L.A. Zoo Offer Engaging Opportunities For Families To Learn About Animals, Details, Highlight Hollywood News

Have you ever wanted your family to explore the world of animals, like the many different ways they use their tails?  Or how patterns on fur, feathers, scales, and skin help animals avoid predators?  Or why animals make their homes in unusual locations?  Or which adaptations help certain animals survive extreme cold or heat?  Would you like to get the whole family together for a day of adventure at the Los Angeles Zoo? 
The L.A. Zoo introduces four different programs for children and their parents to discover all that and more, including close-up animal encounters, hands-on activities and intriguing talks focusing on the Zoo’s outstanding animal collection, from tiny insects to giant elephants, in a series of classes available now through June 2016.  The TODDLER TOTES series is offered for parents and children between 24 and 35 months old, CRITTERS ‘N’ KIDS is for parents and children between three and four years old, ZOO EXPLORERS is open to children between five and six years old, and FAMILY CLASSES are for parents and youngsters of all ages.  Participants can attend as many or few classes as fits their schedule, and they may choose from several different days and times for each.  All classes include free Zoo admission, which provides an excellent value for a full day of fun.  The complete schedule of programs is available at http://www.lazoo.org/education/childrensclasses/.
“Whether your kids are toddlers or tweens, there’s a class for your family,” says Heather Shields, Los Angeles Zoo Education Manager.  “A main part of the Zoo’s mission is to provide and promote connections between people and wildlife, so our classes are not only engaging and fun, but they also offer in-depth information about the Zoo’s animals, biodiversity, and the world in which we live.”
TODDLER TOTES, for parents and children between 24 and 35 months old, take place on Wednesdays, Friday and Saturdays, 9:15 to 10:30 am, and on Fridays and Saturdays, 11 am to 12:15 pm.  Offering educational, interactive adventures to help youngsters discover the ways different animals use parts of their bodies, these classes include WIGGLE SQUIGGLE ZOO (November 4, 6 and 7) focusing on the different ways animals use their bodies to move.  FASCINATING FEET (December 2, 4 and 5) employs hands-on games and outdoor adventures to show how animals use theirs.  EYES ON THE SIDE (February 3, 4 and 5) explores the world of eyes and how animals see the world.  THE NOSE KNOWS (March 2, 4 and 5) explains differences and similarities among the noses in the animal world.  I’M ALL EARS (March 30, April 1 and 2) teaches facts about how different animals hear.  And finally, TERRIFIC TAILS (May 4, 6 and 7) utilizes Zoo adventures, an animal encounter and stories to illustrate the ways different animals’ tails serve many purposes.  Tickets for Toddler Tots classes are $20 per child/adult pair and $18 per child/adult pair for GLAZA members.
CRITTERS ‘N’ KIDS, open to parents and children ages three and four years old, takes participants on a 90-minute exploration of the Zoo’s animal collections on Wednesdays, Fridays and Saturdays beginning at 9:30 am.  GO GO GORILLAS (November 13 and 14) explores how – and why — gorillas build nests.  SLITHERING SNAKES (December 9, 11 and 12) provides a chance to learn about and observe the colorful world of snakes.  FABULOUS FLAMINGOS (February 10, 12 and 13) includes stories, a take-home project and an adventure in search of the Zoo’s pink, feathery residents.  LOVABLE LEMURS (March 9, 11 and 12) offers an opportunity to investigate the Zoo’s lemur collection and gather fun facts about these furry creatures.  COOL CATS (April 6, 8 and 9) explores the world of felines, large and small.  The series closes with EXCITING ELEPHANTS May 11, 13 and 14) featuring storytelling, activities and a guided tour of the Zoo’s celebrated Elephants of Asia exhibit.  Critters ‘n’ Kids classes are $27 per child/adult pair and $24 per child/adult pair for GLAZA members.
ZOO EXPLORERS, a new program designed for children ages five and six, is a drop-off experience similar to a half day of camp that takes place on Sundays from 9 am to noon and teaches youngsters about different biomes around the world, from deserts to mountains to grasslands to rainforests, and the animals that call these unique habitats their homes.  MOUNTAIN MADNESS (November 1) helps youngsters discover animals that live in the world’s rocky and forested areas and the amazing adaptations that help them survive life in the mountains.  GREAT GRASSLANDS (January 31), introduces animals who call grasslands their home and what it takes to live there.  DELVING INTO THE DESERT (February 28) explores some of the planet’s hottest biomes and teaches the adaptations that keep desert residents — from cactus to camels — cool and protected when temperatures climb into the 100s.  And TROPICAL TREASURES (May 1) looks at the many layers of tropical rainforests, where more than half the plant and animal species in the world make their homes.  Zoo Explorer classes are $35 per child and $30 per child for GLAZA members.
FAMILY CLASSES, another new program, is held on Sunday mornings from 9:30 to 11 am, offering family groups with children of all ages four adventures to explore and learn about animals together.  NOW YOU SEE ME, NOW YOU DON’T (October 25) uncovers the secrets of camouflage, where stripes, spots, and blotches create the illusion of invisibility, helping participants discover how patterns on fur, feathers, scales, and skin help animals eat or avoid being eaten.  WINTER WONDERLAND (December 20) reveals how animals stay warm in the winter and the special adaptations that help them survive the cold.  BACKYARD BUDDIES (April 17) provides a chance to discover the variety of wildlife that lives all around us and find out how humans benefit from our wild neighbors, as well as what to do to stay safe while enjoying the wildlife.  The program concludes with HOME SWEET HOME (June 12) which illustrates how and why animals make their homes in certain – even unusual – locations, from dens to nests and hollows to treetops.  Family Classes are $20 per adult/$15 per child (ages 2 to 12) and  $10 per person for GLAZA members; children under two are free.
The landmark LOS ANGELES ZOO AND BOTANICAL GARDENS, drawing 1.6 million visitors each year, is home to a diverse collection of 1,100 animals representing 250 different species, many of which are rare or endangered.  Its lush grounds on 113 acres feature the LAIR (Living Amphibians, Invertebrates, and Reptiles); Elephants of Asia; Campo Gorilla Reserve; Rainforest of the Americas, an extraordinary collection of endangered and exotic mammals, reptiles, fish and amphibians living in spaces that exemplify their natural habitat in the rainforest biosphere; Tom Mankiewicz Conservation Carousel; an Indian Rhino Encounter direct-contact opportunity; Chimpanzees of Mahale Mountains, home to one of the largest troops of chimpanzees in the United States; Red Ape Rain Forest, where visitors can walk among orangutans; the Winnick Family Children’s Zoo; one of the largest flocks of flamingos in any zoo in the world; a botanical collection comprising over 800 different plant species with approximately 7,000 individual plants; and much more.  Accredited by the Association of Zoos and Aquariums (AZA), whose members meet rigorous professional standards for animal welfare, the Zoo has achieved renown as an international leader in the preservation of endangered species and a conservation center for the care and study of wildlife.  The private, non-profit Greater Los Angeles Zoo Association (GLAZA), which has supported the Zoo in partnership with the City of Los Angeles for more than five decades and provides funding for and operates seven essential Zoo departments, has 60,000 member households representing more than 240,000 adults and children.  As evidence of the Zoo’s popularity, GLAZA attracts one of the largest membership bases of any cultural organization in Los Angeles.  The Zoo’s location in Griffith Park ideally positions it as a convenient destination enjoyed by locals and vacationers of all ages who can visit every day of the year except Christmas Day.  
Programming subject to change.
All classes include a day of Zoo admission.  Tickets for Toddler Tots classes are $20 per child/adult pair and $18 per child/adult pair for GLAZA members.  Critters ‘n’ Kids classes are $27 per child/adult pair and $24 per child/adult pair for GLAZA members.  Zoo Explorer classes are $35 per child and $30 per child for GLAZA members.  Family Classes are $20 per adult/$15 per child (ages 2 to 12) and $10 per person for GLAZA members; children under two are free.   
The Los Angeles Zoo and Botanical Gardens is located in Griffith Park at the junction of the Ventura (134) and Golden State (5) freeways.  5333 Zoo Drive, Los Angeles, CA  90027.  Free parking is available.  
For more information and to sign up for classes visit http://www.lazoo.org/education/childrensclasses/ or call (323) 644-4211.
Written By: Tommy Lightfoot Garrett
Photographs are Courtesy:   Jamie Pham Photography
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