Tag Archives: cleveland zoological society

Morning Tea and a Date Night at the ZOOvies winner

Update: If you want a second chance to win Date Night at the ZOOvies tickets, check out Poise in Parma today. She’s hosting a giveaway through Sunday, August 19.


Did you know G4 plays back-to-back episodes of Quantum Leap at 3 in the morning? I didn’t, until today.

I hate waking up before my alarm clock, but I’ve got 2 posts I’m putting together today and at least I was able to enjoy a young Scott Bakula while I work. Between him and Doctor Who, I like my men with a side of time travel.

As I enjoy a cup of Irish Breakfast Tea, I want to start the morning off by announcing the winner of the Date Night at the ZOOvies giveaway.

So let’s cut to the chase! After counting up the entries and plugging the total into Random.org…

…the winner is Sarah @ Cooker Girl. Congratulations (happy blog-iversary, by the way)! Email me at clueintocleveland (at) gmail (dot) com.

If you didn’t win, not to worry!  Tickets are still on sale for the Aug. 24th event at the Cleveland Metroparks Zoo.  For $30 per ticket or $50 for 2, enjoy entry to the Zoo, drinks, light appetizers and a viewing of The Breakfast Club. The evening starts at 7pm and you can buy your Date Night at the ZOOvies tickets here.

I’ll be back later this afternoon with a post higlighting a handful of events that will keep your stomachs full and palates happy throughout the next few months.

Why 2 updates today? This weekend I’m heading out of town to spend a week with my parents and sister in Virginia and there is too much going on in Cleveland right now to wait til I’m back. So today you’re getting a double dose of Clue Into Cleveland!

While I’m gone, I’m happy to have a few local bloggers guest post for me. But before then, come back this afternoon for one last blog post about a number of feasts hitting Cleveland this fall.

It's a Date! Cleveland Metroparks Zoo's ZOOvies Giveaway

Win 2 tickets to the Cleveland Zoo’s newest event Date Night at the ZOOvies!

Last Friday night, Cleveland descended on the Cleveland Metroparks Zoo for Twilight at the Zoo. The sold-out crowd enjoyed drinks, food from restaurants like AMP150, hanging out with the Zoo’s animals and rocking out to 18 bands.

Best of all, the event – which was presented by Cleveland SCENE magazine and hosted by the Cleveland Zoological Society – raised $560,000 for one of Cleveland’s most-popular attractions!

If you missed Twilight at the Zoo or didn’t get your fill of the Zoo that evening, the Cleveland Zoological Society is giving us a second chance to party at the Zoo this August.

On Friday, August 24, the Cleveland Zoological Society is hosting its first-ever Date Night at the ZOOvies.

The Zoo’s newest event starts at 7pm and will feature an evening of animal encounters, networking, drinks, and a classic movie under the stars.

At the ZOOvies and other Zoo events, you can get up close and personal with some of the animals like this owl.

From 7-8:30 p.m., guests will be able to stroll through the Australian Adventure and African Savanna exhibits while enjoying Great Lakes beer, wine and light appetizers. Plus, many of the Zoo’s animals will be out and about to meet.

When the sun goes down at 8:30 p.m., guests are invited to bring a blanket or grab a seat in the Zoo’s outdoor ampitheater to enjoy a classic film.

For their first Date Night at the ZOOvies, the Cleveland Zoo Society took to their Facebook page and polled fans on which movie they wanted to see. The winner, as chosen by Facebook fan votes, was John Hughes’ The Breakfast Club.

Tickets are $30 for one person and $50 for 2 (which includes entry to the Zoo, plus drinks and the film).  Buy your Date Night at the ZOOvies tickets here.

And as promised a couple weeks ago, I’m also giving away a pair of tickets!

Cleveland Metroparks Zoo’s Australian Adventure – one of my favorite exhibits – will be open to guests during Date Night at the ZOOvies

There are 5 Easy Ways to Enter the Giveaway

**You must leave a separate comment on this post for each entry**

1) What’s your favorite movie from the 80s? I love everything John Hughes; however, my personal favorite 80s classic has to be Back to the Future. Leave a comment below with your pick for your favorite 80s film.

2) Like “Cleveland Zoological Society” and “Clue Into Cleveland” on Facebook and leave a comment letting me know you did both.

3) Follow @CleveZooSociety and @ADHicken on Twitter and leave me a comment letting me know you did both.

4) Twitter users can get an extra entry each day for tweeting: “Clue into @CleveZooSociety’s new Date Night at the ZOOvies! Win 2 tickets by entering @ADHicken’s giveaway: http://wp.me/pPIgG-1py”  (Each day you do this, you must leave a new comment.)

5) Subscribe to receive Clue Into Cleveland blog posts in your inbox or Google/blog reader and leave a comment letting me know you did. This can also include signing up to receive email notifications in the top-right “You’ve Got Mail” section of this page.

You have until Wednesday, Aug. 15 at 11:59PM to enter. On Thursday, Aug. 16, I will select a winner using Random.org and will announce the winner’s name on my blog.  Remember to leave a separate comment for each entry – good luck!

***Disclosure: I was provided 2 tickets by the Cleveland Zoo Society to give away to a reader.  I was also invited to attend Date Night at the ZOOvies; however, I’ll be out of town and unable to attend.  As always, the opinions I share are 100% my own. ZOOvies logo courtesy of the Cleveland Zoological Society.***

2 Ways to Party at the Cleveland Zoo this August

When Scott and I attended the Cleveland Zoological Society’s ZippityZooDoo last month, we had so much fun we didn’t want to leave at the end of the evening. We even tried to hide among the meerkats:

For obvious reasons (Scott’s too tall), our disguise didn’t work and we had to say our farewells to the elephants and flamingos and head home.

Fortunately, after the success of their summer kickoff, the Cleveland Zoological Society is bringing not one – but two – late-night parties to the Zoo this August.

On August 3rd, one of the city’s biggest summer events rocks the Zoo: Twilight at the Zoo.

From 7 til midnight, 18 Cleveland bands will perform throughout the Zoo.  Presented by Cleveland Scene magazine, some of the bands handpicked for the evening include Almost Famous, Disco Inferno, Otis & the Shoreway Saints, as well as the Journey and Bon Jovi tribute bands Arrival and Wanted, respectively.

While enjoying the music, guests will be able to explore the Zoo’s exhibits after dark and enjoy complimentary beer, wine and hors d’oeuvres.

General admission passes are still available – however, if you plan on attending, get them soon because VIP tickets are already sold out. Tickets cost $75 (a block of 10 is available for $650) which includes entry at 7pm, drinks til 11 and music til midnight.

Tickets for Twilight at the Zoo are available here.

If you’re looking for something more intimate, the Zoo is holding its very first Date Night at the Zoovies on August 24th.

From 7-8:30pm, the Zoo will host an open-bar happy hour with light appetizers throughout the Australian Adventure and Africa sections of the Zoo.

Then at 8:30, The Breakfast Club will play in the Amphitheater (I don’t care what anyone says – Emilio Estevez is still my favorite Sheen). Seats in the Amphitheater are first come, first served so guests are encouraged to bring a blanket.

Tickets are $30 for one person. If you’re planning on making it a Date Night, they’re offering 2 tickets for only $50.  I’ll also be giving away a pair of Zoovies tickets in the next few weeks – so check back for that giveaway!

Tickets for Date Night at the Zoovies are available here.

If these events are as fun as ZippityZooDoo, I’m thinking that next time around Scott and I will need to try hiding out with the giraffes.

Note: All photos (with the exception of the meerkats) are courtesy of the Cleveland Zoological Society. Images from last year’s Twilight at the Zoo are credited to Dale McDonald. Also, I don’t really condone hiding out in the Zoo  — the Cleveland Metroparks Zoo actually hosts an assortment of Overnight Programs for anyone who wants a sleepover in the wild.

Cleveland Zoological Society's ZippityZooDoo Recap

The Cleveland Metroparks Zoo lights up for ZippityZooDoo

When an opportunity comes along to visit the Cleveland Metroparks Zoo after the sun goes down, I’d be hardpressed to pass it up.  After a holiday party there a few years ago, I knew I couldn’t miss their ZippityZooDoo when I first learned about it.

Hosted by the Cleveland Zoological Society, the ZippityZooDoo is Cleveland’s longest-running benefit. For this year’s event Zoolin Rouge, the Zoo brought a little bit of Paris to Northeast Ohio.

ZippityZooDoo’s theme Zoolin Rouge came alive in the beautiful tented patio

After work on Friday, Scott and I drove over to the Zoo. As we walked through the main entrance, we were stunned by its transformation into a Parisian-inspired patio.

Under the giant tent that spanned the length of the walkway, rich fabrics and feathery centerpieces filled the view – a striking and opulent contrast to how the Zoo looks during the day – while music from The Orchestra filled our ears.

Once we found our table, Scott and I did a bit of exploring – meeting some of the zookeepers and a few of their animals. The African Elephant Crossing exhibit was also on full display as one of the elephants splashed around in the pond (a rare sight we were told later).

Dining with the elephants

ZippityZooDoo centered around a 5 course feast inspired by French elegance. Things started off with a few hors d’oeuvres – our favorites being the duck prosciutto fava bean crostini and vichyssoise complemented with a small flower petal.

This was followed by the main event – the seated dinner. Overall, I found the different flavors of the 5 courses worked very well together – from the fresh tomato cucumber salad to the hearty peppercorn steak served with a saffron risotto gruyere croquette.

Smoked Salmon Caviar

Scott and I both agreed, though, that the best course of the evening was the smoked salmon caviar accompanied by a dill crème fraiche. Salmon dishes tend to always win out for us – especially smoked salmon. Served between the salad and the blood orange sorbet entremet, the rich savoriness of the caviar was perfect in its flavor and sequence.

The cheese plate that concluded the dinner was a refreshing touch.  After a large dinner, the last thing I wanted was a heavy or too-sweet dessert. Marie Antoinette may have liked her cake, but I would choose cheese and chocolate as my dessert any day of the week!

ARAMARK catered ZippityZooDoo’s dinner and although I know they mostly deal in food services, I was blown away by the quality of food and the preparation that went into the catered evening.

Lavendar vichyssoise

With the good food came great conversation thanks to our tablemates. Scott and I thoroughly enjoyed making friends with Roy, one of the most young-at-heart people I’ve ever met (who I think has me convinced to endure a 14-hour flight and take a trip to Australia), as well as hearing about the Zoo’s future plans from their Operations Director.

And, of course, I’ll never turn down an evening with PoiseinParma and Hansmatic!

Alicia and I with the Zoo’s flamingos

The highlight of ZippityZooDoo, though, was learning about the Cleveland Metroparks Zoo’s educational programs.  The purpose of the evening was to raise funds for the Zoo’s programs. During dinner, a spirited MC led pledging for the Zoo’s school initiatives raising over $50,000 in less than an hour.

These funds will allow the Zoo to continue its mission of not only being Northeast Ohio’s most popular tourist attraction, but also a valuable resource for active inquiry-based learning through programs like:

Although I knew education was a large focus of the Zoo, I hadn’t seen how much of an impact the institution has made on children and teachers until ZippityZooDoo.

Many of the Zoo’s animals came out to play like this armadillo

We may have to wait another whole year for the next ZippityZooDoo; however, there are many other opportunities in the meantime to support the Zoo’s education and conservation efforts. From donating to becoming a member, check out the Cleveland Zoological Society to learn how you can help the Zoo continue offering these services year after year.

At the end of the evening Scott and I didn’t want to leave so we figured we’d hide out with these meerkats – think it worked?

Disclosure: I was offered one ticket to attend ZippityZooDoo in exchange for blogging about it. The opinions expressed here are my own. Scott purchased his own ticket to attend.

39th Annual ZippityZooDoo: Take a Trip to Zoolin Rouge

This duct tape elephant celebrates the opening of the Cleveland Zoo’s African Elephant Crossing

 For a region whose cold weather is the punchline of a lot of jokes, it may be surprising at first glance that one of Northeast Ohio’s most visited year-round attractions is the Cleveland Metroparks Zoo.  With 183 acres, this primarily outdoor venue welcomed 1.3 million visitors last year.

After our first visit to Cleveland’s Zoo a couple years ago, Scott and I immediately understood its popularity.  Home to nearly 3,000 exotic animals, the Zoo boasts a variety of habitats like the African Elephant Crossing, RainForest, Northern Trek, Australian Adventure (my favorite!), African Savanna, Waterfowl Lake and the Primate, Cat & Aquatics Building.

The fact that parking is free and Cuyahoga County and Hinckley Township get free admission on Mondays doesn’t hurt either.  Between their exhibits as well as fun programs like Rising Waters Safari Camp and Bowling for Rhinos, it’s a Cleveland institution that young and old can enjoy in equal measure.


In 1957, the Cleveland Zoological Society was established to partner with and advocate for the Cleveland Metroparks Zoo. Their primary function is to raise awareness for and help underwrite the Zoo’s exhibits and programs.

41,000+ households of Zoo members and donors make the Cleveland Zoological Society the largest membership program in Northeast Ohio; and the organization works hard to create a slate of unique events that everyone will enjoy. From this Summer’s Date Night at the Zoovies to Twilight at the Zoo, the Zoological Society is giving us even more reasons to visit.

Fortunately, their next event – the 39th annual ZippityZooDoo – is only 2 weeks away.

Hosted by Cleveland Zoological Society, June 8

On Friday, June 8, Cleveland’s longest-running benefit returns. With this year’s theme of Zoolin Rouge, the Cleveland Zoological Society is bringing Paris to Cleveland with all of the extravaganza and indulgence you’d expect.

Starting with cocktails and hors d’oeuvres at 6pm, the evening goes til midnight and features live entertainment, music, dancing and the chance to bid for unique Zoo experiences.

It culminates with ZippityZooDoo’s pièce de résistance (said in my best attempt at a French accent) — a filling five-course feast.

If you’re looking for a reason to go (besides supporting one of Cleveland’s great institutions), check out this menu:

  • First Course: Tuna tarter wonton crisp, Vegetable ratatouille cup, Duck prosciutto fava bean pistou crostini, Lavender vichyssoise, Mushroom ragout bruschetta
  • Second Course: Spinach greens, tarragon marinated tomato cucumber salad, champagne vinaigrette
  • Fish Course: Smoked salmon caviar, sea salt, crostini, dill crème fraiche
  • Entrements: Blood orange sorbet
  • Main Course: Steak au poivre peppercorn mélange cognac glace. Chive lemon oil asparagus. Saffron risotto gruyere cheese croquette
  • Dessert: Gourmet cheese plate

I’m seriously salivating just thinking about the smoked salmon caviar, steak and duck prosciut…..

Sorry…I dazed off dreaming about all of that food.  (A vegan menu is also available if that’s your preference.)

Photo from Cleveland Zoological Society

Tickets for the ZippityZooDoo cost $250 – $175 of which is tax-deductible — and include valet parking, along with everthing above.

Purchase tickets for the Zoo Society’s benefit here.

Donations to the Cleveland Zoological Society underwrite almost 50% of funding for major new exhibits and capital improvements, as well as 20% of the Zoo’s annual operating budget. It’s with events like the ZippityZooDoo that the Cleveland Metroparks Zoo can continue to offer the programs and services that make it so popular year after year.

Disclaimer:  I was offered one ticket to attend ZippityZooDoo in exchange for blogging about it. However, the decision to attend and post about an event is my own based on whether I think it’s something that may also interest others.  Scott has purchased his own ticket to attend.