Chilling with the Animals

Wintertime Fun in Tulsa

By: Kristi Roe-Owen | Category: In Our Communities | Issue: January 2018

Remember all the fun you had this summer at the Tulsa Zoo cold chilling at the Chimpanzee Connection and soaking up the warm sun with all your little goat friends at the petting zoo? Those were good times, but now that the colder weather is kicking in, the good times don’t have to end.
According to zoo horticulturalist Cameron Dunford, this is actually the coolest time to visit the zoo, pun totally intended. “Most of the animals are still on exhibit in the cold,” Dunford said.
“The zoo is great when it’s not crowded,” he explained. “Warmer days, above 40 or 45, are the days to go. If you’re looking for thrills and chills, then look no further than the coldest hot spot around!”
Oklahoma Aquarium in Jenks is also a great place to commune with nature when the mercury drops. And there’s plenty to keep you busy!

At the Tulsa Zoo:

Befriend a Wild Kitteh.


If you can’t get enough jellybean toes online but you’re ready to up your cat game, consider adopting one of the zoo’s adorable baby snow leopard cubs. It’s a symbolic adoption, so snorgles are pretty much off the table to you crazy cat lovers, but you can gaze all oogly-eyed for hours at those spotty lil furbabies through the safety of a wire panel and make every weekend Caturday.

Chill with Master Shifu.

Okay, so you probably aren’t going to learn any kung fu from this little guy, and his name is actually Bo, but he is a totally stinking adorable red panda. He arrived in town a while back, but it was too hot for this little bamboo-loving friend to hang at the zoo, so he’s been off-site waiting for the temperature to cool down. Red pandas are used to cold weather, so he’s completely down to chill.

Wave to a Warthog.


No promises they’ll wave back, but according to Dunford, the warthogs are soon slated to move into the rhino and mixed species yard, and despite what Disney may have led you to believe, it won’t hurt to stand downwind.

Be a Trekker.

Put down that bat’leth. We said trekker, not trekkie. Tulsa Zoo’s amazing WildLIFE Trek buildings are a great way to habitat hop and mingle with dozens of species. While you’re checking off Disney characters, go ahead and find Nemo lurking around the Life in the Water exhibit.

At Oklahoma Aquarium:

Sea the Turtles.


The sea turtle exhibit is less than a year old, and for the two loggerhead sea turtles who call it their home, things are going swimmingly with their tropical fish and reef shark friends at Sea Turtle Island.

Celebrate Shark Week Early.

Everybody knows sharks are the true heroes of Sharknado. While the Jenks sharks won’t sign any autographs, you can experience the full glory of hanging with totally rad bull sharks in a tunnel.

You Otter Know.


That’s right, otters. The furriest, cutest little water friends on the planet are just hanging around at the aquarium waiting for you to come say hi. Need we say more?

So what are you waiting for, Dr. Dolittle? Grab your best adventuring hat and head out on your animal expedition while the weather’s still nice and frosty.

Be sure to check and for the latest details about all the animals you can see this winter!

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