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Granby Zoo – his 3rd first real visit (a Maman’s view)

Don't you love their logo?

Today (March 11, 2012) we went to the zoo, we had been trying to go all winter (it’s open on the weekend) but the weather was always either too cold, windy or snowy. it was Nico’s 3rd visit to this zoo (he’s also been to the Calgary one when he was 6 months, which he of course doesn’t remember). I had told him all week be good and we’ll go to the zoo (I had kept a close eye on the weather, it was looking very good), being in his no no no phase even if I told him we would go to the zoo he would say no no no. I also don’t think he remembered fully what it was (last we went was in October for their Halloween activities). So this morning I told him we were going to the zoo and he was all excited. We got ready, on the way to the van he kept saying zoo zoo zoo, I kept saying yes. I was happy he was really looking forward to it, for the first time :) His first real eagerness to going somewhere, seeing something… The first 20 minutes (the zoo is an hour drive), he kept asking zoo? I kept answering yes we are going to the zoo. After about 30 minutes he said zoo? again, I answered the same with an additional, it’s far away it’ll take some more car ride before we get there, his answer to that was a sigh and “long “(in french), both Alex and I started laughing. Well we got there and sure enough he was ready to go. Sat him in his wagon with his blanket (the wind in the parking was chilly, in the zoo almost no wind though :) ) and he started saying zoo zoo zoo! I said yes we are at the zoo and I got a big smile.

I love their ads!

A bit outside of the elephants house they had a sign to show you were to go to see them.

He wanted to pet it...

Since it was still chilly we got to go in the elephant’s house because they weren’t out yet. Once we were in we got the see the pffffffffffft first (elephants). Nico was in aaaw. I showed him the elephant eating straw and picking it up with his trunk. The elephant was also playing around with it, Nico said he was stirring it, his favorite thing to do in the kitchen. You can take the boy out of the kitchen but you can’t take the kitchen out of the boy! LOL

The screeching made him jump back.

Then we went upstairs and we were going to look at the giraffes, but Nico noticed a big black bird in a plexiglass cage (it was a Bateleur, a kind of eagle) to the right and went to the ropes surrounding it and just commented how BIG the bird was (hand gestures included). We agreed, so he turned back to look at it and at the same time the bird screeched and Nico just jumped back with his hand on his chest and said “Oh! Peur” (french for scared), we laughed, I know, not nice.

He couldn't pet them either...

Then we showed him the giraffes. but they were on the opposite wall so he kept going back to the bird and being scared every time it screeched, lol. He was a little disappointed he couldn’t pet the giraffes but not much we could do, he would pet them all if he could :)

Ain't he cute? - The zoo

On our way further in, we met the zoo mascot Yeti (he’s the winter mascot, they also have a different one in summer), very cute furry fella. Now Nico has always avoided or ran away from them, except for Mickey and Minnie Mouse last winter, my guess is that he sees them on tv as a cartoon so they are ok.  When I showed him from a far, his first reaction was to be scared, so I showed him some kids were hugging it and he was nice. So we continued moving forward, once we got there, he gave him his hand and then I asked him to pose for a photo, which he did and wasn’t scared. So proud of him for facing his big furry fear! :D

Zebra - Goat - Giraffe - Cow

After that we headed to the boutique to get that done before he got tired and running everywhere in the store. We got some nice wooden Anamalz (yep that’s what they are called). Got one heck of deal too, instead of 8$ there were 2,61$, so we got the 4 models available. Yes, I like deals!

After that he wanted to so the tiger, so we made our way there, we stopped on the way to see some snow leopards, sun bathing and having a little ice snack.

Then we took some photos with animal statues in a little park, he wanted to use the slide but it was icy.

I think it's a wild horse, not sure...

Nico spotted a wild horse, he called it a donkey (l’âne) and he was stuck on it for a while. He loves horses!

Look how close he was!

Then we kinda got lost, they built a new thing in the path to go see the tiger since we last were there, but we found our way again and found the tiger! We got lucky this time they weren’t sleeping, one was laying on a rock pretty close to the viewing area and the other was pacing around the whole place marking territory. The first time the tiger came over Nico was all happy but he turned around and Nico yelled out “Tigre tourne!” (Tiger turn!), we both laughed it was so cute! He continued to say the same every time the tiger came around. We stayed a bit, he didn’t want to leave. Convinced him we had to go eat and were gonna get fries so we were able to leave the tiger.

We finished the area by viewing the kangaroos (and no, kangaroos are not that big here!) which are pretty free to roam in their area where we walk (didn’t wanna leave again, had to remind him of the fries) and the yak with mountain goats.

Off to lunch we were, we got fries and had our homemade lunch with it. We could’ve had anything really, it’s a mini food court in there. While having lunch, since it’s sugar shack season, we had the chance of having a violinist and a flutist  playing live music. They were dressed in old time traditional costumes for the season, the violinist even had the traditional ceinture fléchée (arrow sash). Nico was mesmerized by the fact that they made music, it was nice to watch :)  He continued watching even after they left our table. We also took a photo of him under an Inukshuk statue on our way out :)

 First we roll it on the stick…                                                        then we eat it…yummy!

After lunch, we took a little detour before seeing the next animal, we went for some “tire d’érable” (pronounce tier not like a car tire). I had tried last year for Nico’s first sugar shack experience to get him eating some and I got diddly squat from him. This year he was uncertain but the guy pouring and me talked him into it and he had about 5-6 licks which I’m happy about :)

Then we headed to see if the pigs were out in the mini farm, he wanted to see the pigs, but only the goats and sheep were and it was a mud pit so we didn’t go since Nico only had his runners on and they probably would have stayed stuck in there.

We continued our way to see the fishes, the rays and Kaïla. When we walked in, he shot to the right at the fish tanks (there was a polka dot fish, he likes dots) which are in the belly of a huge pirate ship. It’s all dark except for the lit fish tanks which are pretty in blue. He also liked the cylindrical tank in the middle which just had bubbles, but he loves bubbles! One of the tanks had a little concave bubble in the window so you could feel like you stood in the tank, he liked that, daddy too ;). One thing I liked was that all the tank windows are almost to the ground so even though he’s not tall I didn’t have to lift him and he could roam from tank to tank on his own, he loved that!


After that I directed him towards the rays. You can actually pet the rays and feed them, we opted for petting only. He wasn’t too sure at first but I beat my own fear to show him it was ok (I was mostly afraid of being bitten and scratching their skin with my long nails), so he did, over and over again, but he needed a little help since he’s a little short for the tank.

Then we went to see Kaïla, we saw it last October but we wanted to see it again, because you always miss something and it was probably new to Nico since he remembers more. It’s pretty hard to explain so please have a look at the video below. Here’s what the company who made it, Moment Factory, says: “Moment Factory invites visitors of the Granby Zoo to dive into the fantastic world of Kaïla. This multimedia show designed for the whole family takes you into an underwater journey in the South Pacific, between New-Zealand and Australia, on the track of a turtle named Kaïla. During her trip, the turtoise meets tropical fish, colourful jellyfish, a giant octopus and sharks.  Visitors walk around the room at the pace of images projected on the walls and floor, as well as lighting effects on the benches and special effects coming from every corner of the room and down from the ceiling. Young and old alike can dance to the music composed by Vincent Letellier and indulge in a total immersive and magical experience.”

Kaila from Moment Factory on Vimeo.

He really like it and was grooving through the whole thing :) During the whole show I was watching him and holding back some tears, why? Well I’m just happy to see him grow, be so happy to discover new things, evolve, learn and just be himself . Proud of him and being his maman. :)

We were gonna head home and stopped by to take some more photos with animal statues and cut-out frames. After the photos we headed out but Nico reminded us that we hadn’t seen the zebras.

So we headed that way, passed a colorful bus, saw the elephants who were out for a walk, took one more cut-out photo and then off to the zebras. We didn’t finish the Africa area as my feet, little toes rubbing, were killing me! I really need to get better shoes!

Can’t wait to come back this summer and also enjoy the overhead train, the mini farm and the waterpark, Nico will love it!

Walking back Nico wanted to stay, of course, and sleep there (which you can in the summer, they have package deals) but I managed to get him in the van by telling him he had to go tell Dada, my mother, everything he saw. On the drive out of the parking he wanted to go back in, but not even 5 minutes later, he was snoring. When we got home he didn’t want to continue napping so he gave the little gifts he had picked out.

Nice day overall, he did so well and surprised us many times by how attentive, expressive, thoughtful, caring he can be. Also how grown up he already is for 2 1/2… mon p’tit homme (my little man).

Check them out on their site and follow them on their facebook page!

Oh and don’t forget to check out Papa’s view of our visit!

Shared on:

Kids Creative Chaos Country Kids from Coombe Mill Family Farm Holidays Cornwall


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15 comments to Granby Zoo – his 3rd first real visit (a Maman’s view)

  • What an incredible experience for him! Being so close to the animals and touching stingrays. A trip he’s not likely to forget. Great pictures too!

  • What an awesome day! So much ice though. We don’t get to see our elephants unless they are out. He’ll remember this trip :-)

    • Valérie

      Thanks! I know we’ve had rain, snow, rain, snow, well you get the idea, lol. It was a great day, he behaved well and didn’t argue much. Going inside the elephants/giraffes house was cool :) You should come visit in the summer, they have a waterpark too, everyone one loves it from what I read and I can’t wait to go for the first time as well!

  • What a fun zoo day. It looked cold to me though =) I’m in Florida so anything below 70 is cold to me. Our zoo has feeding the giraffes and the kids love it. Thanks for sharing your wonderful trip all of your lovely details and photos have me itching to take my guy now.

    • Valérie

      It wasn’t too cold we had about 8 degrees celsius (about 46 F) it was a mild day for us, considering it’s still winter :) Take a day and have fun with your little one :) We’d love to see the photos, you can share on our facebook wall :)

    • Alex

      The zoo in Seattle also offers to feed the giraffes, Nico would be flipping out, if they offered that in Granby, too!

  • Oh my! What a day! I am exhausted just reading about it!! Nico must have been a very happy and tired little boy ;-)

    What a wonderful documentation of a perfect day. Precious.


    • Valérie

      Maggy, I know it’s long but I really wanted to explain it well so you would feel like you were there :) I wanna make this a journal for Nico so sometimes you just need to go long. He asks to go back everyday since! I think he liked it, lol.

  • Wow that looks like such a fun day and Nico looks like an amazing 2.5year old, really taking in everything he saw. I bet you will be back to the zoo again in the summer. I loved so many pictures there but my favorite is the model kangaroo. we have wallabies on our farm and we are watching for Joeys being carried by the mothers at the moment. One of these models in the field would be awesome for the children to play on! thank you for sharing your wonderful adventure on Country Kids.

    • Valérie

      Thanks Fiona, glad you liked it :) Yes he loves going out and discovering new things, if he could he would be out everyday all day. We are planning on going back this summer yes, since they have a water park that should lots of fun as well. Raising wallabies, how fun that must be for your kids! Nico would probably jump and run along with them (he’s in a jumping phase lol). I think the model is fiberglass, I’m sure you could get one done.

  • [...] Valerie had posted her view of our latest visit to the zoo here, here is my view, which to some parts is the same, but at the same time isn’t, so here [...]

  • This looks like a wonderful place to visit!

  • That looks like such a great zoo. You have taken some fabulous photos there too. Glad Nico had a good third visit :O)

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