As much as I love the joy of the holiday season, from the singing and family gatherings to the hearty food and the heartfelt gifts, the snow that usually accompanies Christmastime sometimes taints the experience for me. And as much as I love the warmth of summer and nights out by a bonfire with all the ingredients to make s'mores, it always seems like something's missing: the Christmas spirit.

That's what makes Christmas in July so special. For someone like me, who is always striving for the best of both worlds when it comes to summer and winter, Christmas in July is the one time where that dream can become a reality, if only just for a day or two.

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Luckily, that dream can come true for a whole nine days this year at the Southwick's Zoo's annual Christmas in July event. A representative for the Mendon-based zoo said the zoo started hosting Christmas in July back in 2019 as a way to "get visitors excited for [its] annual holiday-themed event [and] attraction called Winter Wonderland."

Southwick's Zoo
Southwick's Zoo

For just a few days each July (and August), visitors can experience the joys of the holiday season during the heat of summer. There's holiday music galore, themed food specials, and costumed characters roaming throughout the zoo, and visitors can even take advantage of an early visit with Santa Claus, who takes time out of his busy schedule at the workshop to drop by Southwick's Zoo.

This year, Christmas in July at Southwick's kicks off July 24 and runs through August 1. But if you want to ensure a visit with Santa, make sure you come on the weekends; He'll only be at the zoo on July 24, 25 and 31, as well as August 1, because he has to be back in time for his 9 to 5 at the North Pole on weekdays! Christmas in July is completely free with admission to the zoo, so you can also make a trip to see the zoo's animals while you're there.

Southwick's Zoo
Southwick's Zoo

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