What do you get when you mix some of Cleveland’s great restaurants with an open bar, a steel drum, and some wild animals (and one of my favorite bloggers)? The Cleveland Zoological Society’s Animal Attractions!
This annual fundraiser is held inside the Cleveland Metroparks Zoo’s Rainforest exhibit. Yesterday, I sparked quite the Twitter trip down memory lane when I asked who remembered the Rainforest song. Amazingly, it’s been 20 years since the Rainforest opened and a lot of us still remember singing the song on field trips. Thanks to the @clemetzoo Twitter feed, we actually have the video, for those whose memories are a bit fuzzy…
I totally belted that out last night. Too bad the steel drum man wouldn’t play accompaniment for it…
Anyway, back to the event. There was a plethora of delicious dishes to sample. Fahrenheit was represented by Chef Rocco Whalen, looking great just off of his “Fat Chef” appearance.
The quail with sweet potatoes was so tasty! Another favorite table was Paladar Latin Kitchen, which served up both savory and sweet with chorizo-stuffed corn fritters and chile-chocolate brownie bites with raspberry syrup.
To name just a few more, AMP 150 served up celery root soup shooters, Whole Foods went with tofu and tropical quinoa salad (CLEguy’s favorite), Great Lakes Brewing had their always-tasty pretzel chicken, and Cleveland Cupcake Company had amazing mini cupcakes (I may have had 3, for research purposes).
Aside from the yummy food, there was plenty of opportunity to interact with the critters in the Rainforest. The entire exhibit was open for strolling.
Beyond that, there were presentations from zoo employees (I now know how lobsters mate…VERY carefully) and opportunities to go behind the scenes of either the reptile or amphibian exhibits. There were also volunteers throughout with animals you could get up close and personal with, including snakes, chinchillas, and armadillos.
All in all, it was a fun event in a unique setting. I have such great memories of the Zoo from my childhood and it’s wonderful to be able to make new memories there as an adult. Cheers to the Cleveland Zoological Society!
The Cleveland Zoological Society’s next big event is Twilight at the Zoo on August 3. Tickets go on sale May 1 and members can save $5 on eTickets if purchased in the month of May. You won’t want to miss it!
***Disclosure: I was asked by the Cleveland Zoological Society to help promote Animal Attractions. In exchange, I received 2 tickets to the event. As always, all opinions are 100% my own.***