Nov 14, 2011

A day at Hogwart's

On Saturday afternoon, I dropped Nathaniel and Nicholas off at the Birmingham Zoo to participate in Hogwarts Night at the Zoo.

When we pulled up, I couldn't believe how many kids were there! We stood in line for about 30 minutes to get them registered (even though I'd done online registration in advance ... you know how I enjoy it when I prepare in advance and then a venue makes me do it All Over Again FOR. THE. LOVE.), and then they were issued their name badges and wands.

I left them in line with the other "Gryffindor kids" and headed home at 3:00.

They spent the day learning spells, seeing a magician perform magic tricks, watching potions being made, and riding the Hogwarts Express train.

At home, we bundled Jake and Amelia up and headed back to the zoo to join in the Family portion of the night. It was pitch black when we got back, and all I had was my iPhone, not my real camera.

That is a euphamism for "These pictures are about to be really crappy, y'all."

The zoo had set up their own version of Diagon Alley, where you could play games and purchase Harry Potter merchandise. Jake tried his hand at throwing a football through a hole from about 20 paces away. He was not successful.

He also tried bowling, where he got a strike! He threw the ball at a papier mache version of Harry Potter characters and knocked them all over.

I am quite sure that that dark, blurry picture conveyed the proper amount of excitement for that event.

Next, we went to the carousel, which was lit up beautifully in the crisp air.

Jake chose to ride a tiger.

Around 7:30, we were all feeling a little fatigued, so we made our way over to the Hogwarts Express to ride around the perimeter of the zoo.

As we boarded, the station was dark except for the decorative lights in the trees.

Clearly there were a lot of red lights near our seats.

The kids were pretty mesmerized as we wound through the zoo ... the lights were beautiful.

I've ridden that train many, many times in my 38 years, but this was a really neat ride. It was also a little spooky, but totally enjoyable.

The spooky parts came when we were riding through the darker areas of the zoo, where there were no lights and the animals were sleeping.

As we pulled back into the station, the lights greeted us again.

If you live nearby and want to sign your kids up, there's another identical event this Saturday, the 19th. You'll get to see fun stuff like this giant-sized chess set, which the kids can play by pushing the figures around the board.

This isn't a sponsored post, and we paid the (very reasonable) fees for our kids to attend. The cost was $15 per child for non-members, and $10 per child for zoo members. Drop-off time was 2:30 p.m., and pick-up time was 7 p.m. Then the zoo remained open for the families to enjoy the events until 9 p.m.
Our kids loved it!


Amanda said...

I DIE! I LOVE Harry Potter! I wish they had one for adults here in CA! I missed Harry Potter Day at Disneyland a few weeks ago and am DYING to go to the Wizarding World Theme Park. They look like they had so much fun! :-)

Shelby Baker said...

Love the fact that Jake is holding himself in the picture on the carousel! He's all boy! Haha

Rachel said...

How fun! I wanna come play too!

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