Earth Day was on April 22nd, but honestly in my opinion, EVERY day we should be doing our part to help the planet. At a recent family trip to the Los Angeles Zoo, we were reminded about the everyday ways that we can sustain & preserve our planet’s resources. It only takes small changes from each one of us to make a big difference!
We attended the opening day festivities of the LA Zoo’s new Wild for the Planet program, which runs for five consecutive weekends. Wild for the Planet highlights the importance of protecting the environment & its creatures through special zoo activities like zoo keeper talks, educational booths & entertaining family fun!
Kicking off the celebration was the unveiling of the Ruckus Roots Wild Art Installation that was created by 200 middle school students from Highland Park. Located near the zoo’s entrance across from the Eucalyptus Grove, it consists of 200 hand-painted silhouettes that are made from recycled aluminum & shaped like monarch butterflies, mountain lions, peregrine falcons & steelhead trout. The animals were chosen specifically for this Wild Art sculpture to bring awareness to local threatened species.
From there we moved on to the educational booths inside the Eucalyptus Grove, where we learned about composting & took the LA Zoo Planet Promise!
We also learned how to take simple household objects & repurpose them. For example, taking an orange juice bottle & turning it into a bird feeder, recycling an old Huggies Wipes container into a Lego box container or changing a tissue box into a pencil holder. Many of these ideas can be found on Pinterest!
Throughout the day, kids can watch a puppet show featuring “Ricky Raccoon and the Green Rangers.”
The puppet show takes place in the Treetops Terrace, next to the Earth Expo, where my kiddo met with a National Park Ranger who told us all about the different hiking areas at local national parks.
At the expo, we met with Heal the Bay & learned how to keep our California coastline clean. My daughter got to pet some critters at the National History Museum table, while I was over at the LA County Dept. of Public Works booth getting info on where I could dispose of old EpiPens, expired medicine & electronics. Now I know what to do with this stuff! If you have “electronic waste” or hazardous materials (i.e. paint, car batteries, medicine/pills, etc.) that you don’t know how to get rid of, check this website for more info: www.888CleanLa.com.
After lunch, we quickly made our way over to the Tasmanian Devils enclosure so that we could watch the 1pm feeding by the zoo keeper. When we got there, one little guy was busy doing laps, while his brother was couldn’t be bothered to wake from his nap.
That quickly changed when the zoo keeper arrived with their lunch. Feasting on a meal of mice & guinea pigs, the 3 year old brothers energetically grabbed their meal, sometimes even stealing away an extra piece from the other one!
These special animal feedings and zoo keeper talks take place every weekend at 1pm & 2pm, with each weekend day featuring two animals. Check the zoo map when you get there to find out which animal will be featured that day or consult the LA Zoo website here: http://www.lazoo.org/wildfortheplanet/
Wild for the Planet takes place on May 7/8, May 14/15 & May 21/22, from 10 am to 4 pm. All activities are included with paid Zoo admission.
Before we left the zoo to go home, we visited the “Dinosaurs: Unextinct at the LA Zoo” exhibit. It’s an interactive experience where it feels like you stepped onto the set of Jurassic Park! You can watch the dinosaurs move & dig for fossils.
You’ll want to download the free Dinosaurs: Unextinct at the LA Zoo app (available for Android & iPhones) so that you can play the dinosaur game at the very end of the exhibit. Kids can scan the photos, learn fun facts & earn a prize if you complete all of the steps!
NOTE: Dinosaurs: Unextinct at the LA Zoo is $5 per person in addition to regular Zoo admission. Children under age two are admitted free to the Zoo & to the Dinosaurs exhibit. Dinosaurs: Unextinct will be at the LA Zoo until October 31, 2016. Catch it while you can!
Disclosure: No monetary compensation was received for this post. I attended a media event which helped facilitate this review. All images & opinions are 100% my own.