Dream Night at the Zoo

Our local Children’s hospital and Zoo partner up to have a “Dream Night”  the first Friday in June every year. This event is by invitation and allows family oportunities that don’t happen every day. It’s a night for Children with special needs get to feel special. Families get to go & not have to answer questions, get staired at, and enjoy a family night out. Our Zoo is the right size, it’s not overly huge it’s big enough to enjoy and get to spend time looking at all the exhibits not just the highlights you’ve been mapping out for weeks. On the way in there are “gift bags” of  a take-n-toss camera and hand sanitizer. There are so many activities going on, from a karaoke machine to Home Depot (with oodles and oodles of volunteers) doing Projects with the kids, a fully accessible carousel, the animals, art station, face painting, animals to see close up and ask questions about…they provide a meal and you’re encouraged to bring special dietary needs for those who need them. This event lasts for 3 hours. On your way out there is a gift bag for the patient and for their siblings too. Let me just say, it’s never a dissapointing event.

We have honestly been invited for 3 of our 6 years. I don’t take if for granted, I appreciate the night out with my son and husband. We take pictures (probably the same ones from years past) but it’s a new year, maybe their hair is parted different. But every year we go is a little more special. I think not just for the kids but because we are able to see parents and children we know outside the hospital. We see doctors and nurses that really seem like family in “normal” clothes. We have the chance to truly be spoiled with a real family night 🙂 and the joy in the children’s eyes and the smiles and laughter going on through out the night. There are always new surprises around the corner.

I am so thankful for our local children’s hospital. I give them credit for me still having my son. When he was just a newborn, I can remember saying to another parent, if you can’t have your newborn home…there is NO other place for them to be. They truely take care of more than just the patient they really think about the family. They pride themselves in “Family Centered Care” and I think they do an awesome job. Because if it doesn’t work for the family, it’s not going to work.

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