Worth the Drive
Our daily look at nearby getaways

Sweet Snow Day for the San Diego Pandas

Some 30,000 pounds of the cold stuff drifted into Panda Canyon.

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    NEWSLETTERS

    WINTER BLAST: While we humans may get a tad roasty over the Labor Day Weekend, and seek out cool pools or shaded areas where we may weather the higher temps, we can daydream of frolicking in Panda Canyon where things got frosty for a day. Panda Canyon, of course, is at the San Diego Zoo, and the superstar animals that call it home are, on occasion, treated to snow days, events which come courtesy of donors. How does a snow day work? Some 30,000 pounds of snow are created from blocks of ice (a hundred in all). The insta-snow is then "blown" into the two panda habitats. Then, like magic, it was wintertime on a sunny August day in San Diego, at least for Yun Zi, Bai Yun, and the cub Xiao Liwu, who recently celebrated his first birthday. Yun Zi reportedly made a snowball during the Aug. 29 snow date and did "multiple somersaults" as well; he was also seen rolling in the cold stuff and "rubbing snow all over himself." Good times at one of the world's most famous animal parks. Want to catch the next snow day, whenever that might be? Keep an eye on the zoo's panda page (home to the oh-so-obsessed over Panda Cam).

    NIGHTTIME ZOO: While the summer snow day may have wrapped for the pandas, the Nighttime Zoo continues through Labor Day Weekend. Nope, you don't stay at the zoo through the wee smalls, but you can roam right through 9 p.m. The zoo's non-summer closing times resume on Tuesday, Sept. 3 (so, 6 p.m. for a few weeks, then 5 p.m.). Ever wanted to hear a beastly cacophony right at sundown? It's a rather wonderful experience. Catch it through Sept. 2.