There’s nothing quite like spending the holiday season in some unorthodox ways. The holidays don’t have to involve just being huddled around a Christmas tree or piano singing holiday carols. Enjoying the holidays around the animal members of our society can bring great joy to the season, as well!
About the Zoo
The Bergen County Zoo in ever-friendly New Jersey, tucked inside Van Saun County Park in the town of Paramus. The zoo opened its gates in 1960 and has been busily expanding their exhibits ever since. Exhibits are home to a variety of animals found only in North and South America, something unique to this particular zoo.
The bobcat exhibit displays the sometimes-reclusive bobcat, allowing guests to get a peek at this adorable cat. The North American Wetlands exhibit is home to a variety of birds, fish, and reptiles/amphibians that are found in our own backyards. Other exhibits include South American Tortoises, Andean Condors, and mountain lions.
Holiday with the Animals
Once December rolls around, the Bergen County Zoo goes all out in decorating the zoo grounds to entrance visitors and draw in hordes of guests during their holiday celebration. On December 15, 2013, the zoo opens its gates to holiday-ready guests and from noon to 3 p.m., guests are treated to seeing how the zoo’s animals get to celebrate the Christmas holiday.
The beloved train gives free rides to children and they can follow up their ride with free refreshments like cookies, candy, and hot chocolate to warm chilly fingers. Local boy scouts provide musical entertainment and fill the air with Christmas carols.
At 2 pm the most exciting part of the day occurs: the animals receive their very own special Christmas gifts. Zookeepers prepare these gifts in ways that the animals are stimulated and entertained while opening their goodies. Special foods and toys excite the zoo’s animals and delight guests as they tear into their gifts with enthusiasm.
Afterwards, guests can take free (if you bring your own camera) pictures with Santa Clause in an antique sleigh or, if parents wish, zoo staff can take a picture of the entire family with Old Saint Nick and put it into a holiday themed folder for a $5 donation. The donation goes towards the care of the animals and upkeep of the zoo grounds. Costumed characters dot the zoo and are available from noon to 3 p.m. for photo opportunities.