Thursday, July 12, 2012

Oregon Zoo - Sunset at the Zoo Event #sunsetzoo

My family of 6 got to go to the Oregon Zoo for free on July 11th as part of their Sunset at the Zoo promotion for some of us local bloggers. We have been many times to the Oregon Zoo before but never really in the evening hours so this was somewhat new to us.

The zoo is very family, handicapped and breastfeeding friendly. They have all sorts of activities and fun things that are geared towards kids. My kids love all the extracurricular activities they can do while they are there. We love to use the zookeys and bring them every time we go to the zoo. They unlock 16 stations around the zoo that say information about the animals there. All buildings and indoor facilities are handicapped and stroller accessible. My husband had a bad side effect with an antibiotic and he needed to stay off his feet and so it was a good thing we had a powered wheelchair at home to bring with us to the zoo. They also have designated outdoor nursing areas located on the zoo map so that you can enjoy your little one in peace and privacy. I am so glad these are available because it makes breastfeeding Zari easier.

Since it is summer time it can get really hot, but while we were at the zoo during the evening hours it was very pleasant because the temperature had dropped by then. Also, we got to see more of the critters called crepuscular animals that are active primarily during twilight (dawn and dusk). I am so happy we got to go because we had so much fun!

Plus members and above can attend Sunset at the Zoo concert series for free and also experience a whole lot of fun activities while there. The fun will be happening 4 Wednesday evenings (July 11 and 25, Aug. 8 and 22) from 5 pm-8 pm. Besides concerts, each night will feature live bird shows onstage, storytelling, face-painting, crafts and games for kids, as well as self-guided night hikes, animal talks and a bat-house building station.

We arrived at the Oregon Zoo and first went through Steller Cove in Pacific Shores. We saw the Steller Sea Lions, sea otters, kelp forest and tide pool while we were there. When we exited Steller Cove we heard sweet music from Boka Marimba, a local African-style 10 piece band that is comprised of marimbas, gourd shakers, thumb piano, and drums. While passing we had to stop and dance to the upbeat music. Then we went to see the penguins and Polar Bears, but the penguins were no where to be found. The Polar Bears were lounging around and taking naps.

Next we went to the Fragile Forest where we saw chimpanzees, mandrills, orangutans and other primates. We also saw some very large fish in the Amazon Flooded Forest that is also a part of the Fragile Forest. As we were coming out we saw that they had a live bird show going, on the stage by the concert lawn, so we stayed a bit to watch that. While there we saw a Red-Tailed Hawk, ibis and a Bald Eagle fly overhead.

Then we headed towards Asia where we saw Sun Bears, warthogs and Asian Elephants. The elephant that is pictured above is the one that loves to paint :) The zoo keeper also told us that they sometimes love to sway their long trunks to the music.

After the elephants we backtracked a bit because we craved some Elephant Ears, a crispy cinnamon-sugar flat fried bread confection, and stopped to see Laura Veirs playing on stage. During the Summer Concert there was an area up front where the kids could dance and get wiggles out. My blogger friend at Sweet Deals 4 Moms called it a toddler "mosh pit", LOL!

We also saw Chef/Chez Tse put on a cooking show and she was great! My kids stood front and center and she interacted with them back and forth. I loved her tips on how to "use the claw" hand position while using knives so you don't get cut and how she stacked and rolled fresh herb leaves before dicing them to make ribbons, a technique called chiffonade, to top the delicious Red and Yellow Pepper Pasta Salad she invited us to try. Here is the recipe courtesy of Regence BlueCross BlueShield of Oregon. Click on it to make it larger.

Then we headed to Africa where we saw a mermaid??, rhinos, hippos, zebras, gerenuk, pygmy goats, giraffe, etc. in the Savanna. We also saw Colobus Monkeys and fruit bats, etc. in the rainforest. We then went to the African Goat Kraal and the kids pet the goats in the petting zoo. During this section I was babywearing Zari and loving her snuggles.

By that time it was getting late and we needed to get home and rescue our dog from being home all this time. Unfortunately we didn't get to go see the Predators of the Serengeti and the large cats and we also didn't get to see the whole of the Great Northwest. But we did see quite a lot while we were there. As we were driving home I also saw one of my blogger friends, Beeb of Super Coupon Girl and Contest Corner as she was leaving the zoo and said hi out the window of my van. I live in Rainier, Oregon so the car ride home from Portland is a bit long, but Mother Nature made it all worthwhile with a spectacular sunset to end a perfect evening at the Oregon Zoo "Sunset at the Zoo".

You can check out the Sunset at the Zoo too if you are in the Portland area during an event. The events are happening these other upcoming Wednesdays too: July 25, August 8 and August 22. Click on the links for more information about each days happenings.

DISCLOSURE/DISCLAIMER: Since I am in the Cascadia Connect group of bloggers I became aware of this event and was given free tickets to go. Thanks to the zoo and others involved for this opportunity. My thoughts are mine and my family's own opinion and have not been altered by anyone else. I did not receive any other compensation for doing this promotion.


Beeb said...

Great photos! I was sorry that I didn't get to meet up with you in the zoo, but at least we were able to wave to your van, LOL!

Finamoon said...

I know Beeb! We will definitely have to get together another day. Maybe also next time we have an event like this where there are so many other people we can select a time and meeting place to all meet up.

I know most other bloggers have smart phones and smart devices but I do not I missed all the hints on twitter to know where the others were too...oh well :)

Budget Savvy Diva said...

Great photos!!! I love the sunset picture :)

Mama to 4 said...

I love how your Zoo has polar bears, ours doesn't. Looks like a fun zoo!

Coupon For Five said...

Amazing photos! I wish I lived close enough to enjoy that zoo!

alicia humphrey said...

Looks like you had a lot of fun at the zoo!

June L said...

Great photos. Looks like a lot of fun.