May 16, 2010

Only 20 minutes from home

It's one thing to find out a new kid's amusement park opened and is only 20 minutes from your house, but it's another to run into some of your best friends on the day you chose to go.

Yesterday was family day at the Willbanks home. We took Nate and Jack to the newly improved Happy Hollow park and zoo. The park has been closed for the past two years for renovation. Our first and only experience was about two years ago when I was pregnant with Jack. It was probably 100 degrees that day, no shade anywhere in sight, and a petting zoo where Doug refused to touch the animals. In his defense the animals did look a little raggedy. They weren't your typical "zoo" animals. There were animals on display like rats, and guinea pigs.
But with two years, came some much needed improvements. We were pleasantly surprised at the new and improved Happy Hollow. Here are some of the hightlights to yesterday's field trip.

1. Beautiful clean new park and zoo.
2. Landscaping was incredible. An abundance of shade trees.....they obviously needed two years to grow.
3. Ran into our long time friends Darren and Brittany with their adorable little girl Shelby.
4. Petting zoo included true animals you could pet. i.e. horses, goats, donkeys. They did have the guinea pigs still, but their new habitat was significantly better.
5. Climbing structures with rope courses, net bridges and look out towers. An imaginary pirates dream.
6. Puppet shows - Well this was actually the low light. The main character was abused by his brothers, and the voices were a bit demonic. It had potential though. The theatre and stage were shaded and tiered for easy viewing.
7. Lunch  - The cafe had an assortment of choices, some even healthy. The food was pretty good including the yogurt. (You'll see that on Jack's face below.)
8. Admission - Only $12 a person and Jack was free. We took advantage of the fact he wasn't quite two.
9. Rides - We never did make it to any of them, but we now have a reason to go back. (As if we needed one.)
10. Many drinking fountains. Jack's new found love. You'll see from the pictures below we spent a good 20-30 minutes at one fountain.

Overall we would give it a four thumbs up for a Saturday. We'll be planning our next trip soon. Who knew in only 20 minutes we would find our new kid's oasis.

Here are few pics from the day.

(Note that is Doug helping to feed the horse.)


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