Virgin Trading Post (Fort Zion Utah)

Nevada, Utah and Arizona

This was a fun little stop on our way to Zion National Park. The Virgin Trading Post is a cross between a petting zoo and a Wild West park.  It's a quirky little mishmash of animals and western kitsch perfect for a million photo opportunities and a great place for everyone to stretch their legs.   The kids had a great time feeding carrots to miniature horses, and petting sheep and other animals-the carrots by the … [Read more...]

Bear Country USA (Rapid City)

Destination: North and South Dakota

Nestled amidst over 250 acres of towering pines and rolling meadows just eight miles south of Rapid City lies Bear Country U.S.A. This is one of those drive through wild animal parks that I remember as a kid.  On our leisurely three-mile drive through several enclosures we encountered black bear, elk, reindeer, deer, cougars, bobcats, rocky mountain goats, bighorn sheep, deer, sheep, and buffalo. All the animals are … [Read more...]

Bramble Park Zoo (Watertown)

Destination #5: North and South Dakota

As you may already know, I am not a huge fan of zoos.  Parts of the Bramble Park  Zoo were really great, such as the petting zoo.  The kids really enjoyed getting up close and personal with the animals.  My youngest son Joel who can at times have a hair trigger temper is also the most loving and emotional of my 3 kids.  He is really drawn to animals and when I watch him it's like he has some kind of special … [Read more...]

Tautphaus Zoo (Idaho Falls)

Destination #3: Idaho, Wyoming and Montana

We had time for one more short activity before heading home the next day so we decided to take the kids to the Tautphaus Zoo. Although I am not a fan of zoos at all (I liken them to animal prisons), most of the animals here were on the smaller side and didn’t look too unhappy. (Ever see swaying elephants and pacing tigers—you just know they are going out of their minds. Wouldn’t you if you were confined to a … [Read more...]