Evie wanted to see animals the day of her birthday, and that is exactly what we did. We headed to the Greater Vancouver Zoo on Monday since she’s on Christmas break from preschool, and Daddy didn’t work til the afternoon it was perfect. The zoo was nice and quiet, even with it being Christmas break. We had some snow fall the day before, and they were predicting rain that day so we figured these two things made it for a calm morning there. We arrived right for opening, and it felt like we had the place to ourselves even with knowing others were there because there were other vehicles in the parking lot.
We were on a mission when we arrived there. We had our hearts set on finally seeing a red panda in person. The one at the zoo here is named Arun. We had been told that Arun loves being outside first thing in the morning, but that he had also been outside playing in the snow the day before. Honestly, we didn’t waste a moment and headed over to his area right away. You couldn’t miss the red fur bounding around the enclosure, against the bright white snow. Finally, after 2 years, and several zoo visits (including other zoos with red pandas) Evie was getting to see one up close. This girl has some serious love for this creature. Since she was a baby she has held dear a little stuffie of one, and even brought it with her to the zoo that day in hopes of them meeting. I will not lie, I teared up seeing her so happy.
The rest of the time we casually walked the grounds of the whole zoo. With it being morning it was feeding time for many of the animals, so lots were gathered around their feeding areas and we got to see them more up close and not way off in the distance. I highly recommend going first thing, right at opening if you are considering going. We love visiting places like this as it’s the perfect opportunity to educate our children about animals, and have them get out a lot of energy before nap time. Even our youngest had a good nap while we were there thanks to all of the fresh air. It’s absolutely gorgeous at this zoo too thanks to all of the trees that surround it.
On this visit we got to ride the safari mini train that runs on tracks around the zoo. Be warned there were some massive piles of poop near the station, and I forgot to inquire as to what animal caused that, so watch your step. The conductor who drove the train kindly inquires as to if anyone was celebrating anything special today and we shared that it was Evie’s birthday. When he went to the front to start the train he announced happy birthday to her across the intercom. I will never forget the big smile that went across her face.
Disclosure: Thank you to the Greater Vancouver Zoo for providing us with tickets in order to facilitate this post. We would have gone no matter what because we love visiting the animals here.