Fall Fest set for Columbus Zoo


Fall in central Ohio brings cooler temperatures, apple cider, colorful leaves, and Jungle Jack Hanna. Returning home from his cross-country tour and travels from around the world, the man in khaki will be at the Columbus Zoo for the annual Fall Fest event.

Jack Hanna’s Fall Fest will take place on Sept. 17 and 18 from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. The zoo will host its regular schedule of attractions as well as a variety of special events.

Hanna will make live appearances at 11 a.m. and 1 p.m. on the Animals On Safari stage both days. He will introduce his animal ambassadors, tell stories of his travels and sign autographs between each performance.

This year’s additional fall festivities include:

· Trades of Tradition: Located around Conservation Lake, guests can meet artisans and learn about their trades. Featured works include ironwork, sculpture making, candle pouring, squash carving, quilting demonstrations and more.

· Special performances by The Wayfarers: While much of their repertoire is drawn from the Appalachian tradition they revere, The Wayfarers fuse tight musicianship with the high energy that characterized early mountain music. Performances take place at Conservation Lake on the hour from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. for 30-minute sets both days.

· Zoo Character Ambassador Rolling Celebration: Join Polly Polar Bear, Manny Manatee and the rest of the crew as they ride aboard the musical Character Ambassador Express through the Zoo. This celebration takes place at 10:30 a.m., 12:30, 2 and 4 p.m.

· Animals On Safari Show: There are nearly 100 exotic, barnyard and domestic animals at 4 p.m.

· Animal Encounters Village: At the Animal Encounters Village you can meet furry, scaly and feathery friends up close or watch a show at 11 a.m., 1 and 3 p.m.

· Bobbing for apples: Even the animals join the fall fun with their own version of bobbing for apples, an animal enrichment activity that takes place at select animal habitats.

Fall hours at the Columbus Zoo and Aquarium are 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. daily. Then, the Zoo’s operating hours will be 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. daily starting Oct. 1 through Dec. 31 with extended hours for Boo at the Zoo and Wildlights. The zoo is closed for Thanksgiving and Christmas Day.

For information, visit ColumbusZoo.org.