May 5, 2013

Holland 2013 – Day 5: The Zoo

Category: Being Parents

We started the day with some nice fresh bread from the bakery for breakfast and then proceeded to drive to Emmen – home to one of the most popular zoo in the Netherlands.  It isn’t really a huge zoo but it is a nice, spacious zoo with lots of open area; with only a ditch that separates visitors from the animals.

A magnificent view as you walk to the zoo

It’s about 25 km away and a half an hour drive from Center ParcsHuttenheugte. Kids from 0-2 years old go in for free, but those above 2 years old would have to pay the following prices:

3 to 9 years: €17
10 to 64 years: €19.50
65 years and older: €17.50
disabled people: €17.50
groups of 20 persons or more: €18.50

The zoo is divided into several sections: The Biochron (a museum about the history of life on Earth), the butterfly garden, the sharks in the aquaria, the Afrikahuis, the tropical AmeriCasa, the Aziëhuis and the penguin school.

Spud was a little unsure about the butterfly garden and kept whining about wanting to “go to the zoo” even though we told her that she was already at the zoo.  She only stopped asking to “go to the zoo” when she saw some giraffes and zebras. She didn’t think the lions were part of the zoo, and was more than happy to venture out to the playground. (Funny, how the mind of a child works!)

Squirt, in the meantime, was only too happy to be strolled around. He fell asleep in the stroller for his morning nap, and was very excited to toddle around with his swanky new shoes when his sister explored the playground.

According to Spud, this is THE zoo!
Father-son shared a joke
Squirt toddling sround

On the other end of the zoo (and I mean a complete OTHER end where you would have to walk out of the main outdoor zoo area and walk a few kilometers to get there), there was a spectacular play expedition area called the Yucatán. It is an indoor area covering more than 17,000 m2.

We did not take the kids to explore the entire place, but I reckon that if the kids are a little older, they would enjoy the place immensely for hours on end! Instead, we confined them to a small-ish area where they can let off steam before we head back to the bungalow. At one point, Spud gave me a heart attack while I was minding Squirt – from the corner of my eye, I saw Spud almost jumped off a 3 m ledge to a pole after she saw a 10 year old girl spiraled down on it. My heart skipped a million beat, and had I not turned around in time and prevented her jumping of the ledge and trying to grab the pole, I reckon she may have broken a bone or two! *Gasps*

The road to Yucatan
Spud & Squirt playing explorer

Even though we both we more focused on the kids than on the animals this time, for us, any vacation would not be complete without a trip to the zoo. It was indeed an enjoyable day at the zoo.

They were so worn out from the sun, the wind, the walk, the playing and the chasing around that they both fell asleep blissfully as we drove back to our temporary home at the De Heuttenheugte that afternoon. 

Unfortunately for us, both Silver Bullet and me could not do the same!

Finally OUT!

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