They love cafes in Korea (I'm not lying when I tell you there's one on every corner and at least another in between), so it's no surprise that they integrated a cafe with the idea of a zoo. It's genius, really, considering Busan does not have a zoo. They do have an aquarium, which is great, but my boys have been missing the zoo animals.
The Zoo Cafe isn't too big, but it does have many small animals for kids to interact with as well as some that have to stay behind glass (like the fox and raccoons). It really was a great little excursion, and I'm so glad that we found out about it. We'll definitely be going back, sooner rather than later if my boys have a say so in it. :)
When I saw this guy walking our direction with this snake, I was like, "Oh hell to the no" and nearly ran over a kid trying to run backwards.
But then I saw that Parker was walking toward him. I was trying to not project my super fear of snakes on him and let him touch it. I hate this picture. I know P liked it, but I. did. not. Not one bit.
The workers there were so nice and helpful. It was fun to see them search for the right word in English to tell the boys the name of the animal. :)
I think this is the first white raccoon I've ever seen. Pretty fur but not a friendly smile.... And check out those paws and claws...no thank you.
They LOVED the chicks! Parker tried climbing in with them twice.
Parker was good with having the gerbil sit on his arm and even giggled for a second.
Then he was over it and wanted it off immediately. I'm with you, buddy. No sir, not for me. This is another instance of me putting my own fears and feelings of yuckiness aside and letting them have an experience. Not easy but I tried.
They have two bird enclosures you can go in and actually feed the birds right out of your hand. It was pretty cool!
Look at the little guy in the back staring at me. :)
Parker attempted to pick up the little guy by squeezing his back end. The bird tried to waddle away from Parker's grip, thinking he'd let go, but he underestimated the grip of a determined, curious 2 year old. If he wanted to get away, he was going to have to fly away. So he did. :)
Once Connar saw me feed the birds, he wanted a turn. For this boy who is usually apprehensive about things that might scare him, this was huge. I told the guy to give him some food in the palm of his hand before he changed his mind. The birds' feet tickled his hand, and the smile that spread across his face was priceless. :)
The second bird enclosure had birds that were a tad bit bigger that you could also feed.
Then there's a third enclosure with toucans....you couldn't feed them (not that I would even dream of trying....look at those beaks!), but you could walk in and stand near them while they flew around. They're so pretty!!
We also came across these gorgeous guys who were getting some medicine.
Look, it's the Easter Bunny! How adorable is this guy/gal?!
Of course, Parker managed to find the rocks in the place and went to town picking his favorite. :)
Here's where the "cafe" part of Zoo Cafe comes in. There are a few counters where you can order drinks and/or food as well as a nice area to sit and relax right next to the birds.
The boys insist on climbing up on these rides no matter where we are. :)
When we went to leave to head home for lunch and naps, Parker was throwing a major fit because he apparently was very unhappy that he wasn't consulted on whether to leave or stay. The manager, who spoke pretty good English, came up, as Parker was trying to hurl himself out of my arms, and apologized that they didn't yet have information pamphlets/maps in English and told me he hoped they'd be available for me the next time we came back. I told him I had no problem getting around without it but that I appreciated it and looked forward to seeing it once it arrived. He assumed we were leaving because our time limit was up (I can't remember if it's a 2 or 3 hour time limit) and told me, "It's okay. I can let you stay for another hour." He didn't want Parker crying over having to leave. How nice is that?! He even unlocked the chain on the stroller for me, held all my items I was dropping out of the locker because I still had a flailing child in my arms and another who was whipping the chain around his head like a helicopter propeller, and then still waited with me at the elevator to be sure I had a complete, happy visit at the Zoo Cafe. He was such a sweet man, and I really appreciated his kindness and helpfulness more than he knew.
Funny thing. Remember the time I told you about Koreans lack of respecting personal space, especially on elevators? Well when we were waiting on the elevator, one came up fairly quickly and opened up with a man already inside. Instead of getting on with plenty of space to spare, I told the manager waiting with me that I'd wait on the next elevator. He looked at me like I was crazy when I tried to explain to him that I didn't want to bother that man that was already on the elevator with Parker's screams. He just couldn't understand for the life of him why I would think that way. He even said, "Really? Hmmmm." Yes, it's called courtesy. :)
If you're in Busan and want to check it out:
Take the subway line 2 to Jangsan. Go out exit 4. Across the street is NC Department Store. The Zoo Cafe is on the 12th floor. ........Yes, you read that right. The zoo animals are in the department store. That's Korea for you. :) Gotta love it!