Zoo animals and gingerbread houses cure boredom

CLEVELAND - If the kids are already board with Winter break, the Cleveland Metroparks Zoo is back open after closing up shop for Christmas.

“Here at the Cleveland Zoo we are open every day of the year except Christmas Day and New Year’s Day,” said Travis Vineyard, Cleveland Metroparks Zoo.

But what happens to the animals when winter weather sets in?  

“Up here at Northern Trek, the temperatures are getting colder, and the animals really clue us in to that,” said Vineyard.

You can see it in the grizzly bears heavier coats, extra fat on the seals, and Santa’s reindeer get larger hooves to help them on snow and ice.

The amount of food they eat increases this time of year too. 

“These guys really get hungry and really start chowing down," said Vineyard. "That’s one of the changes we make is increase their diet, making sure they get all the calories they need cause they’re burning them to keep warm.”

If it gets too chilly, these extra furry, fatty friends have an escape nearby if they need it. “When it warms up during the middle of the day these guys will be outside, but at night or during the cold mornings they can come inside, some of the holding spaces have heated floors,” said Vineyard.

If you venture out to the Cleveland Metroparks Zoo in the cold and snow don’t worry, you have an escape. The Rainforest is always a balmy 80-degrees!

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Cleveland Ritz houses ultimate gingerbread house

There's no heat inside this house, but if you want to see it, you may soon start breaking a sweat.

The gingerbread house on the 6th floor of the Ritz Carlton Cleveland is days from coming down, and it’s not going to be an easy task.

"Probably the biggest challenge is moving the gingerbread house, said Elka Kanuk, Ritz Carlton Pastry Chef.  "It gets really heavy once you put all the candy on there, so, there’s about four people that are trying to lift," said Kanuk.

The house, with 10 different candies on it, took six people almost a month to build.

To see the gingerbread house before it’s no more, visit the Lobby on level 6 of the Ritz Carlton, Cleveland before December 30. 

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