Jack Hanna says goodbye to the Columbus Zoo, ideas for winter fun, the pandemic's impact on students with special needs and more

If you haven’t grabbed a copy of our Winter issue yet, it’s one you definitely won’t want to miss.

“Jungle Jack” Hanna is one of Central Ohio’s most beloved figures, and he just hung up his signature hat at the end of 2020 after 42 years at the Columbus Zoo and Aquarium at the end of the year.

His impact is immeasurable, from leading the transformation of the zoo and the public’s perception of it, to how his love for animals and conservation has had an impact around the world, to the way his passion has inspired colleagues and countless children to pursue their dreams.

Hanna and his wife, Suzi, reflect on his storied career, their family and marriage, and why the time was right to retire. Longtime friends and colleagues say his legacy and presence will endure, not just in Columbus, but around the globe. 

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Also in this issue, you’ll find a story about how the pandemic is disproportionately affecting students with special needs; our annual Child Care focus, with a story on the state’s star rating system and a directory of providers; features on Future Ready Columbus and My Special Word; advice for healthy snacking; and tips to help your students succeed in school—regardless of whether they are in the classroom or at home—including a list of librarian-recommended apps and websites.

Though family-related events are few these days, we do have some suggestions, including nine ideas for winter family fun, in addition to our usual lineup of columns, book and dining reviews, health advice, a craft project and The Go-To Guide, featuring a list of reciprocal benefits that come with memberships to local family attractions.

In addition to our print publication, we also offer a digital version of Columbus Parent. The e-edition is an exact digital replica of the magazine. Like the hard copy version, it also is free. Click on E-Edition at the top of our website, columbusparent.com, or use this link to read the Winter issue, as well as past editions.

And don’t worry: You can still find print copies of the magazine at our distribution locations. Use our ZIP code search to find a pickup spot near you. Be aware that some locations are closed or are accepting fewer copies of print publications right now, so you might want to call ahead.

Stay tuned to columbusparent.com for web-exclusive stories, tips, trends and more, and follow us on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter.

And, don’t forget to sign up for our weekly newsletter, “The Bulletin,” which features stories from the current issue as well as online exclusives, event ideas and more news you need to know.