Two out of three of our children have never been to any Zoo other than Mill Mountain Zoo which, when we took our nieces, who had been to the Detroit Zoo and the National Zoo, asked "Where is the rest of it?" As we were in a city with something a bit larger, we thought it would be a great first outing.
And it did not disappoint. It was a large zoo in a gorgeous desert setting. In addition to the standard monkeys, tigers, and zebras, they had a few added fun things the kids (well, the girls) loved. They took a camel ride.
And fed the giraffe. Maggie was put out about his huge black tongue but eventually managed to feed him.
The whole family loved stingray bay. Hell, we may have been there for 45 minutes. You got to reach in and pet the sting rays - all of which felt like velvet. They were friendly enough and seemed to have a sense of humor - occasionally soaking an observer.
I had at least two more things on the agenda for our first day but after about five hours of zoo time, we were fully baked and ready to go back to the hotel for a swim. The botanical gardens would have to wait.