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May 17, 2018 Calgary Zoo

10 ways to get wild this May long weekend

Jia Yueyue and Jia Panpan munch away at their morning bamboo.

After a long Calgary winter, take advantage of the beautiful spring weather this May long weekend. Whether you travel in flocks or packs, the best family adventures in Calgary are here at the zoo.

Here are 10 giant ways to make your May long weekend memorable:

1. Visit the giant pandas for the first time

Pandas are finally here at the zoo! The brand new Panda Passage building opened on May 7th, 2018, and visitors are falling in love with Calgary’s four bears. Making sure to visit Jia Panpan, Jia Yueyue, Er Shun and Da Mao is pretty black-and-white!

Make your panda visit simple as can be -reserve your time to meet the giant pandas while you explore the rest of the zoo. Simply select a timed ticket online when you purchase your day admission or when you login to your member account. You can also find time tickets at Guest Relations, and at roving on park during the weekends. There is plenty of time to panda!

Giant panda Da Mao lounges on a favourite log.

Giant panda Da Mao lounges on a favourite log.

 2. Lounge around with the lemurs.

Land of Lemurs is open for it’s second year, and it’s the only barrier free lemur habitat in Canada. That’s right- you can walk with the lemurs this weekend!

We’ve got three kinds of lemurs and they’d love to see you—black-and-white ruffed lemurs, ring-tailed lemurs and red-fronted lemurs. Where else can you travel to another part of the world while contributing to conservation and discover what lemurs do? We can’t think of any that don’t require passports, pricey plane tickets and vaccines.

Look up! Lemurs will travel on the ground, through the trees, and on structures in the air inside of the Adventure Loop.

Look up! Lemurs will travel on the ground, through the trees, and on structures in the air inside of the Adventure Loop.

 3. Training time with tigers and grizzlies.

How do you work with powerful animals like tigers and grizzlies? Through training sessions with these species we can check on their health, as well as add challenges for mental enrichment.

We’re always looking for new ways to add enrichment to the live of our animal residents through toys and incentives that encourage natural behaviour. It’s interesting to watch our keepers with these large mammals—you’ll definitely want to see this for yourself. Plan your visit to take in a training session with the tigers or grizzlies.

Tiger training is held at 11:30 a.m. each day in Eurasia. Our zookeeper will ask a tiger to follow basic commands used for daily health and wellness checks.

Tiger training is held at 11:30 a.m. each day in Eurasia. Our zookeeper will ask a tiger to follow basic commands used for daily health and wellness checks.

4. Discover how wide your wings would be.

Are you the tallest in your family nest? Ever wonder what size of bird you would be? At the interpretive station in the Canadian Wilds you can measure your wingspan and sit in a whooping crane nest while learning about this incredible Canadian species.


The 'grandchick' of Nelson from the Calgary Zoo in its wild nest.

 

5. Feed your inner beast.

We can hear your stomach growling too! Plan ahead before it roars by booking a tasty Safari Sunday Brunch or stopping by a Grazers lunch buffet. Feel like a quick snack? Prowl over to Kitamba Cafe or bring your own picnic and sit in the Dorthy Harvie Botanical Gardens. You’ll be sure to work up an appetite and may want to try them all.

Relax with a delicious meal (and a drink!) on the patio at Grazers restaurant.

Relax with a delicious meal (and a drink!) on the patio at Grazers restaurant.

6.Waddle in and cool down with the penguins- and their royalty 

If the weather’s warmer than you expected, chill out with the birds in Penguin Plunge. Right now you can catch a glimpse of gentoo, Humboldt, rockhopper and king penguins. That’s right, we have our very own royal family here at the zoo, including Diana, Edward, Arthur and Cleopatra!  If you want to see them in action, plan your visit around feeding time.

Our king penguins like to waddle together.

Our king penguins like to waddle together.

7. Stop wondering what it’s like to be a zookeeper

The only thing better than a fantasy is getting to experience something for real. And we’ve all dreamt about what it would be like to work at a zoo, haven’t we? Plan your visit around animal feedings, interpretive talks and keeper stories. Take in our popular daily Animal Feeding program – Saturday features the Amur tigers and the red river hogs! Take a rest in the Eurasia Tiger Amphitheatre, and watch one of our three Amur tigers enjoy a delicious snack.

 

8. Take brain freeze to a new level with a zoo screamer.

What’s a screamer? It’s a soft serve ice cream and slushy combo. We dare you to try it. Don’t have the guts for that much freeze? Stick to what you know and go for one or the other. Find them at Kitamba Java or the Dairy Bar.

9. Give your green thumb a break.

Visit the Butterfly Gardens and The Garden of Life in the ENMAX Conservatory, it’s a great place to enjoy a magical rainforest experience that you never have to prune or weed.

The ENMAX Conservatory garden are blooming - all year 'round!

The ENMAX Conservatory garden are blooming – all year ’round!

10. Playtime ends with a family photo in the big red chair.

You can fit a lot of bums in the giant red chair and you’ll find it conveniently located outside the ENMAX Conservatory. Once the little ones go wild in the giant Kinsmen Playground, show us your long weekend grins by tagging your photos with #calgaryzoo and #yyc. 


 

Long weekends are meant for exploring, making memories, and then relaxing with the ones that you love. We’ve got you covered Calgary!


Bonus: Bring conservation home.

Conservation isn’t a bucket list item; it’s an every day commitment. Each time you visit the zoo or purchase a zoo membership, you’re helping support the zoo’s conservation initiatives at home in Canada, and across the world.  

Plan your visit to the Calgary Zoo.

 

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