I promise with all my heart that this is NOT a sponsored post, simply an ode to the hottest spot -- in the opinions of the South Bend Hahn family, or maybe just the parents -- in the greater South Bend area. This post is dedicated to the place where we have had lots of super-fun family outings, and many laughs and seen some of the most amazing things.... the Potawatomi Zoo. Try to say that name 5 times fast. No really, try it now.
You see, the really great thing about our zoo is that it is small and manageable, it is easily walkable with 4 little ones, even on my own with them. And the best part is... it isn't totally lame! A few years ago we visited a zoo about as small, mile wise, as the South Bend zoo, and the hottest attraction there was their petting zoo and an ocelot the size of an obese tabby cat that you could barely see.
The Potawatomi Zoo, however, boasts all sorts of really awesome animals that you generally find at big city zoos: Lions, Tigers, alligators, Leopards, Chimpanzees and more. And the best part is that, unlike big city zoos where the animals' exhibits are so big that you're not able to get any closer than 50 yards to the wild life, the South Bend zoo's exhibits are so small that you can get so close to a Lion that it literally pees on you.
Which is equal parts gross, awesome and depressing.
This picture of our (recently deceased, so so sad) Tiger is not zoomed at all, you were just able to get this close to his face. Crazy.
I am not even joking, I have been peed on by a Lion, and I didn't even care because IT'S A LION!
The Amur Leopard, which is incidentally Mike's very favorite animal, just had 3 babies. Just when we thought the zoo couldn't get any more awesome, in come 3 of the cutest animals in the world, that could scratch your face off if they wanted to.
Mike's second favorite animal is the prairie dog, and it's not surprising because they are hilarious and really insanely cute.
They sometimes jump out of their holes and make little squeaky screaming sounds and when one does it, they all do it and it cannot NOT make you smile. The last time we went there was a particularly tiny one that kept attacking all of the really fat lazy ones and I could have sat there and watched for hours just like I could sit here and write about it for multiple lines and I am starting to wonder what is wrong with me.
Not pictured and worth honorable mention:
- the Boa Constrictor, which is huge and yellow and amazing.
- the many, many monkeys that are sprinkled throughout the zoo that make for some really joyous viewing.
- the incredible petting zoo, which includes calves, sheep, a disconcerting number of very loud goats, turkeys, chickens, roosters, pigs, donkeys and more.
- the river otters, who have been particularly boring the last few times I've been, but who can put on a great show when they are so inclined.
- the Bison, camels, and Red Pandas, and you should really just go to the zoo and see for yourself, I doubt you will be disappointed unless you hate animals in which case... why?
Again, not a sponsored post, but if you happen to work for the zoo and would like to give me free train passes for the rest of the season in exchange for this plug, just email me and we'll talk business.