Posts tagged Cleveland Zoo

And A Happy Zoo Year!

This year is quickly coming to a close, but that doesn’t mean all zoo events are over!  Many local zoos are planning to greet 2010 with a bang this year.

Cleveland Metroparks Zoo holds their "Noon at the Zoo 2009"

On December 31, the Cleveland Metroparks Zoo will hold its annual New Years celebration that they call “Noon Years Eve.”  This event is tailored especially for young children who may not be able to ring in the new year at midnight.  Instead, the zoo invites families with children to countdown to noon on the 31st.

Last year my father and I went out of sheer curiosity.  It was actually a very cute event.  A DJ was present and busy providing musical entertainment for the kids, Zoo staff were handing out free goodies and everyone was having a general good time.  When the time came to countdown to noon, a large boomer ball with 2009 painted on it was lowered as attendees watched.

Noon Years Eve at the Toledo Zoo

The Cleveland Zoo isn’t the only one with New Years festivities.  The Toledo Zoo will also be having their own “Noon Years Eve” on December 31.  The Toledo Zoo will also be holding family-friendly activities from 11:00 a.m. until 1:00 p.m. which includes a countdown to noon.

The Cincinnati Zoo will also be holding a similar event called a Happy Zoo Year on December 31st.

These events not only provide a fun activity for families with children, they also give zoos a chance to engage their public.  It is a wonderful opportunity to showcase all that the zoos have to offer and hopefully gain some new members out of the visiting families.

Zoos also like to hold specials during the winter months to keep visitors coming even when it is cold out.

In order to entice people to visit during the coldest part of the year the Cleveland Zoo has Polar Bear days.  Starting January 2nd and lasting until the 31st, admission to the zoo is half-price when the temperature is below 32 degrees.

The Cincinnati Zoo holds a similar event called Frozentoesen.  From January to February admission to the zoo is half-price.  There is also ice carving, entertainment and special animal feedings for guests to enjoy.

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More Holiday Cheer

Santa and Mrs. Claus visit the penguins at the Akron Zoo

The Columbus Zoo isn’t the only zoo with fun events for the holidays.  The Cleveland Zoo, Akron Zoo, Toledo Zoo and Cincinnati Zoo all have exciting special events planned for the Christmas season.

The Akron Zoo is holding its annual Snack with Santa event December 12, 13, 19 & 20 this year.  The event is a popular and fun event for families with children.

The children are invited to decorate their own Christmas cookies, feed the Humboldt Penguins and get their pictures taken with Santa Clause himself!

This event is very popular and sometimes sells out.  Attendees are encouraged to buy tickets ahead of time for their preferred date.

The jolly old elf will also be making an appearance at the Cleveland Zoo for their Breakfast with Santa event.  Also geared towards families with young children, the event features a breakfast, holiday crafts, animal encounters, gifts for the children, and of course, pictures with Santa Claus.

This event will take place on December 5, 6, 12 & 13th inside the zoo’s Primate, Cats & Aquatics building.  It is also a very popular event and once again, attendees are encouraged to buy their tickets ahead of time.

Festival of Lights at the Cincinnati Zoo

As I had mentioned in my last post, Columbus Zoo isn’t the only place where you can go to see holiday lights and animals.  Both the Toledo Zoo and the Cincinnati Zoo have light shows planned this year.  This is good news for our friends in both north and south Ohio.

The Cincinnati Zoo’s light show is called the Festival of Lights and is sponsored by PNC bank.  They too have a light show around their swan lake for visitors to enjoy.  They also have a puppet show for younger guests, holiday entertainers, a Polar Express 4-D experience, a gingerbread village, and stories read by Mrs. Clause.  Santa Claus will also be on hand so children can get in their last minute requests.

The event Starts Friday, November 27 and runs through January 3rd.  Tickets are available online at the zoo’s website.

The Lights Before Christmas at the Toledo Zoo

I had mentioned very briefly in my last post that the Toledo Zoo has a light show as well.  It is called the Lights Before Christmas and is sponsored by Key Bank.  The event begins November 20th and runs through December 31st this year.

My grandparents used to live near Toledo in the city of Oregon.  When we came for Christmas, it was tradition to visit the zoo and see their light show.

It has grown significantly since then and now features over one million lights, 200 images of favorite zoo animals, ice carving demonstrations, holiday performances, and visits with Santa.  There is something for the whole family and it is an event that is definitely worth checking out.

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Zoo Haunts

I have always associated October with fun at the Zoo.  When I was little my family lived in Columbus.  This meant that as Halloween drew nearer each October, I would wait in anticipation for Boo at the Zoo.  The annual event held at the Columbus Zoo and Aquarium was always exciting.  Where else could you dress up, get candy and see animals all at the same time?

Boo at the Cleveland Zoo

Boo at the Cleveland Zoo

Today nearly every zoo does something to celebrate Halloween in a kid-friendly way.  Not only is this event fun for children, the adults have a good time too.  It is also a great way to showcase the zoo.  Families that have never visited the zoo before can get a first-hand look at all it has to offer.

Boo at the Akron Zoo

Boo at the Akron Zoo

A few years ago I was an intern at the Akron Zoo.  While I was there I was able to help out with the organization and execution of their Boo at the Zoo event.

In order to put together a successful event, it requires a lot of teamwork, organization and creativity.  Candy had to be purchased and organized, decorations had to be set up and the Communications Department had to get the word out to the community.

Boo at the Zoo usually takes place the last two or three weekends of October. At the Cleveland Metroparks Zoo and Akron Zoo, the zoos close to the general public a little early in order to get ready for the evening event.  Due to the popularity of the event, tickets are sold in advance and many times sell out.  At the Toledo Zoo, Cincinnati Zoo, and Columbus Zoo, Boo at the Zoo runs all day and is part of regular admission.

Most zoos have fun decorating for Halloween.  At the Akron Zoo, different parts of the park have different themes.  Some of these include a pirate grotto, the old west and under the sea.  There are twelve themed stations in all around the park.

Dinosaurs! is part of Clevelands Boo at the Zoo

Dinosaurs! is part of Cleveland's Boo at the Zoo

Other zoos have special features as well.  At the Cleveland Metroparks Zoo they have extended their popular Dinosaurs! exhibit through Boo at the Zoo.  However, visitors do have the option to skip the exhibit if it is too scary for younger trick-or-treaters.

Watch the video below to see how Cincinnati Zoo keepers entertain visitors and animals by giving the animals pumpkins filled with treats.  It is enrichment with a holiday flair.  

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