For Miss P’s 3rd birthday, we decided to go on a road trip to the Calgary Zoo. Our little lady is obsessed with monkeys, so we figured between the gorillas, mandrills, and 2 different kinds of monkeys (colobus and macaques), the trip would be a success. The Calgary Zoo ended up being way more than we bargained for, and certainly, there was a whole lot more to do than just primates.
Although the day we showed up was a rainy one, we managed to time all of our breaks almost perfectly. We sat down for lunch right when it started to pour, and left just as it was started to go again. With many indoor buildings, it was easy to duck in and out when the weather wasn’t so great. You can also get a fantastic coupon and suggestions on what to do on those bad weather days right here.
Our first steps through the door had us fascinated by penguins. We came into the penguin hall and we got to listen to a Zoo Keeper’s Talk all about them. During his talk, the Zoo Keeper threw buckets of fish into the water which whipped the penguins into a fury gliding around the tank to catch their favourites. Miss P practically had her nose pressed up against the tank.
We took a stroll through Dino’s Alive, and didn’t realize some of the dinosaurs were animated. You can imagine our surprise when a fellow zoo goer reached up to touch the T-Rex’s teeth and it jumped to life and roared at him. The look at his face was priceless. Even if you’re not into dinosaurs, the trip through this area is well worth it. The paved trail is smooth for wagons, strollers or maybe even a run bike. The flora and fauna surrounding it made me feel like I was back in the woods hiking around a trail, so I felt very much at home.
Speaking of flora and fauna, the gardens around the Calgary Zoo reflect a lot of care. As a fellow green thumb, I appreciated a mix of local Albertan plants with others that were a little more exotic. With their discreet plaques, I was able to figure out what two mystery plants in my gardens were. That pretty much made this plant nerd’s day.
If you’re a fellow plant nerd, you’re going to want to duck into the ENMAX Conservatory. Teeming with plants indoors and out, this conservatory is a not-to-be-missed gem. The butterflies of all shapes and colours flying around, coupled with lush tropical plants make you feel like you’ve stepped into another universe. If you like photography, the perfect shots are easy to snap around here. Bring your macro lens to get up close and personal. Stop by the hands-on activity stations within their lobby, showing you alternative energy methods.
Since we were celebrating, we stopped for lunch at the Grazers’ Restaurant. Grazers’ sources their ingredients from local sources, which means they are supporting local farmers. We definitely are huge supporters of all of our friends in agriculture. Although slightly more upscale than the cafeteria, many families with children of all ages were enjoying lunch with us. The restaurant was well-equipped with kids friendly menus, booster seats and high chairs and even room to park our wagon.
Since it was Miss P’s birthday, her brother bought her a present. So meet Jerry, the newest monkey at our house. He’s been getting a whole lot of hugs since he showed up. The Calgary Zoo is an innovative centre for conservation research which seeks to protect endangered species. All purchases you make at the zoo benefit their programs, so feel free to pick up a friend of your own next time you visit. Read more about conservation efforts here.
Have you been to the Calgary Zoo lately? What was your favourite exhibit?
Although we received passes to spread the word on social media, we were not compensated for this post. Our family had such a great time at the Calgary Zoo, we couldn’t resist sharing our day with you!
a passionate recreation coordinator by day, crazy farm mama of two by night. i live outdoors: growing my own food, camping and hiking with my border collie with two active kids in tow. when I’m not writing, I’m experimenting with recipes, and crafts – or anything else that might keep the monkeys entertained.