Today’s news:

Bronx Zoo winter display goes green

The Wildlife Conservation Society (WCS) is making this holiday season a “greener” at its flagship Bronx Zoo by reducing its carbon footprint.

The WCS is moving its evening light show event to a daytime experience, called HESS Presents the Bronx Zoo’s Wild Winterland sponsored by PEPSI, which will lessen energy consumption and continue a long-time family holiday tradition.

Beginning weekends only, December 6 through December 21, and then daily from December 22 until January 4, 2009, Bronx Zoo guests can experience a slice of holiday fun from 11:30 a.m. to 3:30 p.m.

An added attraction this year: Clydesdale horses. Three handsome Clydesdale horses, Jesse, Monty and Ranger, along with four spirited reindeer, will create the new “footprint”-- making for a truly wild encounter. Families can enjoy a special never-before-available horse-drawn wagon ride from 11 a.m. until 3 p.m. ($5 per person/per ride) amidst a holiday-theme winter wonderland atmosphere.

“We are very excited to bring to our Bronx Zoo guests a new fun-filled holiday event that is also good for the environment. The Clydesdales and reindeer provide a unique opportunity to become acquainted with two species that conjure up warm holiday images,” said Jim Breheny, WCS vice president and Bronx Zoo director. “We hope area residents and visitors to New York will take a moment to appreciate some of the simple joys and wonders of nature that the Bronx Zoo can share with them during this time.”

Wild Winterland has so much to lift visitors’ spirits, including these cheery activities that will happen each day of the event:

• Take a horse-drawn wagon ride along the Zoo paths ($5 per person/per ride)

• Meet reindeer

• Plan a visit to the Children’s Zoo domestic area where there is a collection of domestic animals ready for you to pet and feed—sheep, goats, chickens, llamas, and more

• Take your own photo with “The Looking Glass Company” stilt-walking characters, including a fairy princess

• Hear LuAnn Adams, who is back with her puppets and storytelling activities in the Children’s Zoo Theater • Witness amazing ice-carving demonstrations

• Take part in a craft workshop where kids can make an eco-friendly card or ornament

• Experience “Presents to the Animals,” an exciting twist to animal enrichment demonstrations

• Listen to one of the choral groups inside the Dancing Crane Café and warm up with some delicious holiday confections or some hot chocolate or

• Roast a marshmallow outside and create your own s’mores (additional fee)

Plus, these special themed festivities make the zoo the perfect nearby venue to bring friends and family for a holiday treat:

• December 13 and 14 see a special performance of “The Nutcracker” by the New England Ballet

• December 22 to 27 experience Ice Wonders Week

• January 1, 2009 celebrate with us at Zoo Year’s Day

Activities are free after general admission, except where noted. Event activities may be limited or cancelled in inclement weather.

The Bronx Zoo Store is chock full of great gift ideas—from plush toy animals, to ornaments, clothing, books, and more to delight young and old.

Bronx Zoo online tickets are available at www.bronxzoo.com. Group rates are available for ten or more by logging on and clicking on Buy Tickets, Group Sales, or calling (718) 220-5198.

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CNG: Community Newspaper Group