We’re lucky enough to call New York’s Chelsea neighborhood home. It’s diverse and energetic, always up for a good time. Particularly when June rolls around and Gay Pride celebrations kick into high gear. Lauren once said that we live in the most beautiful place on Earth because it’s full of rainbows. An astute observation from a then-4-year-old kid, who noticed that hundreds (if not thousands) of rainbow flags flutter above our neighborhood storefronts.

One of our neighbors co-hosts the J.P.Morgan-sponsored Pride event held in the Central Park Zoo every year.

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The kids look forward to the end of June every year, which marks both the end of school and the Pride event at the zoo.

Usually the Tropical Zone is open, but for some reason, this year, it was closed. But I do have a few pictures of the blazingly warm pavilion from last year. The Tropical Zone houses all kinds of exotic animals, from rare species of birds, to lemurs, and more creepy crawlies than I’d typically like to see in one sitting, including Pythons and Tarantulas.

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And the birds…there are the most beautiful species of birds in the Zoo. This was Sam right before the husband and wife pair in the background got into a huge marital spat and accidentally cuffed him in the head with their wings.

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Maybe it’s not such a bad thing that it was closed this year.

But we did have our regular Sea Lion show. “The seals, guys, the seals!” I called as the trainers got ready for the show. At which point a well-coiffed man in front of me exclaimed to his daughter “aren’t you excited for the SEA LIONS?” Apparently zoo animal classification is critical to some people. Not to me, ballpark is good enough.

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And yes, as always, there was face painting. These painters know how to work a kid’s face, I’m always impressed.

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Sam was shocked at the result and couldn’t take his eyes off of his Tiger reflection.

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Sam wasn’t the only one psyched up with a changed appearance; all of the kids got into character.

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Lauren never really got out of character all evening…

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I guess neither did Sam.

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We ended the night with some butt wigglin’…

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And an attempt at a Guinness World Record for most kids held at a party (the record now stands at 5 in case you were thinking of breaking it at your next event).

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So until next year Central Park Zoo. If we can wait that long. We may have to visit our friends the Polar Bears when the weather cools down and they come out of hiding. But the face paint, that, sadly, will have to wait…

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