If you haven’t figured it out by now, I love zoos! Everywhere we travel we look for a brewery (for my husband) and a zoo or aquarium (for me). Why? Animals! I love animals. All of them. Feathers, fur, scales… doesn’t matter. Something about seeing animals just brings a smile to my face. And the best thing about zoos that many people don’t realize is that the zoo is great all year long! You don’t have to suffer through the hot summer days at the zoo. Go for Easter in the spring or a “brew at the zoo” in the fall. Even better, go in the winter! There is something extra special about the winter zoo. While it is not the only zoo that I’ve visited in the winter, the Rosamond Gifford Zoo is definitely the zoo that I’ve visited most often – and in every season! Keep reading to find out why I love the winter zoo so much.
It’s Cheaper… or Free!
Because so few people think about going to the zoo in the winter, most zoos discount the price for the season. At the Rosamond Gifford Zoo, they celebrate Snow Leopard Days in January and February. During these months admission is cut in half! Even better, during the month of January, the zoo has “Winter at the Zoo Photo Contest” to bring more people to the zoo. One person per group/family per day is allowed in the zoo for free if they show a camera at the admission desk. (Mobile phones excluded.) Every year I say I’m going to enter the contest. But every year I take lots of photos and keep them to myself!
The crowds and the heat are gone
No peeking over other people’s heads. Nobody blocking your pictures. No dying of heat and dehydration. Yea, you may be a bit chilly, but it’s worth it! The winter zoo is much more enjoyable. I can’t tell you how many days I’ve spent at the zoo in the summer heat only to be exhausted and desperate for water at the end. Dripping in sweat and uncomfortable. In the winter that’s not a problem! And there have been countless times when I’ve told a friend that I’m going to the zoo in the winter. Their response? “I’ve never even thought about going to the zoo in the winter.” Well… think about it! It’s a great idea.
The animals are more active
Yes, really. In the summer the animals get overheated and tired just like we do! that’s why we so often see them sleeping or lying the shade. But in the winter? They are running around and playing! Most of them are easier to find against the white blanket of snow. Some of my favorites in the winter? The snow leopards and wolves for sure! Tigers and otters are great too. Yes, there will be some that are inside because they can’t handle the cold. But you’ll be pleasantly surprised at how many animals you can see better in the winter.
Half of the animals are inside anyway!
People are so hesitant to go to the zoo in the winter, but not all of the animals are outside! Most people associate zoos with the big animals – lions, tigers, bears (oh my!), elephants, giraffes, etc. But what about the fish? The small mammals and birds? The reptiles and amphibians? The majority of zoos have at least half of their exhibits indoors. Indoors, where it’s warm and cozy, even if there’s a blizzard outside. Spend all the time you want there!
Do you have a favorite zoo to visit in your hometown? What makes it so special? Let me know in the comments!