Wednesday, April 2, 2014

Pittsburgh Zoo and PPG Aquarium Field Trip

The same weekend we took the kids on a field trip to the Children's Museum of Pittsburgh, we also took them to the Pittsburgh Zoo and PPG Aquarium.  I will say, my boys are young and are generally still easily impressed.  Overall, they were pleased with the experience.  The adults had mixed feelings.  While it wasn't the best zoo we've ever been to in terms of quality (it's an older zoo and the size and quality of the habitats reflect that), it was one of the better experiences we've had as far as crowds and animal visibility.  I think it helped that we went on a weekday morning in late winter.  There were no crowds and most of the animals were active and easily spotted.

You may notice there are no checklists or scavenger hunts or "assignments" in our field trip posts.  I like to just go and ENJOY and let the learning happen naturally.  We'll get to learn a lot from reading about the animals, watching them interact and even talking to zoo employees.

Elliott likes to take the map and lead us around.  There ya go, map reading skills!

One of the first exhibits was the tiger.  I think tigers are such beautiful creatures.  However, I felt a little too close for comfort here.  That ledge didn't feel too far away.

The northeast had just come out out of a freeze, and many habitats still had a lot of ice.

The lions were sunbathing.

There was a sign that said "Watch for falling deer.  Leopards like to drag their pray into trees."  Or something along those lines.  Nice, huh?  This was a good exhibit to prompt a discussion about camouflage, because it took the boys a little while to focus in and spot the leopard.

The morning started off cool, but warmed up quite a bit by the afternoon.  Eleanor was really good and enjoyed the entire day.

Emory was easily amused by the elephant on the right . . . we had a great view of the elephants outdoors, as well as inside.

Of course we had to see how we measured up to a baby elephant!

The boys enjoyed the hands-on stuff as well.

This is what Elliott made. 

The viewing glass inside the Primate house was dirty and smudged so it was hard to get good pictures of many of the primates, but the kids enjoyed this area. 

This fella (gal?) was trying to put on a sock . . . then s/he saw Emory kneeling down under the bar, right up at the glass . .. then came right up and tapped the window.  Emory found this hysterical and peeled over in laughter, but it happened so fast I didn't get a picture!

Another great hiding/camouflage discussion. 

The aquarium was okay.  It had enough exhibits to keep the boys interested.

This one was cool!

We got a great view of the penguins, which is not always the case in crowded aquariums, since penguins are so popular.

Emory was interested in this one!

"Hey momma, that thing is really tall...."

Down the hill was an underwater viewing area for the sharks and sea lions.  One of the sea lions was wanting to play "fetch" and trying to catch the pine cone that some kids were tossing back and forth outside of his glass.  The kids found this funny!

Elliott is in the back, trying to imitate the statue!  Emory just wanted a ride.

Ummmm . . . it looks like it is singing to us!

We saw a lot of different spiders and snakes.

The boys loved the "bat cave" area! 

The End!

This is the last installment in the Blogging Through the Alphabet series, so be sure to check out what other bloggers are sharing for Z this week!  Also linked up to Field Trip Friday!

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