This weekend was great.

On Saturday, my wife and I took the kids to the Staten Island Zoo. One of my wife’s best friends is the director of education there, and she gave us (my 6-year-old daughter, mostly) a private tour. We all had a great time, and my daughter had an absolute blast. She loved everything about it, and got to touch a bunch of animals (sheet, goats, birds, snakes, lizards, an armadillo, a rabbit, and a chinchilla) that we never through she would touch. (You can’t touch most of these animals unless you’re on a field trip or you know someone who works there.)

On Sunday, my wife and I took the kids to one park in the morning and let them play a long time. My 2-year-old son, of course, only wanted to be pushed on the swing, but my daughter wanted to climb and jump and slide and dig in the same, and so on. We had a blast. I took her to another park in the afternoon, where she played for hours, blew bubbles, and made some little friends.

It was great to be able to watch my kids learn and play all weekend. We didn’t go too far from home, or spend that much money, but we all had a great time together.