Our Visit to the Reston Zoo

While we were visiting my parents in Northern Virginia, we had an opportunity to visit the Reston Zoo. I haven’t spent a lot of time in Fairfax County since I graduated high school a dozen years ago so I had no idea it was even there until I read about the zoo on my friend Emily’s blog back in May. Then I had the good fortune a winning an admission in her giveaway so we had no excuse not to go!

It was seriously cool. Two thumbs up. Here’s a zillion photos.

reston zoo

The petting zoo was full of gentle sheep and goats. They were awesome at getting the food out of the kids’ hands without biting at all.

reston zoo

There were a couple of school trips and a lots of moms with kids around Evan and Caroline’s age but the zoo never felt crowded (even though it was small enough to do without a stroller)

reston zoo

Medium sized ginger with a tiny baby goat

reston zoo

I WANT ONE

reston zoo

Pushy but gentle

reston zoo

You can buy bottles for $1.50 to feed the babies

reston zoo

YES OF COURSE YOU CAN HAVE YOUR OWN BABY LAMB

reston zoo

Curly sheep, I want to knit you

reston zoo

No I absolutely did NOT consider stuffing a tiny pig in my purse

 And that was just the official petting zoo barn. There were plenty of other animals to see outside.

reston zoo

Some sort of grouse or partridge with omg fluffy chicks

reston zoo

Adorable little foxy thing that Caroline was dying to cuddle

reston zoo

Tortoise

reston zoo

Parrot

reston zoo

Caroline REALLY like the monkeys. I suspect she thought they were little hairy babies.

reston zoo

Prairie Dog

reston zoo

Evan and MorMor. Don’t worry, that’s not a real lion.

reston zoo

Llama llama was very friendly to Mama

reston zoo

Man, I have seen WAY too many alligators in the past week

reston zoo

Tiny adorable deer who was in with the geese and ducks

reston zoo

Budgie enclosure – just like at the Mystic Aquarium except that the sticks only cost $1 and the birds were SUPER friendly.

reston zoo

reston zoo

Even Caroline could feed the birds. Although she also kept trying to pet them.

And then there was the wagon ride to see the bigger animals, including a camel, antelope, deer, zebras, buffalo, and wildebeest (I cannot hear the word wildebeest without thinking of The Lion King) . Evan was probably more excited about the tractor than about any of the animals, but it was REALLY neat.

reston zoo

We weren’t supposed to feed the zebras, but they didn’t come close anyways. I suspect they are not super friendly.

reston zoo

That’s my 3 year old feeling a BUFFALO. A buffalo! I pet him and his wool was just as soft as I imagined based on how expensive buffalo yarn is.

reston zoo

Caroline really liked the animals, as long as someone was holding her.

reston zoo

That’s a watusi. CRAZY huge horns.

reston zoo

I don’t even remember what this thing is called.

reston zoo

Evan feeding a giant beast. He was so brave!

I think this is going to be a regular stop when we visit my parent’s house in Virginia. The kids really enjoyed it and I can only imagine they’d like it MORE as they get older and can really appreciate what a rare experience it is.

(Someone commented on my previous post where I mentioned our plans to visit Reston Zoo to say they had been charged with animal cruelty. Obviously I don’t want to visit somewhere that is mistreating their animals so I looked up the charges online. It appears to be an isolated incident involving one person and one sick animal reported to the police by one source rather than an ongoing investigation into the zoo’s practices. While I was there I saw nothing but well cared for animals and helpful, polite staff. I’m not dismissing anyone’s concerns, I’m just letting you know I made an informed decision to visit despite that news story.)

Related posts:

Cutest Baby Update
Wordless Wednesday: Rainbow Legs Edition
My Week(233) in iPhone Photos

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9 Responses to “Our Visit to the Reston Zoo”

  1. Amy says:

    OMG, you definitely should have swiped that tiny pig or goat, or BOTH!

  2. Emily says:

    I’m SO glad you got to enjoy the Reston Zoo! Even in this heat wave… And, yes, I got a few emails about the animal cruelty charge, but I agree with you. The animals seemed very well cared for, and the incident (while very disturbing) was isolated.

  3. Kimberly says:

    Baby animals AND ginger babies?!?!! My computer just imploded from the cute.

  4. raincheckmom says:

    Giant bird is called a rhea, I believe…

  5. That is so cool! Its always really neat when the animals are so friendly. Our zoo isnt touchy feely. The animals stay away from the railings. Also, the unnamed bird looks like a Emu.

  6. Audrey says:

    OMG…I want there to be birds in our greenhouse. There are usually butterflies, but not right now. Birds would be AWESOME.

  7. Elle says:

    I thought the bird was an Ostrich, according to their website they have a Ostrich, Rhea, and an Emu. As an Australian, the land of scary scary animals – can I say Emu = the scariest.

  8. Elaine A. says:

    Okay that little pig is SO cute. I’m surprised you didn’t leave with it – ha! And I cannot believe that cow-looking thing can even hold its head up with those enormous horns!!

    Looks like a great zoo – so many different animals. Thanks for sharing so many photos – they are all GREAT! :)

  9. Jess Judkins says:

    Im so happy that you posted about your experience at the Reston Zoo, they have been getting allot of bad press and I would hate for people to miss out on this wonderful experience. Im totally bringing Judah back sometime this summer. I don’t recall seeing as many animals as you saw, maybe it was because they just opened :-)
    You should have taken the little piggie ;-)

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