It’s beginning to look a lot like Christmas at the Zoo presented by Donatos and Teachers Credit Union. With everything you love about the Indianapolis Zoo plus Christmastime favorites like mistletoe and holly, and even a little Saint Nick, this really is the most wonderful time of the year! Have yourself a merry little Christmas at the Zoo from 5-9pm Wednesday through Sunday through Dec. 30, and if you’re planning a visit, these tips will help to make the season bright!
Do you know what I know? You can save a little silver and gold off the already lowered off-season price if you buy advance tickets online. Even if you need a little Christmas right this very minute, the electronic tickets are ready to use immediately — just print them out and tell the gang, “Giddy up, let’s go!”
The world’s in a hurry this December to get to Christmas at the Zoo exactly when it opens at 5pm. But don’t wait until the stars are brightly shining because the Zoo opens at noon. You’ll also find better parking before the hustle and bustle of the evening begins. As the night goes on and traffic picks up downtown, many of the cars that are westward leading will stop proceeding. Avoid the traffic by approaching the Zoo from the west.
If big ears on elephants and whiskers on kittens (OK, lions and cheetahs) are a few of your favorite things, arrive well before 4pm. After that, the Plains animals go away to their mangers. And though the aviaries of Encounters are closed for the season, you still may see a few calling birds out (weather permitting) during the day. But when the sun sets, it will be a silent night in that portion of the Zoo.
Though some animals prefer to stay indoors when, baby, it’s cold outside, still others are ready to say let it snow, let it snow, let it snow! Cold-climate natives like the Amur tiger, red panda and Alaskan brown bear are the most active in a winter wonderland.
A daytime visit with our animals is sure to make the season bright, but save two exhibits for a mid-night clear. The residents of our bat house are nocturnal, and when the sun sets in the early evening, the bats will awake from their long winter’s nap. You'll also enjoy a blue Christmas with our holiday dolphin shows at 6:30pm and 8pm, but get your tickets early before they dash away all! And be sure to dress up like Eskimos so you can enjoy the Zoo well into the night.
If your tummy does a little rum pa pum pum during your visit, skip the figgy pudding and head to Santa’s Sweet Shop or one of the other treat stops for some holiday goodies that come just once a year! Plus our cup of cheer will keep you warm and fuzzy this time of year — buy it early in the day and enjoy unlimited free refills of any hot beverage throughout your visit!
When the children ask if Santa Claus is coming to town, make your way to White River Gardens and step into Christmas. There you’ll find cookie decorating with Mrs. Claus, fun Christmas activities and, of course, the right jolly old elf. Check out the Christmas at the Zoo map for all the activities.
That night, when your children are nestled all snug in their beds, we hope that visions of a great Zoo visit dance in their heads!
Merry Christmas to all, and to all a good night!