We had an amazing time as a family this afternoon/evening after we picked up my husband from work and headed to the St. Louis Zoo to check out "Dinoroarus" and all the critters there. Our youngest firefly & our little ladybug had a blast and it was hard not to smile watching them enjoy themselves so much.
Money is always tight at our house.. 5 people on 1 income & the cost for everything rising rapidly means that we look for family friendly activities that cost little or nothing generally. The St. Louis Zoo is one of the few "free" zoos left in the country & we partake in what it has to offer a couple of times a year usually. Dinoroarus, is of course, not a free part of the zoo (just like the train rides, the children's zoo, etc.)--well, we rarely do that stuff because by the time you shell out the dough for all of us to be able to do even 1 of the activities, there's nothing left for anything else. My folks were sweet enough to buy us a membership to the zoo for the year, so we are even more excited about going there now. With our newly renewed membership(we had one back when our oldest firefly was really young), we get 36 "anywhere" passes to stuff like the train, etc. and it was only $1.50 for the three of us to do the Dinoroarus exhibit(Ladybug is still under 2 years old.. so she is free!).
It is really hard to go somewhere cool like that with the kids & see how excited they are about the train, etc.. only to have to say "sorry, not this time, cuz it just costs too much". It breaks my heart, but that is life & the current financial hand we've been dealt.
Anyway.. back to our adventure, we had a blast! My husband had a great time & it was so.. good to see him enjoying our children. Once we got to the dinosaur exhibit our firefly was a little bit apprehensive when he saw how big they were & heard them making their dino sounds. He didn't want to get too close to them, but seemed to appreciate the exhibit & enjoyed the "dino dig" at the end of the trail that was lined with the robotic dinosaurs. The dig site consisted of a big sandbox with some resin "fossils" buried in it & the kids could take paintbrushes to carefully(no flinging sand at anyone) brush the "dirt" off the "fossils". He was Mr. Bigshot at the dig & actually had it all to himself, which was nice for pictures. He was so proud of himself when he was finished carefully brushing clean the T-Rex skull. :) On our way out of the zoo this evening, we stopped by the gift shop (which incidentally we get a 10% discount at w/ our membership!.. I love a deal!) and let him purchase a small plastic T-Rex figure. Firefly decided that a good name for him would be "T", so.. T the T-Rex is sleeping with our firefly tonight. :)
On the way home from the zoo, we stopped at a mexican restaurant for dinner. Again.. a special treat for us, but I had a "buy one meal/get one meal for free" coupon.. so we all ate & brought home leftovers, too for less then $25. :) It was a great end to a great adventure.. even though our little ladybug was very rambunctious and spilled my husband's soda all over his lap & the floor! ;) I believe that all of our kiddos have now spilled sodas all over their Daddy's lap... such as life!
Tomorrow will be another adventure.. a mini one, but I know that it will make our firefly smile and then bright & early Saturday morning we will pick-up the oldest firefly from his camp adventure. Well, it's off to bed for me now.. I am tired from all the fun! :)