Baby’s First Zoo Trip

A few weeks ago, on our three-day Labor Day weekend, we were trying to figure out something fun and outdoorsy to do, and we decided to go to the zoo. Here in Chicago, the Lincoln Park Zoo actually has free admission, though parking is expensive if you drive there. (And drive we did — taking public transportation would have involved bus rides with a stroller, so the added convenience seemed worth it.)

Random photos from our zoo outing.

It was Lillian’s first zoo trip, and our curious little 10-month-old was definitely excited by all the sights and sounds and people, though I’m not sure how many animals she actually got to see. Even when they weren’t sleeping or hiding, Lillian seemed more interested in the small details of the zoo — like the strong dark metal bars that surrounded the animal enclosures:

Playing with the bars at the zoo.

Or the reflections in the glass window surrounding the otter exhibit, even when there were otters swimming around inside:

Lillian and her reflection in the otter display.

It seemed like the small animal house had lots of baby-friendly things to see in general, including this gazebo-ish walkway overlooking a pool of bright orange fishes:

Looking at some bright orange fish at the zoo.

At one point, Joe lifted Lillian up out of the stroller to see the red panda, which was up in a tree, but Lillian was more interested in grabbing his glasses off of his face and trying to eat them.

Lillian playing the “steal Daddy’s glasses” game.

Overall I think she had a great time though, and it was a fun little family outing. On the way out of the zoo, a friendly tourist was nice enough to capture this photo of all three of us:

Me, Joe, and Lillian at the zoo.

(Side note – since I don’t think it’s appeared on this blog, the above photo shows my new haircut, which is the shortest it’s been in a long while. Chosen mostly for the convenience I’ll admit, haha.)

Anyway, that’s the mostly-told-in-pictures story of our trip to the zoo! Another addition to the collection of firsts and milestones that have appeared here on this blog. Has anyone else been doing fun outdoorsy things as summer winds to a close? Or any interesting experiences with taking babies / toddlers / young children to the zoo? Feel free to share your stories in the comments!


  1. That looks like so much fun! It’s been a while since we’ve been to the zoo here. We need to take Amy there. Lillian will enjoy it more as she gets older. It’s always nice to take kids out to see new sights and hear new sounds. Poor Joe! Hopefully, his glasses (and yours as well) will survive this phase of Lillian’s development! It’s been too hot here to do too much of anything outdoors. Amy and I have gone to the beach some, and this past weekend, all three of us went out for a drive in the convertible, which was a lot of fun. We’ve been talking about possibly buying a boat next spring, so we went looking around at some, and we are thinking about getting a couple of birds, so we also were out looking for some at various pet stores.

    I love the picture of Lillian looking at the otter exhibit. It reminds me of when Hayley was very little. My mom and I took her to the zoo here, and she fell in love with the otters. She would put her hand on the glass, and the otters would swim right up her hand. That is one of my fondest memories of her. The last summer Geoffrey was home, we all went to the Gulfarium in Fort Walton and saw the various marine life shows. It was awesome! I think it’s what really sparked Amy’s interest in marine biology. If you all are ever down here in warmer weather, you should take Lillian there. I think she would just love watching the dolphins jump and watching the sea lions play. Thanks for sharing your pictures, and your hair looks great! :)

    Love you all!!! :)

    • Sometimes I take off my glasses before even trying to pick Lillian up — it just seems easier that way, haha :) I think you’re right that Lillian will enjoy the zoo more as she gets older, and that dolphins jumping out of the water would be an exciting sight for her to see. Thanks for sharing the sweet story about Hayley and the otters, and the Gulfarium sounds awesome — we’ll have to check it out one of these times we’re down there! :)

  2. We see Lillian, your daughter, pretending she’s an otter! Sorry, couldn’t resist the rhyme.

    Not been to the zoo in ages, but when you come visit, we have the rabbits now. And in case you missed it on Facebook, the one we still have from Spot’s first family has been renamed. Not only has “she” turned into a “he”, but he figured out how to open the new hutches the first night, jumped 3 feet to the ground without harm, squeezed under the gate (or found a hole the adults had not fit through), but was sitting in the garage doorway “waving” (his words) at Stephen when he came out to feed them. Apparently he wanted back in his old hutch, even though it is now occupied by another rabbit than his mommy! So we have renamed him: Hairy Plotter! He is very fuzzy, and likes to cuddle, and I am hoping he’ll still have that attitude when you come, so Lillian can pet him.

    • Aww, that bunny sounds like quite the cute, cuddly little escape artist! Hairy Plotter sounds like a very fitting name, haha :) I think Lillian would really enjoy petting some soft fuzzy bunnies, especially since the only animal she’s really been exposed to so far is Grendel, and that poor cat gets a little shy when Lillian tries to pet her. Definitely looking forward to seeing them! :)

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