tiger in waterfall at zoo

It’s a Zoo out there!

The 2nd annual Dad’s Day Out at the Zoo happened on New Year’s Eve this past year.  What is Dad’s Day Out at the Zoo you ask? Well that’s when my good friend Casey and I take our kids to the Jacksonville Zoo & Gardens together. We’ve gone twice in two years 🙂 He just so happened to have a few days off from work and we were able to head over to the Zoo. Incidentally, Casey has his own blog about fatherhood. You owe it to yourself to check it out: Dashboard Dad.

I take my kids to the zoo a couple times a month. We have an annual membership and the zoo is a great place to take the kids for the morning.  Since we go so often, I specifically go on weekdays when there will be less people.  I don’t like being crowded if I can help it. Little did we know that the zoo was having a special new year’s eve celebration and the place was packed.

We were not to be deterred however.  After making it through the gates we set out on our safari adventure. It was a cold day and some of the animals were hunkered down but most were out and about which is always desirable. As our 5 kids were running around and I was talking with my buddy, I realized something. It was rejuvenating to be around another dad. To have another adult around to talk with and help with trips to the bathroom and be a second set of eyes on the kids was such a welcomed deviation from my normal trips to the zoo.

I used to think all these “Mom’s Groups” were silly. Now I get it. Watching the kids is stressful and having a friend who can 100% relate is nice. Even though Casey isn’t a stay at home dad, he’s still a dad and we have many other things in common that we can talk about other than just our kids. It was such an uplifting day. I need to find ways to spend more time with other dads.

Why don’t dad’s get together more often with our kids? Is there something in our nature that makes us less social? Is it simply a logistical issue because there are fewer stay-at-home dads? Are dads too busy trying to complete all these honey-do lists? 🙂 Do we think we don’t need the extra support?

Whatever the reason is, I hope us dads can get past it and get together more often.

Here are a few pictures from the day.

Here is a picture of all of us (except for the baby who was sleeping in the stroller) at the new tiger viewing area. 2015/01/img_2336.jpg

Here are my two oldest with the zoo mascot.2015/01/img_2316.jpg

Here is the crew in front of a giant anaconda.2015/01/img_2328.jpg

Here is everyone sitting on a komodo dragon statue.2015/01/img_2335.jpg

The 3rd annual Dad’s Day Out at the Zoo can’t come quick enough. Maybe we need to make it semi-annual and get matching shirts printed up!

4 thoughts on “It’s a Zoo out there!”

  1. It’s gotta be the honey-do lists!!!! I do think there’s just something in our nature that makes us a little hesitant to reach out to other dads. Multiple things really. We’re stubborn, lazy (when it comes to making friends) and perfectly okay with hanging out alone, most of us anyway. I would say that most of us struggle with putting ourselves out there too. Maybe a fear of rejection. We’re too manly to ask another dude to be friends, especially the older we get. Afraid of the perception maybe. What kind of dude needs to make friends in his late twenties or thirties? Probably all of us. Anyway, when you do find a good man-friend it kind of makes you feel stupid for not reaching out more often. Semi-annually it is!!!

  2. What a fun day at the zoo! I read this on the train during my commute and it kept a smile on my face the whole way! Adorable kids and such smiling faces! The pic in front of the anaconda tank is too cute…
    You definitely should print up matching t-shirts for next year…
    And by the way, thanks for introducing us to Dashboard Dad.
    I’m a new follower !
    You guys are both great writers!

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