I arrived at the zoo like five minutes ahead of them. Even though the parking lot (which there are like 5 at the zoo) was filling up, she was able to snag the spot right next to my car - very convenient! We then made our way to the entrance and started our zoo adventure.
The Ft. Wayne Zoo is set up in 3 loops. We choose to do a smaller one first since we knew lunch would be right around the corner. We first caught the seal show and then headed for the Australia area. We got to see the Great Barrier Reef Aquarium, Bat building, and lots of Kangaroos. We even got to see a momma kangaroo with a "baby" still in her pouch! The baby was so big the mom could barely walk, so she just laid around with baby in her pouch.
(Gabbie posing as a baby Joey. We tried to convince all 3 girls to crawl in the pouch. Emily and Allie attempted, but then there was a freakout that they'd get stuck and decided to do individual pictures instead.)
We left the zoo and found a picnic table outside to eat our lunch. The car was nearby, so I stayed with the girls while Amber went and got the food from the car. After lunch, we cleaned up our picnic and headed back into the zoo (free re-admission with receipt) to see more animals. Next we headed through the Indonesian Rain Forest loop. We went through the rainforest research station, jungle dome aviary, and walked along an elevated wood walkway where we saw toucans and gibbons (there was a baby which is a very rare occurrence!).
(The girls enjoyed taking pictures at each animal statue we found around the zoo. It is a rare occurrence that all three girls cooperated for 1 picture, and they did it several times!)
(Taking a break under the waterfall in the jungle dome aviary. I can't get over how big Emily is!)
After the Indonesian loop, we hit the last loop -- the African Journey. The girls were pretty psyched about feeding the giraffes, it's what we heard about all day. The African loop was in the sun and it was very hot by the afternoon. We were beginning to think we'd never find the giraffes, but we finally found them along with the zebras and ostriches.
(The giraffe licked Allie's finger as she grabbed for the lettuce!)
(Look who's hatching out of dinosaur eggs!)
Once the girls' dreams of feeding the giraffes was achieved, we went in search of a water fountain play area for the girls to cool off at. The zoo had a little tiny fountain that was packed with kids. The girls didn't care about the size of the play area, and enjoyed running around splashing each other (and the other kids, too!). By this time, it was about time for the zoo to close up and us to head home. After some water fountain fun, we got a quick snack at a nearby station and then headed to the gift shop. No zoo trip is complete with a gift shop stop! After a semi-painless shopping trip, the girls left with suckers, little animals, and peacock feathers (Did I mention the amount of roaming peacocks in the zoo?! We joked that the peacocks had escaped their cages, but apparently they had none!). We said our goodbyes and headed our separate ways.
(Thanks to their brilliant aunt's suggestion -- the girls were prepared for the fountain by having their suits under their clothes all day. Then Amber brought a change of clothes for after the water play.)
What a fun day at the zoo!