The weather was perfect; the sky was blue and there seemed to be plenty of puffy white dancing tigers, giraffes, and elephants within the clouds so it seems a good choice to head to the Columbus Zoo and Aquarium.

We are Zoo members so we never feel like our Zoo outings need to be an all day excursion; we know we can always visit again if there were exhibits we missed in our visit.

With COVID19 Social Distancing in effect, our arrival at the Columbus was a little different than in the past. Even though we are Zoo Members, we had to have a dated, timed-ticket if we choose to arrive before 3 pm. Creating this dated, timed-ticket did not have a fee associated, it is merely to control the amount of quests for limited capacity throughout the day. We simply visited the Zoo’s website, and clicked the link to “purchase” a dated, timed-ticket; entered our Membership number and completed the check out process. (If you are not a Zoo Member, you would complete this process while purchasing your tickets online.) We chose the option to display this digital ticket on my phone and show with the other required ID at the Zoo Entrance.

With our Zoo Membership card, ID and dated, time-tickets in hand, we headed to the Columbus Zoo. Our 1st stop during our visit was the recently opened Adventure Cove; located near the main entrance on the left (toward the entrance to Zoombezi Bay). This new 4.1 acre area honors Jungle Jack Hanna to share conversation and connection with wildlife.

During our walk through of Adventure Cove, we were able to watch the sea lions swim about in their open air and underwater exhibit. As we walked through, they were playing above our heads and beside us. Almost felt like we were in the water with them, almost.

Next, we decided to venture to the Heart of Africa. We figured it couldn’t be any hotter than it was in Ohio. As we made our way to the entrance for the Heart of Africa, my son and I noticed one very obvious fact; only about 5% of all the Zoo guests were wearing masks. Yes, that means 95% of the Zoo quests were not wearing any sort of face coverings, or wearing their masks as chin coverings.

In addition, despite the numerous signage and Zoo Staff reminding guest to maintain their social distancing, this was not being practiced. My son and I often found ourselves in the middle of groups not wearing masks and persons so close, we could feel their breathe. Needless to say, we continued to practice safety and often asked others to maintain their space from us.

As we walked through the entrance, we could feel the vast 43 acre region of the Ajabu National Park. We ventured to the overlook of the African savanna to watch the Giraffe feedings, the grazing zebras, and the ostrich wondering. As we continued our walk through this Mudiwa inspired Village, we could hear all the beautiful sights and sounds around us.

We spent about forty-five minutes in the Heart of African before heading to the Pachyderm (Elephants) exhibit. After all, who doesn’t love these huge gentle creatures? We felt like lucky ducks getting to watch these two play, nudging one another and watching us. Along our trek, we watched as a moose enjoyed his lazy river, past Jungle Jack & Suzie Hanna, and waved as the Zoo Train passed by.

As the crowds continued to increase, we decided our Zoo visit was drawing to a close.

While it was a perfect weather day for the Zoo, COVID19 Social Distancing is in effect. Please make your own decision on whether a public outing at the Columbus Zoo is right for your family.

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