Ohio is full of things to do. One of our favorite places to go are the many zoos our state has to offer. This time, we visited the Cleveland Metroparks Zoo!
To celebrate Jensen’s fifth birthday, I thought it’d be a fun idea to go. Mila is really into animals right now and I love seeing them as well. We found out that April is a perfect time to go, even though we had a sprinkle of rain.
This zoo is HUGE. We didn’t even get to go to two big attractions because there was so much to go through. There’s always next time though.
One tip for when you explore this zoo is to bring your walking shoes! There’s a lot of walking to get to the different attractions. When you do check out these five things we loved about the Cleveland Metroparks zoo.
One of the best parts of this zoo is all the interactions toddlers through adults can utilize.
The zoo key program allows visitors to receive so much information. All you have to do is purchase them and go to the front of different exhibits to find out all about the animals. Mila will love this even more when she’s older.
Her favorite interaction was the animal statues. I think she sat on every single one she could. It was a way for her to get an up close view of the actual animals she just seen. She was very observant and pointed out all of their features. Every parent was respectful of this and wiped down the statues afterwards. I really do think these interactions let Mila explore and understand more.
Hopefully by the next time we visit this zoo, all the playground and other explorative areas will be open. All of these areas are my favorite part of the zoo, but unfortunately they’re closed. The play area in the Australia section is huge and I’m sure Mila would have loved it.
There’s also opportunities to feed different animals and other interactive parts that we didn’t get to do because I thought Mila was a little too young.
I’m unsure if it was the time of the year or the animals were just in a really good mood, but they were all out to impress.
Every attraction we went to we could see the animals. Usually in the summer they’re trying to cool off. Since it was a chilly April day, they all wanted to walk around and play. It was amazing to see some of the animals we normally don’t get to see.
Two of my favorites were the big cats and the red pandas.
There are a few different species of big cats, but I was obsessed with the tiger and snow leopard. The tiger was just walking around and kept going right in front of us. He was absolutely beautiful. I don’t think I’ve ever seen one that close up and moving around. The snow leopard, on the other hand, just made me laugh. He was sleepy and hanging out on a little perch just watching. I came to the conclusion that’s how I would be if I was a big cat too.
Then, the red pandas were out to play. It was like they were playing tag. It was adorable and I think we spent way too much time just watching and giggling at them. Again, this isn’t an animal we get to see often, so it was a different experience.
Mila loved the tundra exhibit, especially the wolves. She also enjoyed seeing the African animals, such as the elephants, giraffes, and the lions. They’re all animals she’s very familiar with and she was amazed that she could actually see them in person. The only animals that scared her were the kangaroos. She said they looked like big rats!
No matter how much we loved all the other animals, the flamingos hold a special place in Mila’s heart. They were the last animals we saw and she asked about them the entire time.
Before we left, we stood for at least twenty minutes just watching them.
We talked about why they were pink and how their ‘knees’ are actually their ankles. She asked why they were squawking at each other too. Mostly, she kept saying she wanted to bet them and let them know they were being ‘good boys.’
Of course we didn’t let her in the enclosure, but she did get her flamingo fix in for the day!
As mentioned before, there was a little rain that happened. Thankfully, we were right by the carrousel.
Mila has been on one before, but not since she’s been able to remember. While we were in line, she was determined to ride the shark, but a little boy got to it first. After much deliberation, she finally chose the donkey to ride.
She really had a blast. We were able to escape the sprinkle and enjoy a fun ride. It was also great seeing her be independent and wanting to ride by herself.
After the ride was over, she wanted to go back on again and again. It actually lasted for quite awhile which was nice! The carrousel only costed three dollars per adult, which was definitely worth the cost!
The Dippin’ Dots
I mean, this is totally self explanatory.
Believe me, I know Dippin’ Dots are available at most zoos throughout the country. Yet, they’re just extra special when you’re there.
We absolutely loved this visit to the zoo and will definitely be headed back in the near future. Next time we go, we want to make sure to visit “The Rainforest” and the primate area since we missed them this visit.
It truly was a great way to celebrate Jensen’s day!
A big thank you to the Cleveland Metroparks Zoo for having a great place for families to go and learn about animals we normally would never see. It’s always nice to see animals happy and well taken care of! All the zoo employees that we encountered were nice and helpful too!
Have you ever been to the Cleveland Metroparks Zoo? Or where is your favorite zoo that Mila and I can visit in the future? Ohio and beyond!