When you walk into the Fort Wayne Children's Zoo on the last day of the season, it feels almost like any other summer time visit. The weather is usually beautiful, warming up and getting sunny just for the day. The ice cream and popcorn stands rev up for one more snack. And Mother Goose Pond has a special glint, shimmering under the yellow leaves of the willows while the water gently laps at the shore.  You feel tingly, like a great change is about to happen, and you are there to witness it. 

The Fort Wayne Children's Fall Transformation

In the African Journey, there is such a pretty solitude of being outside where only the wildebeests roam and the sky ride floats above. Looking up over the man-made rocks and hills, you see tall grasses and the decidedly deciduous trees coming into their glory of golden red.  It feels peaceful, maybe like what an open day on the savannah feels like on the African continent.

In the Indonesian Rain Forest, leaves are everywhere. Inside, the Orangutans blink sleepily in the sunlight filtering inside. It’s hard to separate the tropical plants inside the big dome from the outdoors plants on the walkways. The only difference, really, is that the native Indiana plants are starting to change colors.

Tiger at the Fort Wayne Children's Zoo

The Australian Adventure canoes have a distinct thumping bumping noise as they come into the loading area. Zoo helpers balance on the sides of the waterway, wrangling the boats into position so that kids and their families can find just the right spot without getting wet or slipping.

And over in the petting zoo area, the goats are on the loose. On the one hand, it’s cute to see how they gather at one of their doorways when a zoo keeper comes with snacks – each goat eager to get his or her share, and a little more, if possible. But if you visit with the goats, keep your own snacks well out of range. These voracious animals will nibble on shoelaces and take a peek inside stroller carrier bags, seeking yummy things that someone was planning to eat after they visited the hooved munchers.

Savor the Season at the Fort Wayne Children's Zoo

The last day the zoo is open is great, because it is slower paced and more comfortable than a regular summer day’s visit. Life is sweeter at the changing spots here: while the zoo will only be open for special events during the winter, you know that next spring will bring another season of fun and wonderful experiences.

So why not stop by the zoo this October, just to savor the season? The zoo will be open from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. on Sunday, October 9. Last admittance is at 5 p.m. The grounds close at 6 p.m.

Plus, forget about the Wild Zoo Halloween where visitors can enjoy trick-or-treat for candy, pick a pumpkin in a pumpkin patch and many other kid-friendly activities. Wild Zoo Halloween begins the weekend of October 14 and runs through October 29 on the weekends from 12:00 pm - 6:00 pm.