Thursday, June 5, 2014

Riverbanks Zoo

We took our learning on the road with another homeschool family.  Our first stop was Riverbanks Zoo and Botanical Gardens.  I hadn't been to Riverbanks since the kids were little and our friends had never been.  This made the trip even more special.

We used our Greenville Zoo memberships to get in half price.  The membership to our local zoo more than pays for itself when we visit other zoos.

The weather was unseasonably cool and it forced us to wear jackets in the middle of April in Columbia!  At least no one would complain of being hot.

Of course, Little Man found the Siamang monkeys.  He loves talking to them and getting them to start their antics.  The two monkeys on the island enclosure were very vocal and would swing on their jungle gym.  They put on quite the show.  The older monkey on the other island would fuss at them.  I don't think he liked all the noise.

We saw lions and bears.  They were all enjoying the morning sun and napping.

The zoo has a walkabout enclosure where you can walk with the kangaroos.  The children found this fascinating.  The kangaroos just looked at us and didn't move.  We were hoping for more interaction.

As we made our way to the reptile and aquarium display, we saw the flock of flamingos.  The birds were all bunched together, probably trying to stay warm.  However, one bird was by the fencing and up close to touch.  Children and adults were very intrigued by this particular bird.  It liked the attention and was looking for a bit of food.  We went into the building to look at the displays and when we came out, the bird was still at the fence.  No one had been feeding him and he was becoming agitated.  He pecked several children that tried to pet him.

The kids loved the reptile and aquarium building.  We ventured through deciduous forest, desert, rainforest and the oceans.  They called to each other to come look at this and that throughout the exhibits.

We explored the Conservation Outpost.  They loved the Matschie's Tree Kangaroo.

We then made our way to the giraffes.  At the zoo, they have an area to purchase lettuce to feed to the giraffes.  The kids loved it!  Up close and personal with such a magnificent animal.

The elephants were equally intriguing.  They were bunched together and watched the people watching them.  There is always something mystical about these animals.

We finished our tour of the zoo with the farm animals in the barnyard.  Every child loves a goat.  Of course, every goat loves a child.

After a nice picnic lunch, we crossed the bridge to the botanical gardens.  We hiked the trail to the Saluda River Mill area.  This was a nice walk to finish out our adventure.  On the next trip, we will explore the botanical gardens.