Shop at the Toledo Zoo on Black Friday - Toledo News Now, News, Weather, Sports, Toledo, OH

The mall will be a zoo Black Friday, shop at a real zoo instead

TOLEDO, OH (Toledo News Now) -

Instead of clawing your way through crowds at the mall on Black Friday, why not spend some time with a black-and-white colobus monkey or an Argentine black-and-white tegu?

The Toledo Zoo is open throughout Thanksgiving weekend, starting with Black Friday from 10 a.m. to 9 p.m. Get exclusive holiday deals at the zoo's North Star Trading Post, already packed with gifts for the animal lovers on your list, including products that support animal conservation worldwide. Zoo admission is not required to shop.

Check out these clever, affordable gift ideas:

-Old World Ornaments

These beautiful ornaments make every holiday tree sparkle. Find your favorite animal, or get one for the animal lover on your list. During Thanksgiving weekend, get $5 off all your purchases of $50 at the North Star Trading Post.

-Handmade Fudge, Nuts and Cookies

Impress the "foodie" on your list with handmade butter cream fudge from the zoo's North Star Trading Post. Buy one pound and get a half pound free.

-Zoo Memberships

Membership offers year-long free zoo admission and parking, Safari magazine subscription, merchandise and education discounts, early access to concert tickets and much more. Zoo members also get free, unlimited Monday through Thursday Lights Before Christmas visits and one free weekend visit.

-Zoo PAL Animal Sponsorship

Everyone has a favorite animal at the zoo. Honorary parenthood, given in the name of your loved one, helps buy food, enrichment objects and medical supplies for that animal – plus an opportunity to visit the zoo after hours, visit the animal and talk with one of its keepers at Zoo PAL Night.

-Gift Certificates

Send the kids to a class or camp so fun, they won't realize they're learning. The Toledo Zoo offers one-day and multi-day classes and camps, perfect for busy families and school breaks. Don't forget the grown-ups: Gift certificates and gift cards are available for sophisticated adults-only outings, like wine tastings, Zoo Brew and more.

After you're done shopping, a stroll through the zoo will remind you why it was such a good idea to come, from the ring-tailed lemurs in Primate Forest to the Black crake in the award-winning Aviary. Nature's Neighborhood, the award-winning children's zoo, is open for the kids, too.

Starting at 3 p.m., enjoy the Lights Before Christmas presented by KeyBank. There is a separate fee for visitors arriving at 3 p.m. or later. New this year is an outdoor ice rink sponsored by Taylor Automotive Family.

Even better, your visit supports a local business which, in turn, supports your community with safe, affordable family recreation all year long.

Copyright 2013 Toledo News Now. All rights reserved.

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