The First Day of Spring Brings a Roar at the Zoo

The past year most certainly has been quite different. Many of the traditions my daughter and I look forward to have either been canceled or modified beyond recognition. Though there was no free Rita’s water ice for the first day of spring yesterday, we still had a wonderful time spending a day at the zoo with our cousins.

We were pleasantly surprised to see that many of the animals were our and about and quite vocal too. We’ve been going to the zoo since Quinn was a baby, but yesterday was the first time we saw and heard the lion roar. In some weird way, it offered us comfort in knowing that the lion was claiming the day and was ready for spring to get underway. While we are still navigating these new norms, seeing the animals, being in the fresh air and feeling the sun as we casually walked around was a wonderful way to bring in the spring.

Lion Roaring at the Zoo

All the best,

Tanya

Mesmerizing Moments at the Philadelphia Zoo’s Luminature

The weather was perfect, and the view was absolutely mesmerizing with colors from just about every spectrum in the rainbow. Though my daughter and I, along with my friend and her daughter, were at the Philadelphia Zoo, we were magically transported into a spectacular world of lights reminiscent of scenes from the movie Avatar: Luminature!

Immediately upon entering the gates, I kept stopping every few feet to take pictures and admire the beautiful scenes while the girls were eager to get to the next light display. My six year old said, “You’re walking so slow, Mommy! You never walk that slow!” I couldn’t help myself. The lights had me totally captivated as though I was in a trance. Seeing the lights and displays, hearing the background music and the giggles from the girls and feeling the joy in the atmosphere truly touched my spirit.

It made me think about the power of light and the occasional necessity for darkness. In order to fully enjoy and see the beautiful lights, it needed to be dark. Then we could fully appreciate the illuminated pathways, trees and displays as we navigated through the zoo. Sometimes we may have dark moments in life, but a little light can give us a glimmer hope.

When I look at my daughter, I see her as a beautiful light. She often shines bright, especially when I may be experiencing a dark moment. While admiring the light, any darkness I was experiencing becomes a distant memory.

If you’re looking for a fun, beautifully captivating activity to do and live near Philadelphia, I strongly suggest Luminature which runs through January 5th!

All the best,

Tanya

Winter Fun in the Summer at the Philadelphia Zoo

 

“Can we go down the snow slide again, Mommy?” my daughter pleaded. A couple of weeks ago, she had a playdate with her friend from school at the Philadelphia Zoo. Even though I have a membership, somehow I didn’t know about the fun interactive winter exhibit that’s absolutely perfect during these hot summer days. We actually stumbled upon it while looking for Bear Country and to see the flamingos and couldn’t resist getting a feel of the snow in the the summer.

Even though there is an additional fee on top of general admission or a membership (which Alison, the mother of Quinn’s friend kindly covered), it was well worth it. The girls had so much fun. Actually, we all did! They excitedly went up the long and steep staircase several times trying to help carry their snow tubes to slide down “the Snow Leopard Slope, a 120-foot-long, 20-foot-high, snow-covered incline.” They made little snowballs to throw at the targets, made a couple of snow castles and slid around trying to maintain their balance as they climbed the little snow mountains. It’s good that we found the winter at the zoo area after seeing most of the animals because getting the girls to leave this area was no easy feat.

If you haven’t been to the zoo in a while, just would like to go again or want to do an outdoor activity and still keep cool, take advantage of Winter at the Philadelphia Zoo. It’s. fun for both children and adults alike. I’m tempted to take Quinn back before it ends on August 20th so that I can go down the slope a few more times too.

All the best,

Tanya

Mommy’s Monday Moments:Fear Not…Well Fear A Little

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Quinn Watching the Tiger Up Close at the Zoo

Since my little girl was one, we’ve taken frequent trips to the zoo. One of her favorite stops is the Big Cat Exhibit. “Can we see the tiger and lion video at the end?” is a request she would make without fail. We’ve been to the zoo twice this year since it’s gotten warmer, but a major change has occurred: a major brain shift I’ve observed. While Quinn, my soon-to-be three year old, doesn’t mind observing the tigers, lions and cheetahs in the zoo displays, she has become fearful of the video she once loved and asked to watch a few times each time we went to the zoo.

There is this one scene in particular where the tiger is attacking an antelope which never phased Quinn in the past. So I was caught off guard today when Quinn cried out, “I’m scared Mommy! I don’t want to see the video anymore! Please Mommy!” I’ve never heard such fear in her voice before. I could see that she was really terrified. When I asked her why she was scared, she said, “The tiger was not playing nice with the other animal and was hurting him.”

In this moment I wondered.  What happened? What changed? Then it occurred to me; my little girl is growing up. Her brain is evolving. She’s entering the next phase of many more to come. I hope I’m able to model bravery and to help her address any fears she need to address as she continues to learn more about herself and her surroundings.

Best regards,

Tanya

My Little Girl: The Zoologist (Part 3)

2015-06-06 09.07.11One of my daughter’s favorite outings is going to the zoo. She loves seeing the monkeys, lions, tigers, tortoises, zebras…well just about every animal at the zoo. One of our regular stops since Quinn was just a year old is to the petting area with the goats and sheep. While some children and even adults become uneasy with the goats and sheep invading their space, she welcomes them. One time, about four or five of them surrounded her, and instead of being nervous, my little girl said, “Look at all these goats, Mommy! I have to be gentle.” My little girl is at that inquisitive age of two and a half and wants to know everything about the animals, especially the big cat falls exhibits with the lions, tigers, pumas, leopards and jaguars. At first, she referred to all of them as tigers, but now, my little zoologist looks at the big cat intently and will inform me, “That one is not a tiger mommy; it’s a puma!” I love watching her fascination with animals as she becomes entranced by their movements. Though she most certainly is my little artist and doctor, I  can imagine my little girl being a zoologist too!

All the best,

Tanya

It’s a Real Zoo Out There! Fun Activities for Toddlers

Quinn and the Lion

Quinn and the Lion

My little two year old has always been fascinated with animals. She loves to mimic their sounds and look at pictures of them, so of course one of her favorite outings is going to the zoo. What a wonderful way for her to learn and even develop her vocabulary by telling me what she sees and for me to engage her even further by asking questions and telling her what I see too. Since the weather has been nice, we’ve been able to take advantage of our membership to the Philadelphia Zoo and visit once and sometimes twice a week for the past few months. While one may think going to the zoo this frequently would become boring, it does not because it just one more way for me to not only bond with my little girl but to observe how much she has learned and grown. I am amazed at how she is able to retain the names of the animals and some of the little facts we have learned along the way. For instance, initially she said, “I see turtle,” but when I explained that he was a tortoise, the next time we went to the zoo, she said, “I see tortoise.” She knows the difference between a lion and a tiger, but thought a cheetah was a tiger until I gave her the name of the animal and discussed how one has stripes and the other has spots. Now she gets excited and points out the cheetah. I just love how she greets each animal bellowing out, “Hello Lion!” or “Hello Sheep!” Sometimes it’s as though they have been waiting for her because the lion or polar bear will be resting or sleep, but after she says hello, they will come closer to where she is standing. If you haven’t taken your child to the zoo as yet, I highly recommend it. A wonderful adventure awaits!

All the best,

Tanya