Celebrating New Year’s Eve. Zoo Style!

Where can you celebrate New Year’s Eve with a tiger? Right here at YOUR Lake Superior Zoo! I was ridiculously excited to experience this year’s annual Noon Year’s Eve event (maybe because it was my first one). I was not disappointed. There were fun animal enrichments, hot cocoa and s’mores, along with a whole world to explore right here in Duluth!

Participate in events like this year-round with a Lake Superior Zoo Membership

Noon Toast and Ball Drop

You don’t need to travel to Times Square to see the ball drop at midnight. We dropped one right here into our Amur tiger’s exhibit.

Explore New Year’s Eve Traditions Around the World

Visitors learned about different New Year’s Eve traditions with help from our animal ambassadors. Let’s relive our journey! We had  a great time! After all these celebrations, let’s make 2017 a great year at YOUR Lake Superior Zoo!

Moscow, Russia

Wild Amur tigers, like Lana, live in Russia. Russia celebrates with a New Year’s Tree, which is decorated like a Christmas Tree. It’s called “Novogadnaya Yolka” which translates to “new year fir-tree”.

Vancouver, Canada

Next, we’ll visit Spike the North American porcupine. While porcupines may spend time in their den during extreme weather, Canadians participate in a polar bear swim on New Year’s to bring good luck, peace, and prosperity to everyone.

Buenos Aires, Argentina Bogota, Columbia

In South America, we meet a cotton-top tamarin. These highly vocal primates are important seed disbursers. At midnight, make sure your first step is with your right foot so you will live a positive life and make good decisions in the New Year.

New Delhi, India

Agricultural seasons often determine when Asian New Year’s celebrations occur, though winter is the best time to see our snow leopard, Kiran. Their coats provide great camouflage, making it extremely difficult to spot snow leopards in the wild.

Vienna, Austria

Our female Eurasian lynx, Felix, is another cat suited for winter. Long, dense, shaggy fur covers their paws, providing a snowshoe effect when traveling through deep snow. This is useful in Austria, where people pour molten lead into cold water, then make predictions for the new year based on the shapes formed.

San Jose, Costa Rica

Let’s fly south to warmer weather and meet Korbel, a double yellow-headed Amazon parrot. I’m sure she’d like to join in the Latin American New Year’s Eve tradition. Latin Americans eat 12 grapes to represent the 12 months, then make wishes at midnight.

New York City, New York

Here we get a view of the U.S. national symbol, the bald eagle. Most of us are familiar with the midnight “ball drop” in New York. This tradition started in 1907, and the ball drops 141 feet in 60 seconds.

Mexico City, Mexico

The Mexican redknee tarantula fits right in here as a nocturnal hunter. Mexico holds a tradition of serving pan dulce (sweet bread) at midnight. One person will find a pendant or coin and have a lucky new year.

Kano, Nigeria

African lions live in Nigeria and other parts of Africa. Lions are the only members of the cat family where males and females look different. This is useful, since Nigerians attend masquerade balls dressed as animals to celebrate the New Year.

Sydney, Australia

Jump into the celebration with the red kangaroo. They can weigh up to 200 lbs, but the Harbor Bridge in Sydney can hold that weight, as Australians light off more than 80,000 fireworks to ring in the New Year.


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