Culture

Brandywine Zoo offers a cool way to visit its animals on hot nights

The Zoo's Summer Nights Ice Delights will take place July 31, Aug. 14 and Aug. 28 from 5 p.m. to 7 p.m. and could be extended.

How about a hot date with a red panda? Could be cool.

And by hot, we mean roasting summer temperatures. 

And by date, we mean the three Friday nights that The Brandywine Zoo is going to offer guests a chance to see its pandas. condors and more in the evening.

And by cool, we mean the flavored shaved ice that will be sold on those nights by Kona Ice.

The Zoo’s Summer Nights Ice Delights will take place July 31, Aug. 14 and Aug. 28 from 5 p.m. to 7 p.m.

Admission will be limited in this era of the COVID-19 pandemic so to comply with distancing efforts.

Each night will feature a different informal talk. On July 31, it will be the Delaware Kestrel Partnership studying the endangered birds. The topic on Aug. 14 will be Urban Wild, focusing on cameras in New Castle County urban environments and what they show. The Aug. 28 topic will be the Vulture SAFE program focused on saving those birds.

Mark Shaffer, interim executive director of the Delaware Zoological Society, said the program was designed for three reasons.

“We were looking for a program that A. We thought we could do safely; and B. Would appeal more broadly to people; and C. Would showcase our conservation efforts,” he said.

The Zoo opened much later than normal this year because of the coronavirus restrictions in place, and it’s been limited on the numbers of people it can allow in because of social distancing guidelines.

It’s also had to cancel special events, such as Brew at the Zoo!, which would normally attract 500 people. 

“We wanted to add something we haven’t had before,” Shaffer said. “We think evening programs could be exciting for people and get the kids out of the house possibly and add a little lightness with the water ice.”

If Summer Nights Ice Delight is successful, it could run into September, he said.

Tickets are adults $7, children 3 and older  $5. Buy tickets at www.brandywinezoo.org or call 302-571-7747. Parking is free.

Masks are required to be worn by guests upon entry and throughout the visit. 

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