Families celebrate Christmas Eve at the Toledo Zoo

TOLEDO, OH (TOLEDO NEWS NOW) - Although Christmas Eve is a busy day for hundreds of families preparing to celebrate Christmas, others spent the day at the Toledo Zoo.

Snowflakes in the air did not stop dozens of families from one of their favorite Christmas Eve traditions.

"This is our third year in a row going to the zoo," said Bob Muenz.

Muenz is a father of three and says this tradition has a few perks to it.

"It's fun. It's not that crowded, and my wife has a chance to do things back at the house (get things ready)," said Muenz.

Loretta Perry says she brought her 2-year-old grandson for the same reason: to help his mom get prepare for his birthday and the holidays.

"It's a day to get out with the family and just enjoy yourself," said Perry.

Some came with the whole family and said this was all their kids wanted.

"It was a Christmas holiday wish, and most importantly, it was our daughter's wish. She wanted to come here," said Brian Visser.

No matter what brought them to the zoo, everyone said it is a fun way to spend Christmas Eve.

"It's good to get away and be able to spend time with the kids on Christmas Eve," said Muenz.

Workers at the zoo said it is open every year on Christmas Eve, but this is the first time it has offered free admission to Lucas County residents. The zoo offers free admission to Lucas County residents every Monday, as a way to show its appreciation for voter support of the recent levy. They say it seems to have brought a bigger crowd this year.

The zoo is closed on Christmas Day, but regular hours resume Wednesday.