A Taste of the Toledo Zoo
By Theresa Russell

The minute I see one of the buildings at the Toledo Zoo, I am transported back a few years to my childhood days when I scrambled to sit on the concrete hippo or ride on the real tortoise that lived there long ago. Built as a WPA project, the Toledo Zoo still maintains those original buildings, many built of recycled materials and some of them built by my great grandfather, a bricklayer and newer resident of Toledo. The architecture is as fascinating as the exhibits within.

Many changes have occurred at the Toledo Zoo since those long ago days, but the zoo still remains one of the premier zoos in the country. Expansions, concerts and even an outdoor adventure park keep the zoo on the map for visitors of all ages.

Photo Credit: Toledo Zoo



Throughout the year, including the low-season, a variety of activities draw visitors to experience the zoo in a different way.


Photo Credit: Toledo Zoo

  • Vanimal-tine’s Day on February 10 spreads the love as your favorite animals receive special love-themed and species appropriate treats.
  • Wine tastings, which are sometimes paired with meals, happen throughout the Winter and Spring. These offer an excellent opportunity to see the zoo in a different light and to enjoy spaces like the Malawi Event Center, Africa! Overlook, Arctic or Aquarium. Of course, trying new wines completes the picture.
  • Once Upon a Vine – Don’t miss this opportunity on February 23 to contribute to the conservation, educational and animal care programs at the Toledo Zoo. During this special night starting in Nature’s Neighborhood, where you will enjoy cocktails and hors d’œuvres, you will have the opportunity to engage in forest exhibits that feature cutter ants, beehives and live animals. Photo opps abound. After this intro part of the event, guests will enjoy a four-course meal paired with wines.

Photo Credit: Toledo Zoo


Consider visiting the zoo in the winter. Through March 2, admission to the Toledo Zoo is 50% off with a coupon found on the website.

For more family fun, Find It Here at Ohio.org.

About the Author