Before we knew for certain about the trick or treating in Woodlands, Ravi and I were scrambling to find anything “Halloween-ish” that we could take Ellie to. Unfortunately we found the few events happening too late (the kids party that was fully booked) or Elanor was too young for the events (5/6/7 and up). So when I stumbled across the elephant parade event at the Singapore Zoo, I didn’t really care that it was a Diwali event…I was simply focused on the idea that Elanor loves the elephants and that she could wear her costume to the event. The elephants would be dressed up, so we figured on some level that it was going to the best we could do.
Sunday, the 30th, we dressed Ellie in her Rapunzel costume and took her and Rhiannon to the zoo. It was approximately Elanor’s 7,349th trip to the zoo, but it was Rhi’s first.
We arrived about a half hour before the elephant photography/parade was about to start. We did some exploring, but stuck close to the area where they would start the parade so that we’d have a good view. The zoo was pimping out the idea of pictures with the elephants, but between the length of the queue and Elanor’s lack of enthusiasm about a picture with the elephants, we elected not to join that line.
The photography/waiting area we were set up in was right next to the Small Clawed Asian Otter exhibit, which is always a favorite stop. Right by the exhibit are the statues in the picture above. Since Ellie can’t love on the otters directly, she was happy to cuddle the statues.
Elanor isn’t so great at waiting (understandably…she’s going on 3), so killing the half hour before the elephants arrived used up all her patience. She was excited to see the elephants all dressed up, but she was uninterested in waiting to watch all of the photography session to happen. In her mind, seeing the elephants arrive WAS the elephant parade, and she’d seen it. She was done and ready to move on to other animals.
It was clear that there was going to be some kind of fancy to-do after the photo session, but the crowd was swelling and Ellie was adamant that she was done. So we technically missed the elephant parade (although not in E’s opinion) and saw the elephant photography.
However, it was really cool to see the elephants decked out in their Diwali finest. It reminded me of being in India for Eid and seeing camels (I don’t remember seeing an elephant, but we might have) and goats decked out in their holiday finest (although for the goats, it was more of a last hurrah sort of fancying up, as most of them were headed for the butcher and then home as meat for the families.)
Since we were feeling guilty about Ellie “missing out on Halloween” (not knowing how awesome Monday night would be), we let her run our adventure at the zoo. The photography/parade began at 6, when the zoo is usually closed, which affected our experience. We discovered a number of E’s favorite exhibits were closed for renovation (it’s been a while since we visited) and many of the animals just weren’t out, or were asleep.
Anyone who reads the blog regularly knows I’m kind of a dork, so it shouldn’t surprise you to hear I’d dressed Rhiannon in a onesie with a zebra on it, and was obsessed with getting this shot…with the zebra in the background.
Soon after the zebras, though, things began to go bust. Elanor was frustrated that none of the lions/lionesses or giraffes were out. She wanted to go to the water park, which was closed. Finally, she told us she just wanted to go home. I was a bit concerned that it was too warm for Rhiannon, so I was fine with the idea (she doesn’t nurse well outside in the heat…she’s fine if we can duck into an air conditioned nursing room, but the zoo has nothing of the sort that I’m aware of…and most of the bathrooms are open air, so other than the KFC in the children’s area–next to the water park, and closed at that hour–there aren’t a lot of air conditioned locations). We felt bad, like the evening had been a bit of a bust, but Ellie was pretty happy with the small piece of the zoo that we did enjoy, so that’s truly what matters.
I think the Diwali celebration has a lot of potential…there was food, a dance troupe performing and several other things going on throughout the evening. However, Ellie was just too young and too impatient for it to unfold for her. Maybe it’s the kind of event she’ll appreciate more in a year or three.
There were other Diwali events around the city going on for the month of October, but between the rough pregnancy and Rhiannon’s premature arrival, we missed them this year.
On a more personal note–when going to the zoo, remember your mosquito repellent, especially later in the day. Ravi, Ellie and Rhiannon are all mosquito bite free. I am up to over 20 counted bites…apparently I’m the decoy blood donor for the family, and the mosquitos all flocked to me. Lucky me.