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5 Advantages of Visiting Reptiland this Winter

Don’t let winter put a damper on your family fun . . . get out of the house and head to the zoo!

We may not come to mind when thinking of cold weather activities, but after you check out the 5 advantages of visiting Reptiland this winter, we hope that’ll change!

5 Advantages of Visiting Reptiland this Winter | Clyde Peeling's Reptiland

  • The Warmth

    Come on in, it’s always warm here!

    Escape the cold in our indoor Exhibit Gallery, where you can see nearly 40 species of reptiles and amphibians under one roof! You might feel like you’re in the great outdoors with our naturalistic habitats, but you’ll be enjoying them all at room temperature.

    If you do feel a chill walking from building to building, just head to Island Giants; you’ll warm up as soon as you get inside. Komodo dragons require extreme heat—like 90+ degrees—so the entire building is incredibly warm. You can also catch a Winter Warm-up here, a 30-minute live show that feels like a casual conversation with one of our zoo keepers (and the tropical temps will keep your tootsies toasty)!

    5 Advantages of Visiting Reptiland this Winter: Winter Warm-Up Shows | Clyde Peeling's Reptiland

  • The Experience

    Things tend to slow down around here during winter, but that just means we’re able to spend more time with you and your family one-on-one!

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    Unfortunately during warmer months it’s too busy and crowded for animal feedings, but in the winter, we offer them after every show! So when you’re done warming up with the Komodos, head to the Exhibit Gallery to witness an animal feeding. Since the animals that are fed change with every show, you can watch a different species eat at each visit. (One of the many reasons it pays to be a zoo member!)

    And don’t forget to catch an Animal Encounter! At 11:30, 1:00, and 2:30 you’ll get the chance to see animals up-close and ask our experts questions—something only offered in the off-season. #winterexclusive

  • The Price

    Because there is a little less to see November-April, we take $2 off our regular admission rates. With the lowered rates and more personal attention, you’re actually getting more of an experience for less money!

  • The Parakeets

    That’s right, parakeets! Even though this exhibit was supposed to be closed for the season, you can still experience Parakeet Landing when you visit this winter!*

    5 Advantages of Visiting Reptiland this Winter: The Parakeets!

    The birds have a heated night house they can fly in and out of, but the actual exhibit space is not heated. As a result, we were planning to shut down the exhibit for the season. But the more we thought about it, we decided to open it at select times throughout the day so EVERY guest can spend time with our feathered friends!

    In addition, because you’ll only pay the off-season rate, you basically get to see this exhibit for free!

    Just be sure to wear a warm jacket . . . it’s a little chilly in there!

  • The Peace & Quiet

    If you’ve ever visited on a weekend in July, you know that it can get pretty crazy around here . . . While we are always happy to have a “full house,” we know that it can be frustrating for our guests, especially in smaller, more crowded areas of the zoo.

    The good news?  In the winter, it’s much quieter and more peaceful! There’s no need to hurry so the people behind you can see; there’s no line formed by the restrooms; no hold-ups at the admissions desk; and most importantly, no waiting to see your favorite animal in the gallery! You’re able to take your time enjoying each and every part of the zoo . . . and we hope that you do!

As a small business, we appreciate having guests any time of year, but we encourage you to take advantage of the off-season experience by visiting this winter. We hope to see you soon, but in the mean time, stay warm!

*Please be advised: Parakeet Landing is open daily at select times, however the exhibit’s availability is still dependent on weather. If you are counting on seeing this exhibit, please call us at 570-538-1869 on the day you plan to visit to confirm that it is open.

A similar post first appeared on our blog on November 16, 2015. This post reflects the new offerings and schedule for off-season visits.

4 Reasons Why Winter is a Great Time to Visit

new front entranceWinter weather can easily put a damper on your family fun…but it doesn’t have to!

The zoo might not be your first thought when thinking of things to do, but here are 4 reasons why winter is a great time to visit Reptiland.

  • It’s Always Warm Here

    Escape the cold in our indoor Exhibit Gallery, where you can see nearly 40 species of reptiles and amphibians under one roof! You might feel like you’re in the great outdoors with our naturalistic habitats, but you’ll be enjoying it all at a cozy room temperature.

    If you do feel a chill walking to the Island Giants building, don’t worry—you’ll warm up as soon as you get inside. Komodo dragons require extreme heat, and inside their exhibit space it’s over 90° F! You can also catch a Winter Warm-up in this building, a 30-minute show sure to keep your tootsies toasty!

  • You Get a More Personal Experience

    Things tend to slow down here during the off-season, but that just means we’re able to spend more time with you and your family one-on-one!

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    Winter Warm-ups are great for staying warm, but they also offer a chance to learn about reptiles in a very intimate, casual setting. After these shows, you can join our keeper in the gallery to watch one of the animals get fed. Our Animal Encounters take place at 11:30, 1:00, and 2:30 and let you see animals up-close and ask questions. These feedings and encounters are not done any other time of the year, and they make each visit unique and special.

  • It Costs Less

    Because our seasonal exhibits are closed from November-April, we take $2 off our regular admission prices. With the lowered rates and more personal attention, you’re actually getting more of an experience for less money.

  • There are no Crowds or Lines

    If you’ve ever been here on a weekend in July, you know that it can get pretty busy… While we are always thankful to have a full house (the more the merrier), we understand that it can be frustrating for our visitors—especially the kiddos.

    The good news is, during winter there’s no need to hurry so the people behind you can see; there’s no waiting in line at the restrooms; no hold-ups at the admissions desk; and most importantly, no waiting to see your favorite animal in the gallery! You’re able to take your time enjoying each part of the zoo…and we hope that you do.

As a small business, we appreciate having guests any day of the year, but we encourage you to take advantage of the opportunities that the off-season brings by visiting this winter!

Venom Starts this Weekend!

Update 12/5/13:  This limited event has been extended through January 2014!

Just in time for Halloween, when ghoulish characters and terrifying monsters are lurking about, we’ve got our own creepy creatures here at the zoo…

Monsters and Dragons and Giants, OH MY!

Gila monsters, Komodo dragons, and a giant cane toad to be more specific, and you can see all of them starting this Saturday at 1:30 pm! Check out Venom: Nature’s Chemical Weapon.* This fascinating live event showcases venomous species in a safe, entertaining format. Featured animals include a variety of reptiles as well as a scorpion and the poisonous cane toad (neither of which are on display here at the zoo!).

Although this show introduces viewers to many widely feared species, it’s also meant to educate people on the benefits of venom, particularly in the medical field. For instance, many know the deadly effects of venom, but did you know that it is also used in several medications as a pain reliever and helps treat various heart conditions?

Venom dispels common myths, highlights the potential animal toxins offer for human medicine, and presents tips for safely enjoying nature in areas where venomous reptiles live. Visit us this weekend at 1:30 (or any weekend through December) to experience Venom LIVE!

BONUS: Get here early and witness a Komodo dragon feeding in our new Island Giants building!

*Featured as our 1:30 pm show only on weekends in November and December; all other show times feature our standard Reptile show.

zoo keeper appreciation week

Behind-the-Scenes Tours

Behind-the-Scenes tours at Clyde Peeling’s Reptiland provide a once in a lifetime opportunity to experience the zoo like never before. Have you ever wondered how our zoo keepers safely care for and clean up after venomous snakes and the training they must undergo in order to become confident enough to do so? Are you curious how they can work so closely with animals such as an adult American alligator? Have you ever wondered what a tiny poison dart frog might eat?

Many people often ask questions such as these during their visits to Reptiland, so several years ago we began offering Behind-the-Scenes Tours. This experience is specifically designed for the curious-natured visitor who values the one-on-one time with our dedicated zoo keeper staff. Tours are scheduled at a time that works for both parties; then it’s just you, a zoo keeper, and our off-display animals for a full 30 minutes!

You may not realize it, but Reptiland cares for several hundred animals in our off-display collection. There are many reasons for this. Firstly, we have a backup supply of animals in case one of the exhibited species has any sort of health issue; we can place another animal on display for our guests to view without ever having any habitats empty. Secondly, Reptiland owns and manages a fleet of traveling exhibitions that are rented out to museums, zoos, and science centers throughout North America. These exhibits include Reptiles: The Beautiful and the Deadly, two separate units of Frogs! A Chorus of Colors, and Geckos-Tails to Toepads. We also manage the husbandry of a fifth traveling exhibit, Lizards and Snakes Alive! which is owned by the American Museum of Natural History. Each of these traveling exhibits includes nearly 20 species of animals within the exhibit. Part of owning these exhibitions includes maintaining a backup collection of every animal that is on display within them. You can see how all these add up to make one very large animal collection!

behind-the-scenes toursVisitors who have scheduled a Behind-the-Scenes Tour over the past year have also been delighted by one other surprise – Komodo dragons! Until the completion of our Komodo dragon building sometime in the near future, these two reptiles are being raised in our off-display area under very special care. They are extremely curious and always very aware of any visitors who make their way into the Reptile room to take a look at them. *Update: the Island Giants exhibit featuring our Komodo dragons is now open!

With these tours, not only do you receive the opportunity to see these many reptiles and amphibians up close, but you also will learn about the venomous snake handling procedures, the dietary needs of our collection, and all that goes along with a career in animal care. And of course, our zoo keepers are more than happy to answer all your questions along the way. Behind-the-Scenes tours make a great experience for the animal lover, future herpetologist, or anyone who may be curious about our state-of-the-art animal care facilities. Visit our Behind-the-Scenes Tours page for more information.

Komodo Dragons at Reptiland

Komodo dragons are found on only a handful of Indonesian islands and are rarely exported to other countries. North American zoos cooperatively manage a captive population of dragons as an SSP (Species Survival Plan), but in recent years, the US population suffered the loss of many adult females and the breeding program stalled. In 2010, the Los Angeles Zoo successfully hatched a large clutch of eggs, breathing new life into the dragon population. Reptiland received two of those offspring and joined the Komodo Dragon SSP.

Komodo dragons at Reptiland
The Peeling Productions team installing a perimeter fence around what will become the home for our Komodo dragons.

We committed to building a facility to house and breed these giant lizards in Central PA, and work on a new 3,000 square foot building has begun. Komodo dragons are unlike other lizards—they are active and need lots of space. Our new facility will include a 1,300 sq ft indoor exhibit, a large indoor holding area with shift facility, and a lush outdoor exhibit for warm weather viewing. Because dragons like it hot—95 degrees everyday, year-round—the building will need to be very well insulated. With that in mind, we have incorporated a living roof into our design, a first at Reptiland.

*6/14/13 Update: The Komodo dragon exhibit, Island Giants, is now open to the public!