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Indianapolis Zoo

April 11, 2014

  • Indianapolis Zoo1200 S. Washington Street
  • Indianapolis, IN 46222
  • (317) 630-2001
  • Website

Our little getaway ended Monday morning after an interesting night of sleep.  A king bed would be plenty if the toddler didn’t like to sleep sideways.

Anyway, we got our stuff together and loaded up the car a little after 9:00.  We got up and going because we wanted to make one more stop before we headed back to Kalamazoo and the weather was working against.

The Indianapolis Zoo isn’t too far from downtown Indianapolis.  It’s on Washington Street inside the White River State Park.  There’s a huge parking lot between the zoo entrance and Washington Street that costs $6 to park for the day.  As I alluded to, the weather was pretty crappy and it was a Monday morning, so we had almost the entire parking lot to choose from.

We were meeting another family from our Sunday excursion.  They were in town from Florida and still had one day until their flight back.  We got a text from them that they were there just as we were pulling in to the parking lot.

I was able to find a coupon for the zoo on Visitindy.com for $2 of admission.  Prices during the week are a little bit cheaper.  Entry was $12.45 for adults and $9.45 for kids.  Unfortunately, our membership to Binder Park Zoo didn’t give us any discount, but we could use that coupon for $2 off each admission bringing the total down to a little over $28.

Once everybody was inside, we walked up to the first exhibit which was the Sea Lions.  It was feeding time and they were barking and begging for food.  L and her new little friend were pointing and yelling, “they’re barking.”  

The Sea Lions lead in to the first exhibit area which is Oceans.  There are a lot of the typical animals here by the coolest thing in not only this area, but the whole zoo is the shark petting area.  The exhibit is like a lot of the stingray petting areas that have popped up at zoos recently, but here, you get down on your knees next to a large pool and can actually reach down and pet Smooth Dogfish Sharks.  The kids were a little hesitant and really just wanted to splash in the water which is as much of a deterrent for the sharks as you would imagine it would be.

This area is also home to the Dolphin Show.  Tickets are free with admission, but we passed.  We probably would have been the only ones there, so it might have been a treat for the kids, but we wanted to keep walking.  We did go down to the dolphin viewing area and one of them came right up to L and looked her in the eye through the glass.

The next two exhibits were actually closed.  One of them we didn’t really care out.  That was the Deserts which houses the lizards, snakes, turtles, etc.  The other one is the International Orangutan Center which is still under construction.  It opens next month.  It’s too bad it wasn’t open yet because the “monkeys” are L’s favorite.

We moved on to the Forests and found lots of animals that the kids were really interested in.  This area is home to the bears, tigers, lemurs, otters, foxes and others that you would find in a forest.  The tiger exhibit was pretty awesome.  There’s a pane of glass that separates you from the cats and one of them was really eyeing our children.  Both kids would get right up to the glass and the tiger would pace back in forth in front of them.   L would run away screaming and laughing, but her friend H would just stand there and stare right back at him.

One of the big reasons we wanted to go to the Indianapolis Zoo was because they have elephants.  L has never seen an elephant in person, but she can tell you what noise they make thanks to The Wiggles.  The elephants are part of the Plains which contains a lot of the African animals.  You are able to get right up close the giraffes, but unfortunately, feeding was closed.  There are also a couple of African Lions that were roaring…really loud.  The kids stood there and roared back at the female who got up to come over and inspect who was roaring at her.  There are lot of other animals in this area, but this is where L and her friend H started holding hands and walking through the park.  At that point, they didn’t really want to see anymore animals.  They had been chasing each other all through the zoo and they were finally walking hand in hand not really paying attention to anything around them….including the elephants.  There was a mama and a baby and it looked like the mama was feeding the little one.  L couldn’t have cared less.  She just kept walking to the porcupine where we held the kids up so they could see and they still didn’t let go of each others hands.

After finishing Plains, we started walking back towards the entrance.  We noticed the Encounters area which is a series of walk through aviaries.  Only one of was open, but we went in there and L chased a few of the birdies around.  She kept trying to pet one close to the ground, but the employee warned it might snap at her, so we backed off.

Right next to Encounters is the carousel.  L loves carousels and immediately said she wanted to ride the lion.  Since our day was over, we let her ride.  I bought a couple tickets although I only needed one since I would be standing next to her, so we gave the extra to our friends so they could ride and the kids could ride together.  Of course the lion was the one animal that didn’t go up and down, but L didn’t care.  She was riding a lion.

It took us a little over two hours to make our way through this wonderful zoo.  We said our goodbyes and got back in the car to make the long trip back to Kalamazoo.  As far as weekend trips go, this was a pretty great one.  We had a blast on Saturday at The Children’s Museum and the Indianapolis Zoo was a great way to spend our morning.

Indianapolis Zoo

Indianapolis Zoo

Indianapolis Zoo

Indianapolis Zoo

Indianapolis Zoo

Indianapolis Zoo

Indianapolis Zoo

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