When you’re driving along and see a sign for a site that makes you curious, what do you do? Do you turn off to see the site now, remember it for a future trip, or ignore it? Unless we’re pinched for time, curiosity wins out for Skip and me.
Christmas festivals at zoos have become huge holiday attractions. In the Midwest alone, at least eighteen zoos celebrate with holiday lights, carols, animal shows, and even ice skating rinks. Brookfield Zoo, Chicago’s oldest holiday zoo event, is celebrating its 40th year in 2021. But the very first zoo holiday lights event in the nation was Indianapolis Zoo’s Christmas at the Zoo, which dates back to 1967!
Many other zoos have hopped aboard the holiday festival train over the years. Here are a few highlights of eighteen Midwest zoo holiday lights events for 2021, listed by state:
We drove to the right location according to the map, but there was no dome. Was this really the North Dakota capitol building? A sign confirmed it was. North Dakota’s capitol is a skyscraper design rather than a dome. We found out the reason for the skyscraper design and lots of other fun facts on the North Dakota Capitol tour.
Theodore Roosevelt, U.S. President from 1901 to 1909, is known as the “conservation president.” He created the U.S. Forest Service and also established numerous national forests, bird reserves, game preserves, national parks, and national monuments. It’s fitting that North Dakota’s national park, an area where Roosevelt hunted, ranched, and grieved the passing of both his wife and his mother, is named after him. A drive through Theodore Roosevelt National Park, located in the North Dakota Badlands, was a highlight of our week-long road trip through North Dakota last summer.
On Day 6, the last “official” day of our North Dakota road trip, we drove from Dickinson to Medora. We toured historical and cultural attractions during the day and ended the evening with a delightful outdoor musical performance, complete with a fireworks finale.
On the fifth day of our summer road trip across North Dakota, we took a road trip inside a road trip inside a road trip. Starting at Bismarck, we drove to Mandan. We left the interstate at Mandan and continued west on the Old Red Old Ten Scenic Byway. At Gladstone we detoured south onto the Enchanted Highway, then headed back north to continue on the Old Red Old Ten to its end at Dickinson.