CLEVELAND (WJW)– Zoos and other wildlife attractions across the state of Ohio are beginning to reopen following a months-long closure for the coronavirus pandemic.
So if you’re looking for something to do here in Northeast Ohio or want to take a little road trip, you’ve got options. Keep in mind, capacity will be limited in order to maintain social distance and advanced tickets are required at most zoos.
Located in Port Clinton, this attraction offers drive-thru safaris so you can stay in your own car while seeing zebras, giraffes, camels and more. The walk-thru safari includes smaller animals and exotic birds. Limited capacity.
Reopening June 17. The Akron Zoo has more than 1,000 animals, including endangered otters, Humboldt penguins, snow leopards, Sumatran tigers, jaguars and red pandas. All tickets must be reserved online ahead of time. Tickets will not be available at the zoo. Visitors must choose a specific day and specific time slot.
The Cincinnati Zoo is home to celebrity hippo Fiona and an adorable duo: Kris the cheetah and her companion dog Remus. It reopens to general admission ticket holders with reservations on June 17. Zoo capacity will be reduced by 50 percent to 75 percent.
After the popular drive-thru fundraiser, the Cleveland Metroparks Zoo will reopen on June 17 with limited capacity, required reservations and frequent cleaning of high-touch surfaces. Some indoor areas will be closed.
The Columbus Zoo and Aquarium, which features more than 10,000 animals, will begin welcoming guests on June 15. Visitors need a dated and timed ticket in advance. Some modifications have been made to viewing windows to reduce contact with the glass.
The Greater Cleveland Aquarium will begin welcoming passholders on June 29 and general admission guests on July 6. Admission entry will be timed and reservations will be made online. Areas where social distancing can’t be achieved will be temporarily closed including some interactives, play areas and animal encounters.
The Wilds is nearly 10,000 acres in Cumberland with rhinos, antelopes, cheetahs and African painted dogs. Tour guides will wear masks and guests are encouraged to do so as well. Some programs and animal encounters will be unavailable.
The Toledo Zoo and Aquarium, with more than 720 species, will be open to members only until June 30. All guests need a timed ticket reservation. Visitors over the age of 2 are required to wear masks indoors and when interacting with staff.
It’s a two and a half hour drive from Cleveland. The Pittsburgh Zoo is back open with a timed ticketing system. Masks are required. Playground areas are closed and plexiglass barriers were installed around the zoo.
Just across the Ohio River from Cincinnati, sits the Newport Aquarium. It will be back open to all guests on June 25. Face masks or face coverings are required for all visitors ages 3 and up. Employees will wear face masks. Temperature screenings will be taken prior to entry.