Wednesday, November 25, 2009

Parc Planckendael

Connor and I have certainly made the rounds to the animal parks in Belgium this past year, so one Friday Karen and I bundled the kids up, packed them up and went to Parc Planckendael lest we leave even one out of our collection. I think parents deserve merit badges for going to expensive zoos to see the animals over and over again. I mean it is certainly a fun memory, but how many times can we fork over an absurd amount of cash to see elephants and monkeys in cages?

If you ask Brady and Connor - it is never enough (um, yep that is an enormous real pumpkin in front of the kiddos).Planckendael costs a whopping 18.50 euros per adult and 13.50 per child (under 3 is free - so thankfully Connor was gratis, this time). And while I did think the park impressive, even on a dreary day, it was a hard sell to win me over at this steep pricetag.
But this little one - give her a bird or any living animal and she is entranced.
By far the highlight of our trip was the giraffe exhibit! When we first arrived all the giraffes were inside their house.
Seeing them all together and so close was surreal. I had never seen giraffes from this angle...above!
And then do you know what happened? The giraffe closest to us turned around, showed us his tail and pooped. It was like a waterfall of tiny poop that lasted awhile. Too much information, I know. But Connor thought it was the greatest thing next to sliced bread (remember she is newly potty-trained so recognizing that everyone poops is still a huge deal). Connor proceeded to talk about it hourly for the next week. I kid you not. "Remember the giraffe pooping, Mommy?" rang out every place we went. Probably a good thing we don't speak the local language is all I can say!
We spotted these hippos in the water and Karen and I thought, "MAN! Those hippos are so still and serene!" Then we realized they were fake.
Parc Planckendael must be ideal for kids a couple years older than ours. There were tree houses and rope climbs, perches, and ladders all over. It was a mega Swiss Family Robinson. Connor scaled right up this part to catch another glimpse of her prized giraffes. The kids let loose when they found the petting zoo playground pen. In they waltzed through the mud puddles to pet away. The tree trunks were also a big hit!
Connor and Brady demonstrate what the monkey says!
We ate lunch on site and everyone was happy. The bamboo decor was phenomenal. I give Parc Planckendael a lukewarm cheer. Still think it is highway robbery to charge so much for entry to a relatively small zoo but it did make an exciting morning getaway.

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