I think I’ve only done an Easter Egg Hunt once, maybe twice, in my life.
Well, last week in Peoria, there were several Easter Egg Hunts. And since I wanted to feel festive and the weather was turning so beautiful, I decided that I wanted to attend one as my activity for the week.
But I don’t have a kid…
So my friends L and A invited me to tag along with them as they took their 2.5 year old, E, to the Peoria Zoo for the Easter Egg Hunt there! I had never been to the Peoria Zoo, so I thought it’d be nice to watch the Hunt and then also walk around the zoo.
This is the story of how I failed at almost every part of the activity last week.
We got to the Zoo at 10:30 AM. We for real pulled up to the curb in front of the Zoo ticket line at 10:30 AM. I checked my phone after I got my ticket and it said 10:31 AM, which I figured was fine. The 0-2 year-olds’ Easter Egg Hunt was supposed to start at 10:30, and we were only a minute late. I thought we should be fine.
Yeah, no. We walked up to the grassy area where the Easter Egg Hunt was supposed to commence, only to find that IT WAS OVER. It had taken about 2 minutes for the whole hunt to begin and end!
In my naivete about Easter Egg Hunts, I assumed that this would, in fact, be a hunt. Like, the eggs would be hidden around the zoo or, at the very least, hidden around a certain part of the zoo. Nope. Apparently, all the eggs were just strewn around the grass patch, and then the MC just says “ready, set, go” and the kids just run and grab as many eggs as they can, as fast as they can.
Luckily, E had no idea what to expect and no idea what was going on. But my friend and I just looked at each other in confusion and amazement. Her husband walked up to us after having parked the car, and we explained the situation. He was surprised too. So we decided that we would just wait for the next age group and have their daughter participate in that
In the meantime, the MC/volunteers announced that there would be a Easter/spring themed craft for 0-2 year olds in the Monkey pavilion/building. Also, the prizes for the hunt would be in the Monkey building as well. (Apparently, some of the eggs had scraps of paper in them instead of candy, which denoted prizes).
So we thought we’d do a craft and then head back for the next age group Egg Hunt.
We arrived at the Monkey building to find… monkeys. And the prize table. But absolutely no crafts. My friend L and I had sworn the announcement said crafts!
So we got E situated to participate in the next round of the Easter Egg Hunt. We found a spot on the perimeter of the grass that was not as crowded, and I had a chat with E about how she should stay close to us and get the eggs closest to us. I also made sure to point out the bag of cookies that was by the tree… because a bag of cookies can be shared and cookies sounded so good! 🙂
E got a decent number of eggs, and we helped her open up the eggs, dump the candy into her bag, and return the plastic eggs to the return boxes (the eggs are recycled/used every year). Then, we were off to explore the zoo!
I think I had appropriate expectations for the Peoria Zoo. This wasn’t going to be Brookfield, and it wasn’t going to be the St. Louis Zoo (which is, in my opinion, a fabulous free zoo!). Well, I fell in love with the Peoria Zoo. It’s $9 per adult, $6 for children (2-12); L said that some people complain that it’s a lot for admission, but I find it shockingly low! No, it’s not a huge zoo, but there are quite a few areas/exhibits, a great variety of animals (that all look pretty healthy), wonderful set up to the attractions, and it’s in Peoria. It takes less than an hour to get to, there are no crowds to contend with, and parking is free. I think all of that is well worth every cent of the $9 I spent that day!
This isn’t really my failure per se, since I can’t control the weather, but it was COLD that day. It was nice and bright and sunny out, but temperatures were in the 30’s. Which isn’t really that bad, except that meant a lot of the animals weren’t in their usual habitat spaces/exhibits.
So I didn’t get to see all the animals the Peoria Zoo has to offer, but I did get to see a good number! Which means that Failure #3 isn’t really a total failure. It’s like a half failure. 🙂
We started off in the Africa Exhibit. Apparently, there are usually zebras, rhinos, antelopes, and giraffes roaming the open field area, but that day there were none. But we walked up and along the walkway around the Africa area, and I was pleasantly surprised at how nicely the zoo is set up and constructed!
And then I was so excited when we got to the giraffe viewing window! The giraffe was inside because of the cold, but there is a window into the pen, right at the giraffe’s head level. So cool!
Then we walked along and got to see a lioness perched on some rocks, enjoying the sun.
We saw some monkeys. (By the way, Mandrills freak me out. The one that was paying attention to us and walking by the window had seriously shifty eyes, and Mandrills in general are supposedly pretty aggressive).
We skipped the Australian Walkabout, but apparently, the Australia exhibit has a path that leads through/between the habitats of black swans, wallabies, and emus. I’m not about emus, so we skipped that one
We saw the Takin.
And then we saw the Tigers! I think my favorites are giraffes and tigers ❤ (Obviously, not together).
I’m seriously planning on coming back to the Peoria Zoo in warmer weather. I’d love to see all the animals out and about, roaming the zoo habitats! Pack a picnic lunch, and then pay $9 to come and hang out with animals (and maybe learn a thing or two)… it’s basically a better deal than going to the movies!