Zoo Excursion


Day 4 of the 4H challenge is to research your favorite wild animal then go check it out at the zoo. My oldest loves lions and cheetahs while my youngest loves giraffes.

We explored the facts about the giraffe online at Wikipedia.org. The zoo inspires us the be aware of the other animals around us especially the animals on the other side of the earth like giraffe and loins in Africa.

The Activity

We went to our local zoo, Woodland Park Zoo and our kids loved it and experience the giraffe close-encounter. It costs an additional $5 but totally worth being so close to a wild animal. We stood on a high edge so we were eye level with the giraffe.

This is Dave. He is a male giraffe about 5 years old. As the giraffe was reaching for the lettuce he licked my daughter hair with his long blue tongue. My husband tried to save her but did not quiet get to her in time.

Did you know? That an adult male giraffe is 16-20 feet tall making them the tallest land mammal on earth.

Giraffe are closely related to the okapis and vegetarians.

We fed Dave romaine lettuce. He tried to eat every leaf in his reach. The zoologist informed us that every plant in the zoo is edible for the animals especially the giraffes.

Giraffe are native to Africa and the area that the giraffe lives will determine the giraffe’s color pattern. Click here to look at the different patterns.

Butterfly Excursion

Our local zoo, Woodland Park Zoo, just opened a Butterfly garden for the summer. It is beautiful to see all the different types of butterflies. Their colors are so vibrant.

The butterflies are at all levels. Beware where you walk cause we will find some of them on the ground which is just the right height of a toddler.

The zoo offers a butterfly guide that my 5 year old daughter loved to match the card to the butterfly.

Did you know?

  • • Butterflies are insects.
  • • A butterfly’s lifecycle is made up of four parts, egg, larva (caterpillars), pupa (chrysalis) and adult.
  • We just observed the last stage of the butterfly’s life cycle, adult, at the zoo but check out when we raised caterpillars at home. Click here.

    For more info, check out the zoo website.

    Cougar Mtn Zoo Update

    The Cougar Mtn Zoo Trip was amazing. The zoo is smaller so you can see all the animals in about 2 hours. Not a bad thing if you want to get home before your kid’s afternoon nap. The lectures are very laid back and resembles more one on one discussion than lecture. We went to the crane and lemur lectures. My 5 year old daughter was able to ask the zoologist anything about the animals and the staff was so knowledgeable and kind.

    Did you know? There are about 100 species of lemurs and they all live on the island of Madagascar.

    We had the pleasure of meeting some friends at the zoo and all the kids became quick friends with a macaw named Max. Max said “hi” and whistled at the kids. It was pretty cool.

    The zoo has macaws in ever color of the rainbow. Each of them so beautiful and unique. The rainbow macaws were one of my kids favorite (besides Max of course).

    My daughter, who is usually afraid of feeding animals, stepped right up and feed the llamas, mule deers, emus and reindeers with ease. The zoo sells cut up apples for $4 a cup at the entrance or there are coin grain pellet food dispenser by the animals. Recommend just picking up 1 cup per kid because you will walk by the entrance a couple times and it is easy to buy more.

    They have every reindeer from Santa’s sleigh at the zoo. My kids were pretty excited to see the whole herd but the question that continued to come up was…

    Where is Rudolph? -Daughter

    Response: Rudolph is in the stables. – Staff

    Instead of doing a scavenger hunt with the bronze sculptures, as I mentioned in one of my other posts. The zoo as a great discovery area that would be a wonderful place for some crayon rubbings. Check out the activities here.

    My last recommendation is go visit the tigers and wolves. The tigers have a great assortment of colors. Golden, white and black and orange bengal tigers.

    Animal Kingdom Excursion

    Photo courtesy of Cougar Mountain Zoo

    This week we will be learning about the Animal Kingdom. Each day we will be learning about a different classification (Mammals, fish, reptiles, birds, amphibians and invertebrates aka bugs). There are a couple activities for everyday of the week with an adventure/excursion day mixed in.

    This topic can go over two weeks if you want with two different adventure days. We are going to the zoo, the Cougar Mtn Zoo in Issaquah, WA.

    They have the largest bronze animal sculpture collections. Take a look at the scavenger hunt checklist page I made.

    To emphasize the sculptures at the zoo, we did a foam sculpture of a sea creatures as one of our craft activities. Check it out.

    The zoo includes great lectures about their animals about every half hour. Here is a link to their daily activity schedule.

    I plan on checking out their macaw lecture. After seeing the movie Rio 2, my kids love birds especially macaw.

    Did you know? Blue and gold macaws are the most intelligent of all the macaw species. Check out more fun facts about macaws on Cougar Mtn website.

    Photo courtesy of Cougar Mountain Zoo

    Please check back next week with an update/review on our adventure.

    Other options for animal adventures:

    • Forest park petting zoo – Mukilteo, WA
    • Flower World – Snohomish, WA
    • Kelsey Creek Farm – Bellevue, WA
    • Reptile Zoo – Monroe, WA
    • Kangaroo Zoo – Arlington, WA
    • Woodland Park Zoo – Seattle, WA
    • Point Defiance Zoo – Tacoma, WA
    • Northwest Trek – Eatonville, WA
    • Seattle Aquarium
  • Free options include:
    • Checking out your local parks or beaches. In the Pacific Northwest, most of the parks have guided tours. In Everett Washington, check out the hiking portion of the summer catalog. Andy Boos gives guided hikes on many of our wonderful trails. (Most hikes are recommended for 8+ years old.)

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