Thanksgiving at the Zoo

Thursday, November 26th was Thanksgiving in the USA so we celebrated with taking a field trip to a nearby zoo. A compromise between having the day off (their American half) and having a regular school day (their German half). 🙂 Landgoed Hoenderdaell zoo and rehabilitation center is only about 15 minutes from our rental house and set in a large forested area where you wander the paths and come across various animal enclosures.

We started the day with a little activity I thought of after listening to the Finding Fred podcast about Mr. Rogers. In one episode they talked about answering the question, How do I say “I love you?” and that really struck me as something worth exploring. So we each wrote down things we do and say to show each other we love them. It was nice to pause and think of how we are in service to each other and to be grateful for what others do for us.

Then it was time to head to the zoo! It was cold and gets dark early, but we still managed to spend several hours checking out all the beautiful animals, playing on the cool playground and watching the birds of prey show. We’re so glad we were able to go!

Then came the absolute highlight: there was a large enclosure with a bunch of rainbow lorikeets who would sit on your head and fly around. It was so cool!

Then we continued through the zoo to the bird show and big playground. The zoo is well-known for its big cat rescue program. They have several tigers and a few lions that they have rescued from circuses, private people and movie studios. with the hopes of reintroducing them to the wild one day. It was very interesting how they built the cages–they were covered in vines with small openings for visitors to look through so that the animals felt safe and didn’t get too used to people.

We ended the day with a nice meal and FaceTime calls/phone calls with family. It was so nice to see their smiling faces and to know everyone is healthy and safe. We are sad we were not able to make it to the States this summer as planned and are hoping that 2021 brings us a trip over there (fingers crossed those vaccines are rolled out quickly and are effective). Happy Thanksgiving to all our American friends and family! We miss you!

Categories: All, kid-friendly, The Netherlands

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