By Jeff Sherman Staff Writer Published Dec 11, 2015 at 9:36 AM

Free is good. 

In the final week of December, we are all invited to visit and park at the Zoo for free as well as participate in a variety of special activities.

Yep, free. 

It's the grand finale to the Greater Milwaukee Foundation’s centennial Gifts to the Community celebrations and it's six days of free access to the Milwaukee County Zoo.

You'll be able to see the Zoo's newest resident, Asa the snow leopard.

Asa’s journey to Milwaukee began this summer when the GMF announced it would help the Zoo to acquire two new snow leopards for its July Gift to the Community. Asa is the first to arrive, with the second snow leopard scheduled to be at the Zoo sometime in 2016.

During the free week – Saturday, Dec. 26 through Thursday, Dec. 31 – the Zoo is open from 9:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. 

Normally, regular Zoo admission prices for Milwaukee County residents range from $5.50 to $10. Parking is $12.  

Daily features as noted on the Zoo's Web site are listed below:

  • MooseANIMAL TALKS: Zoo Pride volunteers at various exhibits will make special presentations to visitors, explaining animals’ daily care, interesting facts and answering questions.

    10:30 a.m. – Moose
    11:30 a.m. – Elk
    12:30 p.m. – Polar Bear

  • ANIMAL ENRICHMENT: Zookeepers will demonstrate the art and science of animal enrichment, the necessary activities to keep Zoo animals engaged and healthy. Animals and times to be determined.

  • ICE CARVING: Professional ice carvers will demonstrate their unique talent in this seasonal artistic medium with custom sculptures featured throughout the grounds. 10 a.m. to 2 p.m.

  • CRAFT PROJECTS: Children and guests of all ages are invited to create animal-related crafts and projects. 10 a.m. to 2 p.m.
    Woodlands Mask: Guests can make their own mask.
    Woodlands Coloring: Guests can color a giant coloring sheet of the animals in the Zoo’s woods.
    Animal Tracks: Learn about and make animal tracks.
    Antlers: Guests can get their own antler headbands to wear and learn about antlers from Zoo animals.

  • KOHL’S WILD THEATER: The Zoological Society of Milwaukee’s award-winning theater act will present two live entertaining and educational performances per day. 10 a.m. and 11:30 a.m.

  • POST-A-HOPE: The Greater Milwaukee Foundation invites guests of all ages to offer their hopes for the future of the community by participating in a unique "Post-a-Hope" project available at the Zoo at various times throughout the week. Inspirations and aspirations are welcome! Dec. 28-31, 10 a.m. to 2 p.m.

See you at the Zoo! 

Jeff Sherman Staff Writer

A life-long and passionate community leader and Milwaukeean, Jeff Sherman is a co-founder of OnMilwaukee.

He grew up in Wauwatosa and graduated from Marquette University, as a Warrior. He holds an MBA from Cardinal Stritch University, and is the founding president of Young Professionals of Milwaukee (YPM)/Fuel Milwaukee.

Early in his career, Sherman was one of youngest members of the Greater Milwaukee Committee, and currently is involved in numerous civic and community groups - including board positions at The Wisconsin Center District, Wisconsin Club and Marcus Center for the Performing Arts.  He's honored to have been named to The Business Journal's "30 under 30" and Milwaukee Magazine's "35 under 35" lists.  

He owns a condo in Downtown and lives in greater Milwaukee with his wife Stephanie, his son, Jake, and daughter Pierce. He's a political, music, sports and news junkie and thinks, for what it's worth, that all new movies should be released in theaters, on demand, online and on DVD simultaneously.

He also thinks you should read OnMilwaukee each and every day.