The zoo is currently under construction while they put in the "African Savanna" that opens next year. They tore out the train, the playground, and the Utah section in the center of the zoo to make way for the new stuff.
Luckily, they recently opened a little play area near the new Rocky Shores area. It includes a big slide, a shipwreck, and a splash area. My kids loved the slide and Violet insisted on driving the ship and singing her pirate princess song.
I am not sure we have ever actually seen the otters at the zoo because they seem to like to hang out away from the windows. Luckily there is an otter statue nearby that is almost as good.
We had a fun carousel ride with no drama now that Eddie is brave enough to ride an actual animal. Naturally, he chose the giant preying mantis. I tried to convince him to ride something else, but he was determined. That left Violet with either a bear or a turkey. Luckily she was okay with letting me choose. I really didn't want to stand between a giant bug and a giant ugly turkey for the whole ride.
A classic photo opportunity on the tiger statues. And yes, Violet is wearing a leash. We braved the zoo without a stroller for the first time. I don't think that all three of us would've survived the trip without the help of the puppy "pack pack" as Violet calls it. Without it, Violet probably would've moved in with the orangutans.