Jacksonville Zoo

On Saturday, we took Taft to the Jacksonville Zoo.  We had never been and he had never been to any zoo.  He was very excited about going.  We kept talking about the animals that we would see.  He loves elephants so he talked about them a lot. 
The zoo is about 1 and 1/2 hours from our house.  I was very glad to be going since the wildfires that had gotten close were filling our neighborhood with thick smoke and we knew the air would be better out of town.  We stopped by Publix to get subs, fruit, chips, and drinks for our cooler since the zoo has a picnic area for lunch.
Taft was thrilled we when go in the zoo.  His eyes got big just driving the gate.  We knew that the first thing we needed to do was go potty.  Not something that Taft was happy about since public toilets are still not a task that we have mastered.  Then it was off to Africa...

After spending time checking out the animals and the reptile house (which Taft LOVED), and taking a train ride, we went to the DinoAlive exhibit.  The dinosaur exhibit will be open until June 30th and if you live here in Florida and have a child that likes dinos, it is something you should check out.  The dinos are animatronic and very lifelike.  Taft was happy for about 2 seconds and then he thought that they wanted to eat him.  In his defense, they move and roar and growl.  At his size and age, I would think the same thing.

Then it was off to lunch outside the zoo.  We took the train back to the front entrance. Taft saw the turtle in the parking lot and wanted his picture taken.

If you go to the Jacksonville Zoo, don't be afraid to take your lunch.  It was very popular.  Everyone knows that food in zoos and theme parks are very pricey.  I didn't know what to think about the picnic area but it sounded nice on the website, just no pictures.  It is VERY nice.  It has large live oaks that shade the tables and sits about 200.  There is a playground for the kids, a hand washing station, bathrooms, and lots of garbage cans.  You can tell that it is maintained well.  Taft even used the potty there. 
After coming back in the zoo, it was time for the carousel.  I love a good merry-go-round and this one was sweet.  All the animals in the zoo were there for Taft to pick from and we had to ride three times. 
We also found a life size elephant for Taft to see.  He looked so little but he loved it.  He also found him an alligator to kiss.  Strange child.

Some of the big highlights of his trip were.....
Feeding the giraffes.  He was helped by Zookeeper Ashley and laughed about the entire time.

The zoo Splash Park.  If you visit, be sure to have a change of clothes.  Next visit we are taking the swimsuit and a towel in the backpack.  It is a very popular place.

And Pygmy Goat Grooming.  We didn't do a lot of grooming, but he liked to pet them.  Of course - he talked to them first to introduce himself and even waved at them all saying, "Hi goats.  It's me, Taft".  Gotta love him.

He was even happy on the way out and had to pose with the turtle again.  He was asleep before we got out of the parking lot.


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