Johnny Clegg and Ladysmith Black Mambazo were playing at the Woodland Park Zoo. Laura and I were determined to see Johnny Clegg, and it would be our first concert at the zoo. For years the Woodland Park Zoo would host concerts as part of a summer series, and despite living just a mile away, we never went. Now, after the experience, I’m kicking myself for not going attending a concert at the Woodland Park Zoo earlier.
One of the ways the zoo summer concert series stands out was each ticket allowed a child under 12 in free. Laura and I bought tickets, and planned to take August and Déla. After a couple of mishaps with the babysitter situation, and further investigation of the zoo concerts, we decided to take everybody. Why? the gates opened at 5, the concert was to start at 6, and they are (according to the website) generally over at 8:30. While it would be a late night for the younger two, it wouldn’t be quite so bad.
We invited a friend along as well to help with child wrangling. She had initially offered to watch Ciárán and Xavier, but we figured it would be easier to actually buy her a ticket and bring the kids rather than teach her the bedtime routine (besides, it was a nice thing to be able to share the concert with a friend).
With our extra two tickets procured (Myself with Xavier, Laura with Ciárán, our friend with Déla, and then August) we went in and got our spot.
Another reason to attend the concert as a family? Dinner. One of the other ways the zoo concert series was “family friendly” was the allowance of picnic items. The only restriction we could find was no outside alcohol. We had sandwiches, chips, etc. in our soft sided collapsible cooler, hoping it would pass through. Turns out it was. People not only brought in their hard-sided coolers on rollers in, but they had glass bowls with real plates and whatnot. Obviously these others were veterans of having dinner at the zoo concerts.
The show started, and Ladysmith Black Mambazo came out singing. August and Déla were interested, but it was Xavier that had the most surprising reaction. He was fascinated with the group. At times he would dance, but his attention never seemed to waver. All the kids did well, really. Déla had the best time, but that’s a different story which I will get into with my next blog post.