November Family Fun at the Zoo
By Meg Berno

November Family Fun at the Zoo

October in Ohio brings apple and pumpkin-picking, leaf-peeping and Halloween festivities. December means getting excited about holiday light displays and even reindeer sightings. But what about November – a so-called “in between” month? Take it from me – it’s a perfect time to do the zoo in Ohio.

Here are my top five reasons to take your family to the zoo in November:

  1. It will be winter soon, so it makes sense to spend as much time outdoors as possible. Watch for a sunny yet brisk day, dress the family in layers and enjoy one of Ohio’s fantastic zoos in Cincinnati, Cleveland, Toledo, Akron or Columbus. Each zoo is known for something different, so maybe take advantage of the four weekends in November and find a way to do them all!
  2. Because November can be a “shoulder” or off-peak season for zoos, you may find them a bit quieter and less crowded than usual. Enjoy the wide open walkways, shorter waiting times, fewer lines and better viewing spots for your favorite animals and zoo rides. Carousels, anyone?
  3. If the weather is cool, it’s a great time to see the animals. In fact, many of the animals are more active during the rain or in colder weather making it one of the best times to visit a zoo. You may get to see more interesting activity than
    on a hot summer morning or afternoon. During a recent visit to the Columbus Zoo, we saw the polar bears swimming, leopards prowling and gorillas showing off – most of whom had been sleeping on our visits earlier in the season.
  4. There’s always lots to do at the zoo both inside and outdoors. If it’s rainy, stick to the indoor attractions. The Cincinnati Zoo created a terrific, downloadable guide for families who want to stay warm and dry yet still enjoy the best of the zoo. Cincinnati Zoo also has a Kids Favorites printable guide for zoo activities kids love most. Thoughtful, right? My daughter and I went to the Columbus Zoo one rainy day and enjoyed indoor habitat viewing of the manatees, gorillas, elephants and rhinos, plus spent some time in the aquarium and reptiles buildings.
  5. In November, many zoos start putting up their lights for holiday special events, a family  favorite. Cincinnati Zoo’s PNC Festival of Lights runs November 25, 2011 to January 1, 2012; Columbus Zoo’s Wildlights event is open during the evenings of November 18, 2011 through January 1, 2012; check the other zoo websites for their details. During these festive events, the zoos deck the halls, trees, bushes and everything but the animals with eco-friendly LED lights. If you haven’t experienced the beauty of Ohio’s zoos at night, bundle up the whole family and start a new holiday tradition.

What have I missed? How do you and your family enjoy the zoo during November in Ohio?


About the Author

Meg Berno is a freelance writer and Marketing Coordinator with the Dublin Convention & Visitors Bureau. Meg graduated from Miami University with a degree in Strategic Communications. Outside of work, Meg enjoys photography, writing and finding new places to explore in Ohio.