Families with children as old as 12-years-old numbering nearly 2,000 people came to hunt for Easter eggs at the Roosevelt Park Zoo Easter egg hunt Saturday from noon to 3 p.m.
This was the first year where the event lasted three hours as opposed to the two of previous years. This allowed enough time for an additional hunt for each of the four age groups.
"It was a little chilly outside but the hunts went well. It was really fun," said Staci Kenney, executive director of the Greater Minot Zoological Society. "We did a couple of educational activities, we did enrichment with some of our animals, so it was really exciting."
Two 3 1/2-year-old twin girls ride the merry-go-round Saturday afternoon at Roosevelt Park Zoo in Minot following the Easter egg hunt where they exchanged their eggs for candies. The family arrived just a little late for the hunt but the girls were placed with the age group above their own. The girls still managed to find plenty of eggs.
Easter egg hunter Eliza poses with the Easter Bunny on her way out of the Easter egg hunt at Roosevelt Park Zoo Saturday afternoon.
Easter egg hunt participants Allie-May and Hunter pose in front of the lion cage, where a lioness looks on, at Roosevelt Park Zoo Saturday afternoon after hunting for eggs. Allie-May said she likes the lions but is afraid of the Easter Bunny.
"As far as the number of people I think we're about the same as last year, however it was a lot warmer last year," she added. "So, you always have the weather you have to deal with but the turnout went well."
The animals were a hit with area children, according to some parents there.
"The bears, if it were up to them, of course they would go and give them a big hug," Michael Reder said of his two 3 1/2-year-old twin girls.
The hunt areas gave the children an early look at some of the most popular animals before the zoo opens on May 3. On one side were the brown bears, who play-fought and rolled around with one another in their cage next to the 9 through 12-years-old age group hunting area. On the opposite end a lion and lioness entertained two small children named Allie-May and Hunter.
Allie-May said that she liked the lions but didn't like the Easter Bunny because it was scary. Still, she found 12 eggs, she said, and exchanged them for candies.
Her mom, Sarah Rian, said that they would be coming back again next year because "it was a lot of fun."
None of the children interviewed by The Minot Daily News had found a golden egg, the top prizes. There were 16 of them distributed throughout the hunting areas.
"The golden egg baskets ranged from stuffed animals, different toys, they were all different and it was really cool," Kenney said.
There was also more time to enjoy the hunts.
"Last year the event only lasted for two hours and we had four age groups, three hunts each age group. We extended the event to three hours ... and then we did four hunts for each age group," she said. "I think that helped space it out a little bit more. We didn't have the issue of a lot of people trying to squeeze into a certain time because there was more options."