We decided regardless of the Pacific Northwest weather, we were going to take our first zoo trip as a family on Mother’s Day. Rain, sunshine, or a little bit of both, we wanted to spend our quality time together that day with a special visit! The Oregon Zoo has been around for decades & it has really evolved recently. They have a wide variety of animals to see & exhibits to interact with. During the holidays, their Zoo Train is decorated & navigates through out the park to see all the wonderful displays & animals. One of the most popular events they host is the concerts during the summer months!
Matt & I had not been to the zoo in at least 7 years! We invited our family & friends to join us to celebrate Mother’s Day. What a perfect day to experience something like this together! You can only do so much planning for day trips, but this one taught me something while we walked about the park that day.
A few family members had gone to the Oregon Zoo the weekend prior for a birthday & the weather was perfect! This weekend wasn’t looking to be nearly as nice, but we were going to take our chances. The timing of our visit was based around the rain clouds!
As much as I wish the weather was our top priority, it always comes second to this one necessity; a nap! We always want to make sure Scarlett has had a good nap prior to any big outing. As a parent, you can only do your best at this as far as timing & execution.
We planned a time of 1pm for our visit, while crossing our fingers that she would wake up in the morning earlier than usual. An early nap had to happen! Little miss must have known something was going on. She napped away peacefully for almost two hours before we had to get going. Not only were we going to experience the zoo for the first time, we joined everyone at a local park & ride and road the MAX rail line system together! It drops you off right at a platform that connects to the entry to the zoo!
It is a 15-minute ride, free for kids & we didn’t have to fight the parking lot & traffic! Portland, Oregon is one of the best cities in the United States for public transportation, according to usnews.com *1. There isn’t anywhere in town you can’t get to without using the MAX, a bus, or even the TRAM. It is a fun way to visit anywhere in Portland, from the Zoo to the Rose Gardens & all the way to the East Side across the river.
Once we hopped off & paid for our entry into the Zoo, we began our journey! Our group consisted of three little ones & seven adults, so there was quite a few of us! Within 5 minutes, I snapped a dozen photos & we had only made it to two exhibits! It is tough not to get caught up in the moment, so I was sure I kept up the momentum at that point!
This outing with my family showed me how lucky I am to have all of them. There was no hesitation on helping one another out, no fussing, no problems. We worked as a unit while browsing through the zoo & it made a huge difference having each other there. It taught me that even though going out with a toddler can be challenging sometimes, you will always have support.
In one of my previous posts, “My Love of Giving Gifts: Celebrating Grandma”, I shared a story about a Grandma who expressed how she had wished she had as much help with her children as they did today. “It takes a tribe to raise a village,” she said. It truly does & with your loved ones around you, it makes it that much easier & more fun!
We could not believe how empty the zoo was! The afternoon was a good time to go, as they end up closing the park around 4pm & you are still able to check things out for an hour. We were so fortunate to be able to move freely throughout the park & to be able to see the animals up close. They have recently expanded parts of the zoo, such as the elephant exhibit, and with so few visitors, we were right there!
There were a few new baby animals within the last 6 months that had made their way to our Zoo. Our families favorite was Nora the Polar Bear. Not one single person was watching her, so we had a very special moment, just our family & Nora. We just found out that she won’t be here in Portland too much longer, as she will be relocated to another zoo with a new friend! We were lucky to see her while she was still in Oregon.
Whether it is spending time relaxing at home or planning a special trip together, Mother’s Day can be special in many different ways. Our trip was a success from start to finish. What did you do on Mother’s Day? Do you like to celebrate with gifts or enjoy each other’s company? I can’t wait for Father’s Day!
Kurtzleben, Danielle. 10 Best Cities for Public Transportation. U.S. News. Published Feb. 8 2011. Website accessed. https://www.usnews.com/news/articles/2011/02/08/10-best-cities-for-public-transportation