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Ice Day at Nashville Zoo! (and a DIY Ice Treat Idea for Your Pets)

An Ice Sculpture from Ice Day 2014 (Photo by Amanda Duke and courtesy of Nashville Zoo)

Ice Sculpture from Ice Day 2014 (Photo by Amanda Duke and courtesy of Nashville Zoo)

Looking for some family fun that is both cool (literally and figuratively) as well as educational? Head out to Nashville Zoo for Ice Day this Saturday, July 25 from 9 am – 4 pm! They’re going to have an inflatable water slide, fun water games, and face painting. The day of cool fun will also include ice cream eating contests and complimentary ice treats for guests. Most of the activities will take place on the Zoo’s Festival Field, but be sure to pick up a keeper talk schedule at the front gate. Throughout the day, the zoo’s animals will be eating (animal friendly) popsicles and other frozen treats. Ice sculptures by Specialty Ice Carvings on display throughout the zoo. Zoo admission and membership admissions cover entry to Ice Day, but some activities will have additional fees. For more information, visit the Zoo’s web site.

This is just part of the fresh food prepared daily for the animals of Nashville Zoo.

This is just part of the fresh food prepared daily for the animals of Nashville Zoo!

This is just a small portion of the dry food that is kept in the commissary for the Nashville Zoo animals.

There is plenty lots more dry food that is kept in the commissary for the Nashville Zoo animals!

My daughters and I were treated to a behind the scenes tour of the zoo’s commissary to learn more about the ice treats that will be given to the animals on Ice Day. This year, 77 ice treats will be made for the occasion. (Normally, it would be over 100, but the commissary staff are working with temporary freezers while one of their main walk-in freezers is replaced.)

This hanging ice treat (with bamboo) is for the giraffes and ready to freeze!

This hanging ice treat (with bamboo) is for the giraffes and ready to freeze!

Especially large ice treats, hanging ice treats, and ice treats including turkey broth or bugs will be made for the siamangs, gibbons, meerkats, clouded leopards, giraffes, elephants, cougars, and lorikeets.

This is a trash can of crickets!

This is a trash can of crickets! Sound tasty?

Ice treats are made all summer long as a form of cool relief for the animals, but the planning and preparations for Ice Day begin at least a month in advance.

Kool-Aid is used to flavor and color some of the ice treats.

Kool-Aid is used to flavor and color some of the ice treats.

A Zookeeper and my daughter, Goldie, make an ice treat.

A Zookeeper and my daughter, Goldie, make an ice treat.

For some of the treats, layers of colored and flavored water are frozen one layer at a time in order to make a colorful and tasty rainbow treat.  Remember when I did something like that here?

Elephants LOVE peppermint.  Who knew?

Elephants LOVE peppermint. Who knew?

We can’t encourage you enough to on over to the Nashville Zoo on Saturday, July 25 for some refreshing and educational fun!

Make Your Own Ice Treat

Check out that dog nose in the lower left corner!

Check out that dog nose in the lower left corner!

Inspired by our behind the scenes tour at the zoo, Goldie and I decided to make a treat for my parents’ dog, Aggie.  We found a small, round plastic container and filled it with chicken broth. We added pieces of pork that were left over from dinner and placed it in the freezer. After it was frozen solid, we gave it to Aggie. It didn’t look very appetizing to us, but she loved it!  You could also do colors and layers like at the zoo if you are so inclined. Cats, birds, and other pets would love a special cool treat as well!

Aggie and the Ice Treat

Aggie and her special Ice Treat

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