It’s a Jungle Out There: The Cleveland Metroparks Zoo

by | Sep 19, 2019 | Family Friendly Stuff

Caroline Weingart, Director of Settling-In Services


In honor of EA’s 40th anniversary, I would like to share one of my favorite places in Northeast Ohio: the Cleveland Metroparks Zoo.
Originally located in Wade Oval in 1882, the Cleveland Metroparks Zoo used to be called Wade Park. Jeptha Wade donated land (and deer) to the City of Cleveland – the initial residents. In 1907, City Council decided to move the Zoo to where it is now; the Cleveland Museum of Art was in its development stage and would eventually take over the Zoo’s former location. After a few ownership changes, the Cleveland Metroparks took over management of the Zoo in 1975.
My family had a membership to the Zoo when I was a kid. We used to go to Boo at the Zoo every year, and I continued the tradition with my own family.
Now in its 30th year, Boo at the Zoo is one of Cleveland’s favorite family-friendly Halloween events. This year, it runs October 11th through 27th (on Fridays, Saturdays, and Sundays). Our kids loved going to the Zoo “late at night” from 5–9 p.m. dressed in their Halloween costumes. The more places they could wear them, the better.
In the winter, we would visit the crocodiles in the Rain Forest and often enjoyed exploring other parts of the Zoo like the Northern Trek area to see the polar bears and reindeer. Our extended family still spends a day there each summer when they are in town.
My lifelong love of the Zoo was partially inspired my love of animals. My father’s long involvement as a member of the Cleveland Zoological Society inspired me, too. When I came back to Cleveland after college, it was fun to support the Zoo by working on the Twilight at the Zoo committee in its early years. The event features local bands. Plus, party-goers can enjoy beer, wine, and small bites, all while supporting the Cleveland Metroparks Zoo and Cleveland Zoological Society.
There are so many ongoing events at the Zoo. Certain memberships allow you to spend a morning with a zookeeper, during which you get to learn about your favorite species of animals. My daughter’s Brownie troop did an overnight program where we learned all about the wolves, called “Tiger Tracks”
Check out some of the exhibits, fixtures, and buildings that have opened in the last 40 years:

  • 1997: Wolf Wilderness Lodge (orientation/education center focusing on animals once found in Ohio, including wolves)
  • 2000: Australian Adventure
  • 2004: Sarah Allison Steffee Center for Zoological Medicine (known for its contributions to zoo veterinary medicine worldwide)
  • 2011: African Elephant Crossing
  • 2014: Circle of Wildlife Carousel
  • 2016: Rosebrough Tiger Passage
  • 2018: Asian Highlands
  • 2018: Mandel Welcome Pavilion

These additions help educate anyone who walks into the Zoo. And with over 1.1 million visitors each year, it’s one of the largest providers of informal science education in Northeast Ohio. I can’t forget to mention all the Zoo does for wildlife conservation to protect species as well as benefit wildlife and human communities and the habitats we share.
Gather your family, friends and significant others and stop in to see all that is going on at one of Cleveland’s treasures. Mondays are free to people living in Cuyahoga County and Hinckley Township!
Your candidates and their families seek out the education and connections that Executive Arrangements provides to newcomers in order to choose Northeast Ohio as their permanent home. If you’d like to hear a few examples of how we’ve helped our clients steer a tough recruit to the finish line as well as make sure their family was acclimated and growing roots, please call us at 216.231.9311.