- Created on Monday, 30 September 2013 19:38
- Written by Imperial Valley News
San Diego, California - Every day in October, children 11 years old and younger receive free admission to the San Diego Zoo and San Diego Zoo Safari Park as part of Kids Free presented by Mission Fed. Throughout the month, the Zoo and Park are offering additional kid-friendly activities, educational shows, and the opportunity to observe creatures from amphibians to zebras. The San Diego Zoo was founded in October 1916, and Kids Free honors this event.
During Kids Free, daily activities at the Zoo include animal encounters, shows, special animal enrichment and educational activities. New at the Zoo is RIO: The 4-D Experience featuring the Zoo's macaws and a 4-D movie, RIO: Rainforest Adventure. The 12-minute movie tells the tale of a gang of bird smugglers who capture the last two blue macaws on Earth, Blu and Jewel. The birds work together, despite Blu's inability to fly, as they try to escape the claws of evil cockatoo Nigel. With a variety of in-theater special effects, the movie experience takes guests on a journey through Rio de Janeiro while sharing the challenges facing wildlife around the world. Tickets ($6 per person or $5 for Zoo members) can be purchased at the Zoo entrance or at the theater.
On Oct. 5 and 6 at the Zoo, Fisher-Price® presents Live from Little People Place!™, a live musical show performed by Fisher-Price Little People® costumed characters. Live from People Place! is an interactive show where friends come to learn, play, sing, dance and discover. The show is geared toward children ages 5 and younger. Children also may meet the Fisher-Price Little People at a meet-and-greet on both performance days.
Kids can take part in the Koala Club for Kids at the Australian Outback classroom where they can learn about and meet animals, color animal pictures, and pick up a map for a scavenger hunt around the Zoo. At the Koalafornia Boardwalk, Dr. Zoolittle's show features the rain forest, with Zoo costumed characters posing for photos before each show. At Camp Critters at Wegeforth Bowl, a child will be chosen to participate in the fun-filled show featuring California sea lions and their animal friends.
Kids Free also features scheduled animal enrichment activities. Guests can look for an activity symbol located at various animal habitats and may catch an animal enjoying a special treat: a tiger gnawing on a bone, a meerkat playing in a pile of leaves, primates investigating gourds, an elephant taking a dust bath, a Galapagos tortoise eating a pumpkin or a jaguar enjoying an icy snack.
At the Safari Park, guests can enjoy Kids Free events every Saturday and Sunday that include animal shows, keeper talks, animal ambassador presentations, and crafts. Robert the Zebra talks to guests in a digital, animated form on a large screen where he can see the people who have come to visit. He asks questions, cracks jokes, talks about zebra life, and is very curious about humans. Robert also is celebrating his birthday the entire month of October so his interactions will include sing-a-longs and birthday fun! At Tiger Tales storytelling, families can enjoy a storybook reading followed by an animal presentation.
At the Park's Shiley's Cheetah Run, where a cheetah runs off-leash on a 330-foot track at speeds up to 70 miles per hour, one young volunteer will be chosen to enter the running track and compare his or her speed to that of a cheetah. Another child volunteer will be chosen to participate in the Frequent Flyers Bird Show, where guests can watch as birds of various species show off their flying talents - with many soaring right over the audience.
Visitors to the Safari Park can learn about flamingos, lemurs, bats and even lions at scheduled keeper talks and meet some furry, feathered and scaly Park animals up close during animal presentations. At special activity booths located throughout the Park, children can unleash their creative sides while learning about the wonders of the wild.
The San Diego Zoo and San Diego Zoo Safari Park offer guests the chance to see animals, experience a day with family and friends, and learn how everyone can help animals through conservation. To make a visit to the Zoo and Park more engaging, families can download "101 Things to Do" at the Zoo and Park at www.sandiegozoo.org/kidsfree for a list of activity suggestions for each visit.
Guests are encouraged to bring a camera to capture some of their favorite memory-making moments and take part in the Kids Free Instagram Challenge during Kids Free. Parents may document their children at the Zoo or Safari Park and tag photos on Instagram with #sdzkidsfree. A behind-the-scenes adventure for the whole family will be awarded to one winner each week in October. Coloring pages featuring Zoo animals can be downloaded on the Kids Free website, colored and then be submitted for prizes at the Zoo or Park. The Kids Free website also offers a quiz on animals found at the Zoo and Park.
The Zoo has celebrated Kids Free in October for 28 years; this is the sixth year the program has been offered at the Safari Park. The Zoo and Park are open from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. every day in October. From Oct. 1 through 6, the Zoo will have extended hours until 6 p.m. All children under the age of 15 must be accompanied by a paid adult during their visit to the Zoo and the Safari Park. For more information on Kids Free presented by Mission Fed, show times and activity schedules, visit www.sandiegozoo.org/kidsfree
The San Diego Zoo Global Wildlife Conservancy is dedicated to bringing endangered species back from the brink of extinction. The Conservancy makes possible the wildlife conservation efforts (representing both plants and animals) of the San Diego Zoo, San Diego Zoo Safari Park, San Diego Zoo Institute for Conservation Research, and international field programs in more than 35 countries. The important conservation and science work of these entities is supported in part more than 35 countries. The important conservation and science work of these entities is supported in part by The Foundation of the Zoological Society of San Diego.