Jacksonville Zoo

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The Jacksonville Zoo & Gardens have an annual “Spooktacular” event on the weekend nights leading up to Halloween…

Spooktacular Nights

This was our first time going and it was a lot of fun. There was live music and the staff were dressed-up in costumes. There were countless picture-taking opportunities (to the boys chagrin 😛 )…

Spooktacular Nights
Spooktacular Nights

But what we really came for and what made the pictures worthwhile for the boys was…

Spooktacular Nights

We did get to see some of the animals, but most of them seemed to be in for the night. I guess the animals really weren’t the point of the event.

Spooktacular Nights

And although the boys weren’t too happy with the picture-taking at first, by the end of the night, they were into it and actually asking to take pictures here and there…

Spooktacular Nights

It was a spooky-fun night!

Spooktacular Nights

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So, Mom is off to do some scrap-booking, so the boys and I decide to take the boat to the zoo.

Boys in the Boat Boys in the Boat Boys in the Boat

Heading into Jax, FEC Strauss Trunnion Bascule Bridge was down as a train crossed, so we decide to use the small boat span rather than wait for the bridge to be raised…

We docked at the pier and entered the zoo, and no sooner do we cross into the park than Alex makes a friend. In this case, it’s Salsa the Jaguar…

Alex and Salsa

Adam took a particular interest in these flamingos and insisted they were doing yoga…


So, after we saw the lions and tigers and bears (oh, my), we kicked-back and took a slow boat home…

Boys in the Boat

What a great day!

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A great day for a boat ride to the Jacksonville Zoo!

Boat to the Zoo Alex at the boat

After tying-up, we headed up the dock to the zoo’s back door…

Tying Up Zoo Entrance

Unfortunately, we discovered that admission is no longer free if arriving by boat, so I fumbled for my wallet and we were soon walking down the trail.

We all had a good time, and spent the entire afternoon visiting the animals. The boys got to feed the baby giraffe…

Baby Giraffe

and pet the sting rays…

Sting Rays

we visited the snake sanctuary…


and, of course, rode the carousel!


What a great day! Afterward, we enjoyed a leisurely boat ride home. Adam was pretty tired and wasn’t quite as insistent on speed as he usually is, so we took our time.

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Today, Cindy is heading to Alabama for the birth of our new grandson (and the boys’ nephew). She’ll be there for the next few days (at least) so the boys and I kicked-off our “boys weekend” with a boat ride up the St Johns to the Jacksonville Zoo. Not only is it a great day on the water, but you get into the zoo free if you arrive by boat!

On the way up, we ran into some dolphins. The boys enjoyed watching the playful mammals frolic in the water around us, but unfortunately, my camera was always in the wrong place at the wrong time to get a meaningful photo…

Adam watches a dolphin

It’s actually a great trip to the zoo, as we cruise under several bridges and enjoy the Jax skyline and Jaguars stadium. At the zoo, we dock and walk right in…

Alex in front of the zoo sign

We saw a lot of animals, but the boys really seemed to like the alligators. I think it’s because they were covered with all this green stuff and you couldn’t tell the gator from a log in the water unless he blinked.

The boys watch the gator

And what’s a trip to the zoo (or anywhere for that matter), without some ice cream…

Adam eating ice cream Alex eating ice cream

After visiting the lions and tigers and bears (oh, my!), it was time to head for home, as my first mates helped with the lines…


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It’s a great day to be a dad! Like all Father’s Days in our house, dad gets up with the kids and makes coffee and fixes milk for the kids and watches the kids and drinks coffee while mom sleeps in. 😉

What makes this day different is the little surprise the boys had for me…

Father's Day Gift

So, what did we do on this Father’s Day? We went to the Jacksonville Zoo. I haven’t been here since I was a kid, and it hasn’t changed all that much…

Jax Zoo Entrance

So here we are, and here we go…

Dad and the boys Holding hands

There’s lots of stuff to see, but we spent an inordinate amount of time looking at the turtles and fish…

Zoo Bridge With mom on the bridge

Of course, the highlight of the trip isn’t the animals; it’s the TRAIN!

Zoo train

So, we bought our tickets and climbed aboard!

Buying our train tickets Sitting on the train

It was a nice afternoon. We saw a lot of animals, rode the train, enjoyed some ice cream, and had a great time together. Now, I guess we’ll take a nap…


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