MDW at The Santa Barbara Zoo

Ryder feeding Michael the giraffe 

Chasing ducks through the gardens with Ryder
Since we started dating, my husband does this thing every single year the day before Memorial Day Weekend where he says to me "pack a bag we are going somewhere". Trust me when I say I love the spontaneity of this but, now that we have little babies it becomes packing panic central over here. You would think that by now I would just start preparing a bag the week before but I always think we aren't going anywhere and then we always do. Duh!

This year when he said that he didn't have a particular place in mind I suggested the Santa Barbara Zoo. We hadn't been there since Ryan was six or seven and I remember it being small enough that we could manage easily with an infant and a toddler in tow. We recently visited Disneyland and let me just tell you we were on the hot mess express the entire time! I'll have to share about that with you on another blog post because that mess deserves it's own. I'm cracking up just thinking about it. Anyway, he agreed to my zoo idea and off we went.

I remembered this place being easy to visit and it was. It is small, overlooks the ocean, has plenty of green grass for the kids to run around on, has a picnic area surrounded by luscious gardens and all the animal exhibits are great. We even fed a giraffe! That was by far our favorite part of the trip. Ryder is still talking about how he fed Michael (the giraffe) lettuce and how his tongue was so slimy. As he was feeding the giraffe and nervously laughing because the giraffe kept licking his fingers, I remember thinking to myself that it had to be a moment that I needed to engrave in my mind forever. A part of Ryder's childhood that I would remember always. I can still hear his nervous little giggle. When you find a place that takes your mind there you want to tell the world about it. I also recommend riding the little train that takes you around the zoo. There were no large crowds, getting in the zoo was really easy and the parking lot is literally outside of the zoo gates. They have a couple of restaurants inside the zoo and the one closest to the picnic area even serves wine! Wine ladies, wine! LOL!

If you live in Southern California or are just visiting The Santa Barbara Zoo is a must see. Parent or not I am sure you will appreciate how great this little hidden gem is. Downtown Santa Barbara is just a short drive away and the beach is almost across the street.

Gray Diaper Bag - Fawn Design | Ryder's Pants - Old Navy |

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