Rocco’s Day at the Petting Zoo

petting_zoo_05Last weekend, our local Orange County Wisconsin Alumni Chapter hosted a day at Zoomar’s petting zoo in San Juan Capistrano. Jade and I haven’t attended any alumni events since Rocco was born. We also haven’t ventured out of the house with both kids, other than a quick trip to the farmer’s market or a walk around the park. Now that Gigi is over her colic, we figured we should try taking both kids out for the day.

petting_zoo_02When we first arrived, we immediately spotted our group. The bright red shirts, Bucky Badger gear and friendly alumni gave it away. The petting zoo had various animals, guinea pigs, rabbits, goats, sheep, donkeys, and horses. They also had a kiddie ride train and a corn pit.

petting_zoo_03The first thing we did was bring Rocco over to feed the sheep. Big mistake. These sheep aggressively jumped up on the fence so their heads were above the tall fence line, scavenging for lettuce leaves and carrots.

Rocco jumped out of his skin and buried his head in dad’s shoulders. I guess I would have been afraid of that giant sheep too, if I were him.  Since feeding the sheep was a bust, we moved onto the corn pit.

petting_zoo_04Bingo. He loved it. Well, he wanted to throw the corn and put it in other kids’ hair, but he did love it.

petting_zoo_06Next, we decided to let him run around the zoo to explore. We figured it was safe since all of the animals were in enclosed areas. We quickly realized that was a futile decision. Rocco is 21 months, he has no idea what he’s looking at or where he’s going, so he basically ran in circles not accomplishing anything. Maybe that is OK, but it’s tiring for us parents. We decided to move on to some of the other animal petting areas.

petting_zoo_07The rabbit area was packed with kids and parents, so we headed over to the guinea pig area. Rocco was definitely happy to see the guinea pigs, eyes sparkling, smiling and babbling as he petted them. Despite our coaxing, Rocco didn’t quite understand “gentle, gentle”, and we were fairly sure he was going to break the poor guinea pig’s neck. We had to hold him back a lot, as he kept trying to push the little guinea pig off the bench.

petting_zoo_08After this world-wind 45 minutes at the petting zoo, Jade and I were beat. Chasing around a toddler with infinite energy, along with the blazing sun and dirt, we were wiped out.

Our first outing with both kids wasn’t at all a disaster. Thankfully, Gigi happily rode in the bjorn the entire time without so much as a peep. Just as we pulled into our driveway, Gigi started to cry. The other 3 hours out of the house were quite successful. Rocco got to try a new experience and we got out of the house, as a family. It was a nice glimpse into our future outings with the kids. I can’t wait until they are just a bit older to make these outings even more fun and engaging for them.

What’s your favorite way to spend your weekends with your kids?


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