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Don't Hibernate! Head to Roger Williams Park Zoo

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Winter is a Fine Time to Visit New England's Oldest Zoo
African Elephants Picture

The "Plains of Africa" section of the zoo is home to these African elephants.

© 2005 Kim Knox Beckius
Dateline: 1/5/05
Last Updated: 1/1/14

Birds fly south for the winter, but even my two-year-old knows that Dumbo is the only flying elephant. That means the African elephants that inhabit New England's oldest zoo can still be found munching hay on frosty days, and it also means that when that insidious disease--cabin fever--sets in, you have no excuse for hibernating at home. Head to the zoo!

Roger Williams Park Zoo in Providence, Rhode Island, is open every day of the year except Thanksgiving, Christmas Eve and Christmas Day, and winter is an affordable time to visit: The zoo is offering half-price admission for all visitors through February 28, 2014. While some fair-weather creatures do seek cover when temperatures drop below certain levels, a surprising number of animals remains on exhibit even when it gets a bit nippy here in New England. You might expect to see a polar bear on this virtual winter walk through the zoo (note: polar bears are no longer on display, and the zoo announced in 2012 it was suspending efforts to raise funds for a new polar bear habitat), but I guarantee you, the spindly-legged pink birds might astonish you.

New Year's Day 2005 was uncharacteristically mild, so my friend, Jessica, and I headed to Roger Williams Park Zoo in Providence for my toddler's first zoo adventure. Join us for a look at the animals and an opportunity to learn more about this historic and picturesque zoo.

When your kids are on school vacation break or you crave your own solo escape from the rat race, consider a visit to the zoo during its quiet, contemplative season. For more information on Roger Williams Park Zoo including hours and admission fees, call 401-785-3510 or visit the zoo's Web site.

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