Visiting the Blank Park Zoo in Des Moines, Iowa

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On yet another one of our educational excursions this week we decided to head into Des Moines and check out the Blank Park Zoo. We knew we were headed to Nebraska this weekend so I actually went to the zoo to purchase a membership for our family so that we would get a discount on the zoo we were visiting in Nebraska. I was very interested to check out the zoo since we’ve just moved to Iowa and we were really missing our Florida zoos and theme parks!

We bought a family pass to the zoo AND to the science center for under $160 for a year which I didn’t think was too horrible. It will definitely give our kids something to do when we have to head to Des Moines to do our shopping.

There was a really cool enclosed area where we walked on the path and there must have been at least 10 kangaroos in there. One even hopped right in front of us and stopped! This kangaroo photo spot looks like a real animal!! Although the zoo is crazy small compared to what we are used to it is a VERY nice zoo and plenty of spots for the kids to touch, crawl, take photos, etc.

Here is the “kids” area and petting zoo. I was a little sad to notice that the kids couldn’t actually go in with the animals but you could feed the goats from a little cutout section in the fence.

Then there was an indoor area with this neat swinging rope bridge! The Discovery Center had lots of awesome animals and exhibits to look at and is nicely built. There is a bat cave to crawl in with geodes built into the walls. Places to sit “inside” the fish tank. Waterfalls, birds freely flying/walking around, etc. The sea lions had a nice and large exhibit. And the prairie dogs had a cool exhibit even though we didn’t see any animals. There was a tunnel that took the kids into the middle of the prairie dog exhibit in a small glass room where they could pretend they were also prairie dogs in the exhibit.

And this was my absolute favorite part of the zoo during our first trip there. This particular otter and my friends became good friends! I’m not even sure how they got started but my son would run from one side of the tank to the other side and the otter would follow him! They spent a LOT of time racing each other – it was SO incredibly cool! In fact it was so fun we went back 3 different times during our trip that day to play with this otter and every time he would race with my son back and forth across his tank! It definitely gave both my son and the otter plenty of exercise!! :)

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