One of the gems of Indiana's Circle City is the Indianapolis Zoo located at 1200 W. Washington Street in Indianapolis. With 350 species of animals living in natural habitats at the Zoo nature always offers something unexpected and exciting to see. The Indianapolis Zoo's newest exhibit showcases the enchanting underwater world of Pipefish, Seadragons, and Seahorses in the Waters Building.
Looking in the tank we strained to spot one of these colorful creatures. But wait? what's this? Master's of disguise. The unusual creature we'd mistaken for a leafy piece of seaweed is actually a Seadragon. This strange creature uses its natural ability to disguise to hide from predators. The Seadragon lives in the cold waters off the coast of Australia and New Zealand, and like its relatives the Pipefish and Seahorses it is a master of disguise.
These amazing fish have gills to breathe underwater and can range in size from 1/8 of an inch to seven inches in length. Another unique characteristic of Seahorses is their pouch, similar to a Kangaroo's, where their young are kept safe. The Indianapolis Zoo's Dolphins show will return to a new facility in May 2005. The Dolphin Pavilion offers visitors a one-of-a-kind experience in the 12 foot high, underwater dome centered in the dolphin performance pool. A coastal village wharf and special in-water dolphin program give visitors an opportunity to be up close to these amazing marine mammals. With the expansion of the Dolphin Pavilion and programs held throughout the year at the Indianapolis Zoo continues to promote education and awareness.
After watching the playful penguins, seals and polar bears romp around we headed over to the Café on the Commons for a cup of hot chocolate. In the warmer season the Enchanted Mill children's Play Area across from the Commons becomes a cool retreat from the summer heat. Children love the water features and special activities designed especially for them. The playground located in front of the Café on the Commons is also accessible for children with disabilities. In addition to shows in the Amphitheatre and pony rides the Indianapolis Zoo has other exciting avenues of entertainment to enjoy. Hop on the White River Junction Express Train, take a trip on the 4-D African Safari Simulator, or try the thrilling Kombo Family Coaster.
In the Deserts Biome we learned about a snake's unique sense of smell. Different galleries like "What a Snake Does" explore the myths and life of these unique creatures. Strolling through the Plains area we spotted the baby Baboons who'd rather play than be groomed by their mother. Giraffe's ate a leisurely meal and the tiger kept a close eye on a squirrel. It didn't take long before the squirrel realized his mistake and make a leap for high ground when the tiger started to climb the tree. Spontaneous moments like these make visiting the zoo exciting because you never know what to expect next.
Everywhere we looked we caught a glimpse of preparations for one of our favorite events of the holiday season; the Kroger Christmas at the Zoo. Each evening throughout December beginning at 5pm a million twinkling lights transform the zoo into a magical winter wonderland filled with over 150 larger-than-life light sculptures. Inside the Kroger Party Pavilion Santa and Mrs. Claus are on hand to greet children and take photos when children are finished having a ball in the bounce house. These are just a sampling of the exhibits and activities available year around at the Indianapolis Zoo.
For more information about the Indianapolis Zoo call (317) 630 ?2001. Ask about the special accommodation packages available for visitors to the Indianapolis area which include tickets to Indianapolis Zoo, White River Gardens, and the Children's Museum. These special packages are perfect for families and include an overnight hotel stay and admission to the three attractions. The Indianapolis Zoo is located at 1200 West Washington Street in Indianapolis, IN.
The White River Gardens are located adjacent to zoo. In Indianapolis it's so easy to do so much. For other great discounts and exciting things to do in Indy go to www.Indy.
org. For photos and more information on Indiana attractions visit: http://www.usatravelmagazine.
By: Melody Schubert