I’ve heard that shopping is cheaper than therapy, but I’ve found something that’s even better: grab a girlfriend and head to Zoo Blooms at the Cincinnati Zoo & Botanical Garden! I love my kids and have taken them on lots of adventures, but when my teenage son couldn’t understand why I wanted to go to the zoo to look at flowers, I knew this trip required a female companion. So I invited my friend Melanie to join me.
Before we even entered the zoo’s parking lot, masses of colorful tulips planted in front of the zoo’s sign tantalized us with a hint of what was to come.
At the entrance we were greeted with a stunning display of more colorful tulips: bright yellow tulips with a hint of apricot, backed by deep purple blooms. Oh so pretty!
We soon found another mass of color in a garden near the Reptile House. The many trees in bloom added even more color.
We chatted while we walked, but our conversations were frequently interrupted when we spotted yet another variety or color of tulips. Many of the displays featured groupings of different colors, but a few gardens had mixed varieties. We had to stop for a closer look at these.
The daffodils blooming in my yard are now past their prime, so I was delighted to also find some daffodil varieties at their peak. We found several spots where dozens of hyacinths were in full bloom. Not only were they eye-catching, but the fragrance was also heavenly.
While the tulips were show-offs that begged for our attention, there were many other trees, shrubs, and perennials that put on a more modest display of quiet beauty.
Walking amidst the colorful blooms while chatting with a girlfriend was truly therapeutic.
While the flowers were our primary objective, you can’t visit a zoo without viewing some of the animals. We saw white lions sunbathing, giraffes feeding, and polar bears enjoying a cool spring day.
The animals that stole our hearts on this visit, though, were the cheetah cubs in the nursery. Melanie and I both fell in love with the oh-so-adorable cubs. They were too cute for words.
The zoo offers Tunes & Blooms, a series of free concerts, every Thursday in April from 6 – 8:30 p.m. Admission is free after 5 pm. Parking is $10.