Monday, November 20, 2017

Tree Decorating at Brookfield Zoo

As part of their Cub Scout Pack, Nick and Henry get to decorate one of the trees at Brookfield Zoo each year. This is our second year participating, and Sunday was a gorgeous, sunny, but very cold day for tree decorating.

The boys made all of the ornaments themselves, and this is obvious when you see our tree. I like it this way-ornaments made by Cub Scouts shouldn't look like a Pinterest fantasy.

Nick and Henry making ornaments Friday night.

No worries about their ornaments looking too perfect. They look just as they should, though my evil nemesis was everywhere Friday night: glitter. I can't stand the stuff because it gets into everything and takes forever to clean up. If you look closely at some of the ornaments, you'll see that some of the kids (Henry included) actually filled up the clear plastic ornaments with a mixture of sequins and glitter. They were heavy!

Just a few of the awesome ornaments the kids made.

Anyhow, we all love visiting the zoo, so hanging ornaments was a great excuse to go out and make a day of it. They alternated hanging ornaments. . . .

. . . with chasing one another around with sticks. Typical boys.

Here are all the boys from their Pack in front of their finished tree.

Henry, Nick, and their Cub Scout friends.

In case you were wondering how my littlest child kept warm in the middle of all the pandemonium, it took a fleece sleeper on top of her outfit, a pair of socks on her hands (her mittens are still too big), a very warm hat, and one of those fuzzy blankets that fits on top of her car seat. Ellie was just fine--she never complained of the cold. In fact, she slept most of the day.

We've always loved Brookfield Zoo, but the admission prices have gone up so much that we don't visit much anymore. Lately, we rotate and get a membership to a different museum-type place every year. So this was our first time to the zoo since tree-decorating last year. It was Ellie's first visit ever, and guess what the first zoo resident she was awake to see was?

Does Ellie look pleased about the fish? Not really.

Yup. She saw the piranhas. They probably thought she was a tasty-sized little morsel. I think she liked the polar bear better. . .

. . . but not as much as the boys did!

This next shot was the boys' favorite. Can you tell why? If not, look to the upper left. I snapped a picture of three Cub Scouts and . . . a polar bear's butt. Those are the most genuine smiles I got out of them all day. The best part? Nick and his buddy are "Bear Scouts" this year--that's the rank they're working towards.

Nick wanted to see how he measured up to an actual bear, and I thought we should see how Ellie measured up. 


Verdict? She's got a lot of growing to do! Henry wanted to see how his "wingspan" measured up to the bald eagle.

Oh yes, I definitely posed my kids on top of the polar bear statues. Not that they were complaining. I don't think Ellie even woke up.

We don't get out too often as a family, especially since Greg works Saturdays and I have been tutoring on Sundays. But it was great to have all of us at the zoo, even though there was plenty of fighting over hats and coats and whining about the cold.

We could feel our toes again once we got back to the van.