This weekend my younger brother and his girlfriend came to visit us so we were wanting to show off some of our favorite places around Colorado Springs. The Cheyenne Mountain Zoo was at the top of that list.
The zoo is built on the side of a mountain so it’s made up of different layers of exhibits that you can see as you make your way up and up. The giraffes are one of the best parts and you get to see them first thing when you walk into the zoo!
Since it was so nice out, the zoo itself was packed, meaning the giraffe exhibit was extra crowded. You can see that on part of the perimeter of their enclosure is a fence that they can come up and say hi to people at eye level.
The zoo is a non-profit that donates a lot of their money to wildlife conservation projects. Besides tickets, they sell a lot of snacks and experiences for some of the animals that you can help out with. At the giraffe enclosure they sell clean lettuce for you to give to them… which is really the key to a perfect picture haha. They love it and slurp it up so quickly! My friend who works at the zoo hooked us up with a big pile of lettuce so we were able to have a lot of fun with these guys!
Before I go further, let me just say it’s really hard for me to go to the zoo and not take a an unlimited amount of pictures of all the animals, because they are SO CUTE! So instead of a posting 75,000 zoo pics of animals you’ve probably already seen before, here’s a rapid fire of some of the funniest ones starting with a tiger that was totally roaring ferociously… and definitely didn’t just wake up from a nap and was only yawning…
Another fun spot is the “Budgie Buddies” building and aviary. It’s filled with different Australian Parakeets that you can hand feed.
You can pay a buck and get a feed stick. Since this area was so busy too, it was pretty tough to get the birds to come down and hang out on your stick but some of the smaller ones eventually did once our tall gentlemen coaxed them off the branches.
My brother was just adjusting his glasses after a different bird flew right past his face, but from the looks of this picture I’m convinced he and this budgie just shared some silly secret and have now earned each other’s respect.
After I took this picture of my brother’s girlfriend, we tried giving the stick (with the bird on top of it) to the little girl in the red hat behind her in the picture. She was having no luck even feeding a bird because she was too short. I tried carefully handing it over to her and she was super excited until the bird started moving, then she got totally freaked out! S. was able to get a bird to slowly crawl onto the little girl’s own stick which she loved. It was pretty cute.
After lunch we decided to help feed the elephants. This is the insane view of the city off in the distance from outside of their exhibit by the way.
We fed this
little big cutie carrots, zucchini and lettuce for his snack! He’d grab the food with his trunk and feed it to himself technically. It was a super cool experience!
After such an exciting afternoon at the zoo we all were pooped. We spent some time relaxing at our place before heading out to dinner. After that, we made our way to another spot I wanted to make sure they saw while they were visiting:
The arcades in Manitou Springs! Manitou itself is an adorable and quirky little mountain town that is a tourist destination because it’s so close to Pikes Peak. Part of the main street has aisles of different small buildings filled with arcade games.
After trading in two $10 bills for quarters, it was off to the horse races which is S’ favorite. That’s actually his horse winning in this picture. We all joined him and WOW things got more intense than I could have imagined in the heat of the race.
After two races I sat out the last one to let my heart rate return to normal after a near win. Just look at the focus on their faces! My brother and boyfriend were actually neck and neck with the lead during this race…but S the Champ ended up winning.
Next door is the Penny Arcade which is filled with super old school and antique arcade games. Almost all of them are either a penny or a nickle to play and a select few of the games just take your penny and do nothing because they’re basically 100 years old and are broken..
It’s so cool to just wander past and check out all the games that people used to play way back when. It’s like traveling back in time.
Here’s a creepy antique Foosball game. Each person only has only one handle and each time it’s hit, it kicks up all your players’ legs at the same time while also moving your goalie back and forth.
Here’s an old school hunting game where targets on a spring would pop up for you to shoot at and then fold back down. Based on the score, we are not sure if my brother was just really good or if the game was broken… it ended up being like 3,000 to 0.
Skeeball. Not the best ticket maker but still just so much fun!
Overall we did pretty well as a team. This isn’t even including the awkwardly large amount of tickets S and I found accidentally still in our pockets when we got home. Woops!
We traded those in for two rubber emoji rings, a Kit-Kat and a Tootsie Roll. A pretty good haul if you ask me.
Before my brother and his girlfriend left to head back to Denver we stopped at our favorite wine bar in Manitou Springs for some live music, banana splits and Jenga. Please direct your attention to the new beautiful emoji ring on the hand that’s protecting second banana split from a possible Jenga tower tumble.