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Tuesday, November 13, 2012

Day Trip! Review of Christmas at the Indianapolis Zoo

Photobucket A great road trip at Christmas time is the Indianapolis Zoo. Christmas at the Zoo begins around Thanksgiving, and ends at before the New Year. It opens at 5pm and closes at 9pm Wednesdays through Sundays. The zoo opens mid-day, and you can go to zoo and then stay for Christmas at the Zoo without paying extra.

PhotobucketThe zoo is covered in tons of lights from the trees at the entrance to the parking lot, to the hundreds of trees throughout the zoo. There are standing animal shaped lights, blinking lights, and artificial trees that flash to music. At the entrance to the zoo, we were greeted by a reindeer named Wilma, and learned that reindeer are the only animals where the male and female both have antlers. There are other animals that stay up late including the sea lions, polar bear, walrus, tigers, brown bear and many more. When we went there, we saw the brown bear on his back playing with a giant red ball - it was adorable! You can walk through the Desert and see lots of live reptiles and other desert animals up close. You can walk through the Oceans building and pet the sharks while visiting the ocean animals.

PhotobucketYou can also walk under the Dolphin Dome and watch the dolphins swim underwater, or go see one of the 2 Dolphin Shows put on each night. But beware - the Dolphin shows do "sell out" fast - they are free, but it is a first come, first serve basis. When we showed up the first night, the tickets were already gone for both shows by 6pm. The second night, we went to the zoo at noon and got our tickets for that night right away. The show lasts about 15 minutes, but it was great! There is a dolphin on each side of the pool doing tricks, so sitting anywhere in the stadium seating is excellent. You can also choose to sit in the "splash zone" where you WILL get wet during the show. You can even buy a "Junior Dolphin Trainer experience" where you kids can give signs to the dolphin to tell them to do tricks during the show.

Throughout the zoo, there are cafes open for snacks and hot chocolate, campfires, a group of carolers, the carousel is open, and you can take a Holiday Train Ride. There is also a special building called Santa's Village. In Santa's Village you can get a photo with Santa, decorate cookies with Mrs. Claus, or write letters to Santa. We had such a great time at Christmas at the Zoo, we went two nights in a row. It is crowded, and it is easier to get in the earlier you arrive, but it is worth it. Christmas at the Indianapolis Zoo is a must see! For more information, go to their website.  They may have changed things a bit from last year! Christmas at the Zoo is included with regular off-season admission which is $9.50 for adults and $7.50 for kids and seniors. You can get $1.00 off with each donation of a new hat, scarf or gloves to a local Indianapolis charity, just bring them with you!

By guest contributor: Caryn

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