Go wild

By Melody Vallieu

July 12, 2014

By Alexandra Newman

For the Troy Daily News

There’s no better time that a warm summer’s day to make a visit to one Ohio’s zoos to interact with some the world’s wild animals.

From monkeys to lions, the zoo offers animal lovers a place to see, hear and sometimes even touch some of the many species represented.

The following is a list of Ohio’s animal havens and this year’s times and prices for hanging out with marsupials and more.

Cincinnati Zoo & Botanical Garden

New things to see: The newest addition to the Cincinnati Zoo is the African Painted Dog. They are one of the rarest species in Africa and can run up to 37 miles per hour. The zoo also has a baby giraffe that was born in April. Her name is Nasha and can be found in the Giraffe exhibit.

Special Events: The zoo has many special events coming up including a run/walk called the Cheetah Run 5K. The event will be held on Aug. 31 and costs around $40. Registration for the event can be obtained online or at the zoo the day of the event. Twilight in the Garden is another special event coming up on July 17. Tickets are $20 a person and include parking and admission to the zoo. Guided tours will be given through the park starting at 7 p.m. that evening, giving guests incite into some of the exhibits and history of the zoo. Tickets for this event can also be purchased on the zoos website.

Pricing: General one day admission ticket prices are as follows: adult (ages 13-61) $15, child/senior (ages 2-12; and 62+) $11. Other one-day admission packages can be purchased as well, ranging in price from $16 to $21 for a child/senior ticket and $20 to $24 for an adult ticket. These other packages include access to the zoo’s 4D Special-FX Theater, unlimited rides on their train and carousel or access to both the theatre and the rides. All ticket packages can be purchased online, some for a discounted rate. Parking at the zoo costs $9.

Hours: Cincinnati Zoo & Botanical Garden is open from May-September from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. with early access at 9am for members. The zoo is also open for limited hours all year long. More information on any of the events, hours and pricing can be found on their website

Columbus Zoo and Aquarium

New things to see: The Columbus Zoo opened its Heart of Africa exhibit this summer featuring more than 150 African animals. Sting Ray Bay is now open too, where guests can learn about up close and even touch the Sting Rays.

Special Events: There are many special events this summer at the Columbus Zoo. Every Friday night during July and August is host to the Jazzoo concert, a jazz concert for all ages. Zoobezi Bay, the Columbus Zoo’s water park, hosts a “Dive-in” Movie Night every Friday. The movie is free with admission to the park. All ticket prices and times are available on the Columbus Zoo’s website.

Pricing: General one day admission ticket prices are as follows: Under 2 Free, ages 2-9 $9.99, ages 10-59 $14.99 and ages 60-plus $10.99. Other admission packages can be purchased as well. All tickets can be purchased on the zoo’s website as well. Parking at the Columbus Zoo is $8 per car.

Hours: Columbus Zoo and Aquarium is open from 10 a.m. to 7 p.m. daily from May to September. The zoo is also open for limited hours all year long. For more information on any events, hours and pricing can be found on their website

The Toledo Zoo

New things to see: The Aquarium part of the zoo is currently under construction, but pieces of it are opening up little by little. Part of the new penguin exhibit opened this summer. Also new to the zoo this summer are Meerkat and Otter pups.

Special Events: The Toledo Zoo Summer Concert Series will be a host to many famous names this summer. Gavin DeGraw and Matt Nathanson will be there on July 17 and Willie Nelson and Alison Krauss will be there on July 18. The Toledo Symphony concert band will also be performing on special Music Under the Stars Nights at the zoo for free. All ticket information can be found on the Toledo Zoo’s website.

Pricing: General daily admission is as follows: Under 2 Years free, children (under 12) $12, adults $15 and seniors $12. Purchasing tickets online will save you $1 and there are also other special discounts you can receive. All the ticketing information is broken down on the zoo’s website. Parking is $7 per vehicle at the zoo.

Hours: The Toledo Zoo is open 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. daily between Memorial Day and Labor Day. For more information on any event, hours and pricing can be found on their website