You're Invited to Fiona's First Birthday

Everyone's favorite baby hippo turns 1 year old with a party at the zoo

click to enlarge Fiona!!! - Photo: Hailey Bollinger
Photo: Hailey Bollinger

On Saturday, the Cincinnati Zoo is hosting a birthday party for Fiona, otherwise known as the cutest hippo around town and the pride and joy of the zoo (and, honestly, the whole city).

Since she was born, she has gained national attention, had her (sweet, kind and plump) face plastered over T-shirts, beer cans, Skyline Chili cups, Facebook news feeds and, well, literally everywhere and anywhere else and — in many ways — brought our community together. Maybe the latter is heavy-handed, but in a year she’s accomplished a lot, including gaining more than 600 pounds.

Celebrate her milestone with a birthday party at the zoo on Saturday (her official birthday is Jan. 24, but the party takes place 10 a.m.-3 p.m. Jan. 20). The fête features a giant birthday card, temporary Fiona tattoos from Cincy Shirts and sweets from Graeter’s and Busken Bakery. Graeter's has made a special Chunky Chunky Hippo flavor (a toffee ice cream with salted peanuts and milk chocolate caramel truffles) and Busken's cakes and cookies will have Fiona's face on them.

The authors of the Fiona books will also be available for book signing and the specialists who saved Cincy’s fave will join for a Q&A.

Here's a full list of party activities via the zoo:

  • First 2,000 families will get a hippo bath mat (while supplies last)
  • Birthday enrichment throughout the zoo for animals like the polar bears, meerkats, elephants and arctic foxes
  • Get a commemorative Fiona postcard stamped with her footprint (while supplies last)
  • Sign Fiona’s birthday card from 10 a.m.–3 p.m. at Hippo Cove
  • Busken cake and cookies from 1 p.m.–3 p.m. (while supplies last)
  • Graeter’s ice cream from  from 1 p.m.–3 p.m. (while supplies last)
  • Hippo care team members will be available for chats and Q&A from 1-1:30 p.m. and 2-2:30 p.m.
  • Hippo-themed activities in Education Center from noon-3 p.m.
  • Cincy Shirts will be passing out Fiona temporary tattoos from 1-3 p.m.
  • Specialists from Children’s Hospital who helped save Fiona will be here from 11 a.m.-1 p.m.
  • Scientists from CREW will have an interactive station to show how they performed an ultrasound on Bibi from 11 a.m.-1 p.m.
  • Authors of Fiona books will be available to sign books from 11 a.m.-1 p.m. at the Zoo’s Gift Shop (bring your book or buy them at the Zoo)

And reminder: The temperature must be more than 50 degrees with sunny skies for hippos to be outside. 

10 a.m.-3 p.m. Saturday (Jan. 20). Free with zoo admission, which is currently half-price: $8.50 adults; $6 children/seniors. Cincinnati Zoo & Botanical Garden, 400 Vine St., Avondale,


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