Winter At Turtle Back Zoo


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If you can remember back a few days, January 24 was a very warm day; 50 degrees according to the thermostat on my car. After some very cold and snowy and then wet days it was a welcome change. As it turned out, my youngest did not have school that day, so after a few morning errands we went to Turtle Back Zoo.

A winter trip to the zoo is not normal for me, but this wasn’t a normal day. It was like spring. From what we saw at the zoo, the animals felt the same way. While some zoo residents, like the crocodile and the birds in the aviary, spend summers in warmer climates, there were plenty of others to see. The wolves had beautiful full coats and were happily basking in the sun. The prairie dogs were wagging tails and playfully jumping around their habitat. In the penguin pen, the penguins were walking around spreading their small wings to warm themselves. The red panda was curled in a ball right on the outside edge of his habitat with his face in the sun. We saw one of the black bears, I’m not sure if it was Jelly or Jam, up close as he came to the window to visit.

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What I loved most about the zoo was that I think we were one of eight to ten sets of people visiting. I don’t think I’ve ever had such a great parking space. Inside, there was plenty of open space for running, jumping and spreading arms. Freedom to roam as I like to call it. This was my kind of day. Our total time in the zoo was probably not more than 90 minutes, but with a membership (which pays for itself within a few visits) I didn’t mind. It was a great way to get some fresh air, talk about the animals and really feel like we had the place to ourselves.

If you’re looking for an outdoor activity on a warm winter day, this is a great option. Keep in mind though that it is winter. The zoo’s hours are 10 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. The train, carousel, aviary, pony rides, and animal feeding areas are closed. The Zoo Café is also closed, which was OK for us; we had our hot chocolate at home.

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