The weather is cold, the days are short and admission to the Roger Williams Park Zoo is half off.
Animals such as elephants and giraffes will spend most of their time inside, but that doesn’t mean patrons cannot see them. Walking past the normal outdoor enclosures for the these two large animals will bring zoo-goers to the elephant and giraffe pavilion. The pavilion offers visitors an up-close view of the elephants and giraffes while keeping everyone warm.
The giraffe and elephant pavilion isn’t the only indoor exhibit. The newly added rainforest exhibit feels like summer inside, providing a nice relief from the cold. Here, visitors will find tropical birds like a toucan and macaws, two giant otters, frogs, fish, a tarantula, monkeys, tamanduas and their relative, a sloth. This creature can usually be found napping in a basket near the exit.
Exiting the rainforest and continuing on the path will lead to the third indoor exhibit, the World of Adaptations, which is home to animals from Asia and Australia. There, visitors will find a Komodo dragon, tree kangaroos, tortoises and different types of birds.
Braving the cold is worth it because there are so many exhibits and animals to see outside. There’s a family of cheetahs always close together, a red panda who spends most of his time searching for food and one creature who is used to the cold — the snow leopard.
"It’s a nice outdoor activity and a great place to walk," zoo volunteer Janet Noke said. "The pathways are always plowed since the zookeepers need to take care of the animals. Toddlers and kids love coming here and it’s not just enriching for them. It’s enriching for the animals too.”
For those on a college budget but still itching for a fun activity, Winter Wonder Days at Roger Williams Park Zoo provide a fun afternoon at a great price.