Tuesday, October 18, 2011

Fresno-Chaffee Zoo

One of the special things we did while in Fresno this summer was to visit their fantastic zoo!  Wells Fargo sponsors a free day each month when all kids under a certain age can go into the zoo free.  In addition, they have dozens and dozens of Wells Fargo employees all over the zoo handing out free food, leading activities, manning fun animal info booths, leading tours...or even just standing around on a blisteringly hot day dressed in a dog costume.  It was a great zoo made even more wonderful thanks to all the helpful people around that day!  We went with some of our new Linkcare friends, the Arteagas and had a great time with them.

O Boy and Mr. T with the Wells Fargo dog.

Here, some Wells Fargo ladies were sharing facts about llamas and allowing the kids to pet one.
This photo was actually taken at the very end of our zoo day.  It was EXTREMELY hot and we'd already done the whole zoo when we discovered THE DIG PIT.  This is a massive pit in which almost life sized cement skeletons of a few different dinosaurs are buried in pea gravel (and in various stages of being uncovered by kids).  Scattered all around are shovels, brushes, and kids digging like mad.  O Boy could have stayed here the entire time.  I wish we would have discovered this fun spot a few hours earlier.  Just gives us more reason to come back to Fresno someday!

Happy diggers!

One of the things I loved about this zoo was how interactive and filled with playthings it was.  Here is Mr. T and the two Arteaga kids in a life-sized shell next to the Galapagos turtle exhibit.  Our friends the Arteagas chucked at bit at the irony: they came to Fresno to see a Galapagos turtle from Ecuador, where the Galapagos islands really are!
Riding the (pretend) Komodo

Picture time in the Wells Fargo carriage
O Boy the turtle
One of the other things I loved was the chance you had to touch/feed some really unusual animals.  Unusual like a stingray.  I thought it interesting that they billed this exhibit as "fun for the whole family!"  Not a phrase I usually associate with stingrays.  At any rate, we did watch them, touch them and feed them though not without a bit of hesitation on at least my part!  
The assistant here was holding this stingray up for the kids to pet because "he's an old, friendly stingray."  Good to know!
Trying to feed the stingrays.  O Boy's hand was just too short so we eventually asked for some help from the Wells Fargo volunteers all around.

Another very special spot allowed you to feed a giraffe.  This was lots of fun!  Here is Ruth and her two kids getting their turn.

He's got quite the tongue!
After being in zoos literally around the world, Fresno-Chaffee gets my vote for the best hands-on, kid-friendly zoo I've been too!

O Boy's first book