in Primate World, but that's okay because it was so cool! There were so many different types of primates, I have never seen this many different types in one place. The girls really loved it! I think these are the orangutans they were hugging and kissing it was super cute.

These Chimpanzees were trying to get some privacy and quiet so we didn't stay long to see them.

Spider monkeys! There were A LOT  and they were all running around playing together like crazy and super fast!

This Guenon monkey was about to jump from very up high to a rock below, but he chickened out! haha.

These Siamang were swinging around and playing. They had an amazing waterfall in their habitat.

I don't remember the names of these ones but they were a very beautiful bright orange color and so cute and small. They had chickens in their cages with them, but I am not sure why. Maybe they are the best of friends.

The next thing we went to do was ride the Jungle Carousel! All you have to say to Zoey is "Ride" and she gets so excited! She just loves rides, so she saw this and ran to get in line. The line was short we had to wait only 5 minutes, and the girls got to pick the animal they wanted to ride on.

Makenzie picked a Cheetah and Zoey picked the Ostrich, they just happened to be next to each other.

Next stop was Safari Africa! This is my favorite and Zoey loves loves loves Giraffes so she was excited too. We headed in and walked through this dark tunnel the "African Tunnel" to get to it but it was very echo-y so the girls enjoyed yelling in it. There was African writing and pictures on the walls too.

We were really hungry and ready for lunch and luckily as soon as we walked under the tunnel we were in front of a place to eat a quick meal at the Safari Lodge and Reilly's lounge. It was a really big and nice place to eat with lots of tables and chairs. It was cool and kind of dark inside, maybe to take a break from the bright sun and heat outside. You can order sandwiches, tacos, and pizza and they have a variety of drinks. My turkey club was delicious and these chips were so good seasoned with garlic salt. 

The kids got chicken nuggets and fries and were relatively happy with their meal, even though they like to eat mom and dads more.

My husband loved his sandwich but I do not remember what it was called, probably an Italian sub if I had to guess. He was really happy with our inexpensive and delicious food! It was under $25 so that is pretty good for a place like this. 

After we were all fed, cleaned up, and happy then we ventured on into Safari Africa!

She rarely holds my hand so I find it really sweet when she wants to.

More Turtles!

What a beautiful site. Zebras and Giraffes together, I just love this scene. 

These Giraffes were "hugging" fighting believe it or not! Most of the time we were standing there they were hitting each other with their necks, man they are going to have sore necks and backs tomorrow! We decided to walk away before things got too ugly. haha! 

It's Dumbo, I mean a baby elephant !! Awww he was so cute running around.

Lazy, hot, and sleepy Rhinos.

THIS was the coolest thing I have ever seen. I called it a half horse half Zebra but it is actually called a Grevy's Zebra! So pretty!

Checking out the sleeping hogs.

Giant Tortoise, pictures do not do them justice they were huge!

I thought these doors were really cool, and you know random.

Finally we made it to the Wallaroo Station! We saved this one for last for a reason, because this is where the kiddos splash pad is! This entire area is the "Children's Zoo" the girls loved it in here and it is probably the main reason we will be heading back soon!

They have a petting zoo and you can pet and feed the goats. To be honest the horned ones scared me a bit because they were kind of playing around with each other so I told Zoey to just steer clear of them. 

Inside the petting zoo get to pet the goats. They did not seem too happy to have us in there so we didn't stay long.

Finally the splash pad! I had the ingenious idea of just letting them play in their clothing because I was too lazy to find the changing rooms, even though I brought their swim suits and all. But it was my mistake because after a few minutes of that Zoey demanded her swim suit. Mom Fail. The good news is they really warmed up to the water and enjoyed playing in it!

...and the swim suit change.. 

The look of surprise.

The look of pure joy.

This area also has rides!! These rides are made only for the kiddos and this was Zoey's first time doing rides by herself! I did not let Kenzie on because she still doesn't understand that if she wants off she can't try to get out while it's still moving. She was not very happy about this, but Zoey had a blast. She could have stayed and rode those rides all day long!! Here she is on the car ride. There was also a banana ride and a train ride. We did all go on the train ride together but Alex and I were probably not really supposed to be on it because we hardly fit. haha! 

We seriously had the best time at the Zoo, the girls were happy which makes us happy and we love to visit new places of Florida we have not been yet. As the girls get older it gets more fun to bring them to new places to explore and seeing them experience new things and make memories is the best feeling in the world.  I hope they look back on these pictures one day and see how much fun we had! 

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