An adventurous stop for the Lopez family was The Living Desert, a desert-themed zoo and botanical garden in Palm Desert. With animal encounters like feeding experiences or high-fiving a porcupine, The Living Desert offers one-of-a-kind opportunities for parents like Mario and Courtney to make lasting memories with their little ones.

“I was so impressed with the zoo,” Mario says. “It was great. The kids really enjoyed themselves.”

Gia especially lit up as she got up close and personal with her favorite animal—the giraffe—for a feeding experience.

“She didn’t want to leave,” Mario says. “She even said she wants a job there.”

Over at the lorikeet exhibit, Dominic was all smiles as the colorful birds landed on him for a sip from his nectar cup.

“My son was brave and wanted [the lorikeets] all over him,” Mario says. “It took my daughter a second but she loved it.”

The entire Lopez family played like they were kids: even Mario’s mother got in on the lorikeet action.

“They loved my mom, and maybe that’s because my mom loves birds,” he says. “She had them all over her.”