Saturday, December 28, 2013

Christmas 2013 at the Columbus Zoo

It had been several years since we had been to the Columbus Zoo at Christmas time.  When I taught AP Biology at Cabell Midland High School we took a class trip there every year.  We typically went on the Saturday after Thanksgiving.  We would charter a coach and leave the school at 8 am which would put us at the zoo around 11 am.  We would eat a brownbag lunch and get behind-the-scenes tours at several of the exhibits.  We would have enough daylight to see the animals and since the weather was cool, many of the animals were much more active than in warmer weather.  As the evening approached the Christmas lights would come up.  Carolers and Dickens characters would walk around the zoo grounds to entertain guests.  There would be an ice skating rink, roasting nuts warm cider and hot chocolate.  It was an excellent class trip.
Today it was only Mary and I for the trip.  We left home at 8 am and drove to Columbus through Portsmouth, Chillicothe and Circleville.  We went to Juergen’s German Bakery and Restaurant in Columbus’ German Village for lunch.  It is a small family owned restaurant, bakery and German store in an old building on 4th Street.  There were only a few tables but people came and went there the whole time we were there.  Most of the staff at Juergen’s was from Germany and chatted with us in German, at least as much as we could.  Mary had a Kase Schnitzel with is a pan fried veal cutlet covered with melted cheese.  My Jeager Schnitzel was covered in mushroom gravy.  We both had a generous serving of Spaetzel and an assortment of breads made fresh on the premises.  Before we left, we bought a huge coconut macaroon that was moist and delicious, a Bavarian cream dessert, a slice of Lebkuchen (gingerbread) and some anise cookies.  It was all quite good.
We arrived at the Columbus Zoo around 12:30 and used our Cincinnati Zoo membership to get a 50% discount on admission.  When we arrived we were concerned that the wind might make the trip too cold but once we got inside the zoo there was little wind.  
The temperatures got to the low 60s with lots of sunshine which is great for Columbus in late December.  The North America exhibits included bears, wolves, bison, pronghorns, moose, cougars, bobcats and swans.
From there, we walked through the Asia and Africa exhibits.  We were especially entertained by the Langur monkeys.  One monkey was especially mischievous and spent the time we were there harassing and tormenting the other Langurs.  Mary said that monkey reminded her of me.  I can’t imagine why!
Of course, we had to go see the red pandas.  They were up in one of the trees in their exhibit and took time to playfully romp for us.  We enjoyed the exhibits of African lions, black rhinos, Humbolt penguins and koalas before checking some of the exhibits in buildings as the light dimmed.  The reptile house is always good and has well displayed specimens of a nice variety of reptiles and amphibians.  
We ended our visit at the aquarium.  Since the room was warm, we nodded off as we watched the variety of fish in the huge tank.  When the room started to fill with people we moved on and made our way to the zoo exit.  As we were leaving there were many people coming in to the zoo for the evening’s light shows.  As the zoo was getting crowded, we were happy to be leaving.
We drove around I-270 back to Rt. 23 South and drove to Chillicothe where we picked up Rt. 35.  We stopped for dinner in Rio Grande, Ohio at the Bob EvansRestaurant.  This restaurant is on the grounds of Bob Evans Farms and is at the site of the original Bob Evans which was built in 1946.  We both enjoyed our salads and started back home.  We arrived at the house at 9 pm and turned in after doing a little reading.  We had a really nice day and are looking forward to going back to the Columbus Zoo in warmer weather when some of the less cold tolerant animals will be on display and active.


View Larger Map

No comments:

Post a Comment