With the weather warming up to start the weekend and Winter Days with half-priced admission going on, Roger Williams Park Zoo in Providence might be a popular spot this Saturday. Zoo goers may notice something is missing these days, however.

As a member of this zoo, I take my kids at all times of the year. On our most recent visit, while the weather was a bit warmer, my three-year-old noticed one of her favorite things wasn't there.

Nancy Hall/Townsquare Media
Nancy Hall/Townsquare Media

The big orange tractor that children go nuts for climbing on had been removed from the farm area and my curious mind just had to know what was up.

Obviously a fan favorite with all kids, I knew there was no way this farm feature was gone for good. I just figured with the temperatures dropping it seemed like a good time to take it in for a tune up and maybe a fresh coat of paint. I wasn't too far off.

After speaking with Vicki Scharfberg, the Director of Marketing and Public Relations at Roger Williams Park Zoo, I learned the answer was a simple one.

"The tractor is put away for the winter. It will be put back in the spring. We do this to preserve it," Scharfberg said, and that totally makes sense.

Honestly, I do not remember the tractor being put away in past winters, but then again it was my daughter who noticed in the first place, not me.

It is not the only change in the colder months, however. Currently, the zoo's rainforest building is closed for habitat maintenance, the snake den shuts down as the snakes hibernate for the winter, nothing in the farm play area is available, you're more likely to see the giraffes inside rather than outside, and the big backyard is closed down, too.

Still, most animals are out and about and with admission still half-price through the end of February, having a day outside with the kids is totally worth it.

Speaking of farm animals, have you met the adorable crew at this Dartmouth sanctuary?

Just off Faunce Corner Road in Dartmouth is an animal sanctuary for livestock that has become home to over 50 animals is just five short years. Whether they arrived because their owners could no longer care for them or they were removed from an abusive situation, Deborah Devlin and Jill Tagino, who run Don't Forget Us, Pet Us sanctuary, take in animals with no where else to go. Clearly, the livestock they care for are very happy to have found a home for the rest of their natural lives.

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