Last Sunday, George, Aaliyah and I went to a birthday party for our friends’ daughter. It is one of the first children’s birthday parties we have attended as a family. I was looking forward to it, because Aaliyah is finally nearing an age where she can participate in the festivities a little bit. She has begun to explore her surroundings a lot more. The party we attended was held at a petting zoo. An idea I had never heard of. I couldn’t help but wonder what it would entail. But, we were celebrating a fun and feisty little girl turning five years old, so I had a feeling it would be unique.
The party was held at Zoomars Petting Zoo in San Juan Capistrano. I had never heard of it, but I am told it is the most popular petting zoo in southern California. It wasn’t long before I learned why. There were several types of animals roaming around; goats, sheep, horses, donkeys, zebras, rabbits, ostriches, lamas, turkeys, pigs, and bulls. They were in separate pens throughout the grounds, so there were different places to roam. I loved that they sold real food to feed the animals, rather than the pellets typically sold. They had cups filled with carrots, broccoli, and apples for sale
They also had other fun features for kids to tryout. My favorite and the most creative, was the Corn Box. . A fun and unique play on the sandbox and ball pit concepts. It was a covered pit that was filled with dried corn cornels for the kids to play in. And all of the kids were having a blast trudging around in it. We’ll have to wait a little longer for Aaliyah to try it out. She is still Amidst the putting everything in her mouth phase.
Aaliyah did reach another milestone at the party. She went on her first pony ride there. I wasn’t sure how she would react, or if she was even old enough. But she loved it. She had a huge grin on her face the whole way. I walked along side of her like a proud mama. I loved the pony ride when I was a kid. George took pictures, so we could document this momentous occasion. It was great. She rode a little mini pony, which made me feel better.
There were other fun activities for the children to enjoy. They included an electric train ride, panning for gold area, a tree house, and a swing set. So many things to do and so little time.
George and I wandered through the petting zoo with Aaliyah and showed her all of the animals. It was great watching her eyes light up at everything going on around her. She was in awe. Not too mention the fabulous cake and general splendor of the birthday party. We all had a blast. It was such a fun idea for a birthday party. And very fitting for this particular birthday girl. I would keep this idea in mind when thinking of party ideas.
To prepare for the event, I did a little research online, because Aaliyah is still a baby and more vulnerable to germs and illnesses. So I wanted to know just what I needed to be aware of. I thought I would share the info I found with all of you, because it is good information for everyone with children to know. Farm animals can be a host for all sorts of bacteria like E coli. Most bacteria is passed from hand to mouth, so here is some good petting zoo protocol.
Bring only what you need – Dust filled with manure and bacteria can get on your stroller, diaper bag, and clothes. It’s best to only bring the necessities and avoid bringing any excess baggage.
Leave the bottle at home – Since bacteria is most commonly passed from hand to mouth, it’s best to eliminate the use of bottles, pacifiers, and sippy cups. The repeated temporary use of these items provides ample opportunities for children to be exposed to bacteria.
Suds up those paws – Be sure to wash your hands every time you leave a Petting area, even if you haven’t touched the animals.