Quick Day Trip – Cheyenne Mountain Zoo

We had such a fun time visiting the Cheyenne Mountain Zoo in Colorado Springs this weekend. I took the boys down and was given an all access tour of the zoo. Settle in and get comfy. I have A LOT to tell and show you!

All lot of us in Denver think Colorado Springs is too far to go for just a day trip. I’m here to tell you to GO! Seriously. We live north of Denver and it only took us about an hour and  a half to get down there. We left at 9am and were back home by 5pm and did almost everything the zoo had to offer. If you want to pack in even more fun, take a drive through Garden of the Gods on your way back, but for now, back to the Zoo…

We arrived and were greeted by Katie, their social media/marketing superstar. She said she had a fun day for us and she did not disappoint! First stop… Orangutans, monkeys and gorillas!

Do you know the difference between a monkey and an ape? Carter did! He was proud to share that monkey’s have tails and apes do not. Now the next time you are at the zoo, you can marvel the crowd, impress the zookeepers, or maybe just smirk that you knew the answer if they ask. ;)

We got quite a treat at the Orangutan enclosure! They painted us pictures! The zoo sells these and 50% of the proceeds go towards orangutan conservation! You can find out more here – cmzoo.org/conservation/palmoilcrisis. I purchased all 4 of the paintings on the spot! How cool is it that we just saw the orangutans paint and then got to bring them home AND help the zoo and animals in the process?!

Here is the picture Baka-keri painted for us, and YOU have a chance to own it! (giveaway details at the end of the post).

Next we were off to the Hippos! They just got a new hippo, Wicket, in last week. She’s a bit older than the two “teenager” hippos they currently have (who are natives as they were born at the Denver Zoo!). This is where this trip get amazing. My boys and I fed the hippos. No really. We FED HIPPOS! Hands down the boys favorite part of the entire day.

Here is a picture of me feeding a hippo (and worrying she was going to bite my arm in the process). I caught the boys feeding them on video down further in this post (sorry, yes, this post is a mile long).

 

Wait. Did you SEE THAT?! My arms are in a hippo’s mouth! They crushed those watermelons and sprayed us with it. I’m pretty sure they were laughing just as hard as we were.

Next we got to take a sneak peek into their new Elephant area. They have a large barn (of sorts) that the elephants can rest, feed and even give themselves a shower! There is a platform so you can view from above and see every pen. While we were there, Lucky, a female Elephant, decided to “purr” at us while she drank her water and walked about. She made the cutest sounds and the kids were once again, tickled to say the least.

We wound our way through the rest of the zoo, seeing the moose, wolves, lions, bears, tortoises, snakes and many, many other animals. We went to the Australia area and pet a wallaby. They are adorable little guys and Brady wanted to take a “wa-wa” home.

Our last stop of the day was something everything has the opportunity to do. Feed the giraffes! Brady was a bit unsure of them so he and Thomas took control of the camera while Carter and I went forward with our lettuce. I wasn’t looking at one point and the giraffe’s tongue came WAY out and practically licked my elbow! It was hard to feed them after that, as we were cracking up laughing. Their tongues are rough and slimey and really, really, REALLY long!

Here is a cute video the boys and I made at the end of our amazing day!

Now for the giveaway! I purchased 4 paintings that the orangutans made the day we went. I’m giving away the large one the male Sumatran Orangutan made, complete with it’s certificat of authenticity! My boys are calling it, “Baka loves the Broncos” as he painted using orange, blue and white.

All you have to do to win is visit the Cheyenne Mountain Zoo’s website and then come back here and leave a comment on the animal or attraction you would most love to see on your next visit. One random winner will be drawn on June 20th and notified via email. 1 entry per person please. (full legal jargon here)

Not as a part of the contest, but I’d love it if you would “like” the Cheyenne Mountain Zoo on facebook as they always have amazing pictures and information about their zoo and the animals they love.

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disclosure: My boys and I got free admission to the zoo and behind the scenes access not given to every patron. I purchased the orangutan paintings for my own collection and giving one away because I love sharing with all of you. I encourage you all to visit the zoo because it truly was an amazing experience and we are so fortunate to live so close to the America’s only mountainside zoo.

Emily

Fueled by coffee and wine. Wife to a doc, mom to three boys (one with Autism), a puppy and a tortoise. I knit, I get crafty, I tweet.

Comments

  1. says

    I absolutely adore that zoo (and to be honest, I’m not a huge zoo fan *stinky*), but I have such fond memories. My favorite thing to do, and the thing I look forward to most is feeding the giraffes. This reminds me that I need to take my kiddos up there soon!

  2. Emily says

    Somehow I missed the elephant enclosure and the hippos when I went last fall! So I would love to go back to visit them again. Shoot! We did have a great time feeding the giraffes though, and the day I went, a wild deer fell off the wall and into the giraffe enclosure. It was amazing how quickly all of the giraffes turned toward the “danger”. It looked like they were having a family meeting; everyone was so focused. And even after they decided the deer wasn’t a threat, they still took turns having one or two of them keep watch while everyone else went about their business.

  3. SJ says

    I live in the Springs and frequent the Cheyenne Mountain Zoo often with my boys. I cannot wait for the elephant exhibit to finally open, it looks like it’s going to be amazing!

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