"I am going to make this an awesome summer. I am going to make this an awesome summer. I am gong to make this an awesome summer." This is my summer mantra. I've decided to make a game of finding low or no cost activities for the kids to do this summer. So far we have visited the Trenton National Air Force Museum http://themiddleagedwomanwholivedinashoe.blogspot.ca/2014/07/the-national-air-force-museum-of-canada.html and we have been treated to a free movie in the park
The next trip was to the Peterborough Zoo.
My family LOVE the Peterborough Zoo. It is this amazing zoological park http://themiddleagedwomanwholivedinashoe.blogspot.ca/2012/08/the-peterborough-zoo-keeping-my-vow.html and it's just an hour away from us. It is far enough away that it seems like a destination, but it's close enough that it's just a jaunt. Over our many years of visiting the zoo we have seen many amazing changes. There has been new beautiful playground equipment, a splash pad, and many more smaller things. It just doesn't seem like a summer unless we make a trip there.
I don't want to brag or anything, but I am blessed to have some of the best friends in the entire world! We share the same values, and make each other laugh. I truly consider them to be a blessing. During the school year we try to get together for coffee dates once a week. It is the best! The faces are not always the same (I have a large group of amazing friends), but the constant is what an amazing group of ladies this is. The other great thing about this group of friends is that we all have kids around the same ages. This means that although not school friends, they all get along beautifully which makes get togethers really nice. We decided to try to get together once a week with the kids and share some low or no cost summer fun. The kids have a blast together, and we get to catch up. It's a win win!
As you may already have deduced, we visited the Peterborough Zoo. The kids all paired off and we explored together. The really nice thing about this group is that we do things often enough that we all know each other's kids, and the kids all know each of us. That means that I don't have to be in constant vigilance watching my kids, we all watch each others kids ... it's a great system! The other nice thing is that two of us have older big girls (13), and they are nice girls and they act as a surrogate big sister to the other little ones. It was common place to see one of the big girls carrying one of the little ones, everyone with a big smile on their face.
One of the can't miss highlights of the zoo is the little train. We all pay two dollars and cram ourselves into this tiny little red train. The kids love it. It would not seem like a trip to the zoo unless we took a ride on the train.
On this visit there was a thunder storm, and the train was closed. See the above picture. We walked back up the hill, the kids all a little sad, well at least for a few minutes until they began to laugh together, their disappointment forgotten.
This visit's highlight was hands down the big fountain. You would think with as many visits that we have made to the zoo we would have remembered coins, but no, no I did not. At one point Elly got a little teary eyed because she wanted to make a wish. Big sister to the rescue. I looked over to see Gracie balanced on the side of the fountain, rummaging for coins.
The favourite animal from this zoo trek was the baby meerkats. It was pretty funny because the kids had their faces pressed up tightly against the window. There were a chorus of "awwwwwws". Some of the awwwwwws came from my friends. Ever the awesome friend that I am I made fun of them. That is until I got to see the baby meerkats. OMG they were adorable. The kids were all soon begging for baby Meerkats as pets (yeah like that work out).
We looked at all of the animals, made wishes in the fountain, and then we hit the playground. By the time we hit the playground the crowds had thinned out, and it allowed us to not have to be uber vigilant. The playground was soon filled with the rambunctious squeals of our children. It was so nice to see them all playing together and having fun.