While many zoos around the area close for the winter season, there are some fun events coming up that will let Indiana families experience animals of all shapes and sizes, despite the chill in the air.
The largest event, Christmas at the Zoo at the Indianapolis Zoo, opens today (December 3) and runs through December 30. Each night beginning at 5 p.m., the zoo grounds will light up with a spectacular display of Christmas lights. Many of the animals will be out, including the polar bear, seals, walrus and brown bear. You can warm up inside one of the zoo’s many buildings, like the Dolphin Dome. There will be visits by Santa, Mrs. Claus and the reindeer, the holiday train will run, and there will be plenty of hot chocolate to go around.
This weekend (December 4-5, 2010) at Evansville’s Mesker Park Zoo, children can have breakfast with Santa. Kids can make a holiday craft, have their picture taken with Santa, and see some of the animals up close and personal. Registration is required. More information is available here.
On Saturday, December 18, the Fort Wayne Children’s Zoo will open its doors when Santa and the reindeer pay a visit. Register in advance for this 90-minute holiday program. Time slots are available throughout the day. To help break up holiday vacation boredom, you might also consider signing up your kids for one of the zoo’s day camps. You can even ring in the new year at the zoo! Information about all the holiday activities is available here.
Also on December 18, the Exotic Feline Rescue Center in Center Point, Indiana will open at 4 p.m. for Winter Wonderland, the last event of the year. The center will be decorated for the holidays and refreshments will be offered after touring the facility.
It’s never too cold to connect with nature and soak up some holiday cheer at Indiana’s zoos!
Photo courtesy of the Indianapolis Zoo.