Wednesday, May 11, 2011

Day-Cation:Wildlife Safari

We are a family that likes to do, go, experience. We don't buy a lot of fancy things (not that the kids aren't spoiled...thanks Grandparents!), have only one car (hubby commutes to work by bicycle) and try to eat-in as much as possible. We save our money for little trips here and there. Living in the Great Northwest means ample places to visit, many of which can be done in one day. As a family of four, this suits us just fine.

One of our absolute favorite places to visit, is Wildlife Safari in Winston, OR. It's about an hour and a half to two hours (depending on potty breaks, traffic, etc) so pretty reasonable for a five and two year old. This was our second year in a row visiting this magnificent place, so we were all pretty excited!

As weekends there can be pretty crazy, we decided to go on a Monday (Colin had just returned from a four day trip to St Louis for work too, so this was just the family time we all needed). We happened to pick the perfect day too! The sun was shining the whole time we were there and it only rained just as we were leaving.

We started our first drive-thru (you get to go through twice) and almost immediately, Avalee started “oohing” and “aahing” and practically jumping out of her seat! Apparently, she saw a giraffe just ahead and then an elephant. She was about as excited as I've ever seen her! We eventually let both kiddos out of their car seats (you drive through at about 5mph, tops) so they could get the best views.

Grandma was in the backseat with them, and unfortunately I think she got quite a few flying elbows, knees and blocked views from a couple very excited kids...hahaha!

Zavion even brought along his constant companion and best friend, Leopard (his stuffed cheetah), who got to sit on then window for some pretty cool views of bears, lions and bison.

After we drove through, we stopped for lunch at the restaurant there and were treated to a fun show by the monkeys outside. We had a perfect view of their crazy antics, including climbing to the tip-top of a tall (telephone-like) pole and screeching very loudly. The kids loved it, and had to be reminded several times to finish their lunch so we could go see them in person.

After lunch, we headed straight for the monkeys who were still screeching and now swinging wildly from tree to tree. Avalee, however, couldn't care less about the monkeys; she was enthralled with the giant Koo fish that were in the moat around the monkey area. She would pint out fish after fish and squeal with delight when they started swimming around! After visiting with some flamingos, cheetahs and taking a little break on the playground, we were ready for a second drive through.

This time we were treated to feeding-time with the bears and even got stalled when some mountain goats decided to get into a tussle a few cars ahead of us, locking horns and pushing each other around for almost 15 minutes! We also got to see some baby cheetahs (and their very nervous mama, who was pacing back and forth behind them) and the lions giving each other a bath.

It was a fun, fun day and one that I know my whole family enjoyed! This was just one of our many day-cations I'm sure we'll go on this year, but this was definitely a great start!

The kiddos checking out the animals from the best view in the house.

During the walk-through; the kids check out the (very smelly!) flamingos

This little guy tried stealing Avalee's hotdog!

My little guy discovering the moonroof as a great vantage point


  1. How fast are you guys driving to make it there is just an hour & a half?! Lol :0)
    We love Wildlife Safari too! I can't wait to take Madi there for her first time!(we're planning on going soon!) Looks like your kiddos had a fabulous time!!! We should all caravan out there together some time! :0)

  2. Liz, I didn't realize Madi hadn't been yet... You definitely have to take her; she would LOVE it! Did you buy the Groupon (that's why we went so was just burning a hole in my!)? Let us know when you're going & maybe we can all make a day of it together! :0)


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