Preschoolers can take part in fun pollinator- and safari-themed programs
Beginning Feb. 9, kids ages 3 to 5 (and parents in some cases) can enjoy the Oregon Zoo's newest camp offering: Critter Club.
"Preschoolers are natural explorers," said Alison Heimowitz, the zoo's school and teacher liaison. "And Critter Club taps into that proclivity in order to help cultivate the skills and passion that will shape tomorrow's conservation leaders."
Each three-day class — developed specifically for little ones and led by education professionals — features imaginative play, movement, storytelling and live animal interactions.
"What's the Buzz?" focuses on bees, butterflies and other important pollinators. Kids explore the inside of a beehive (safely), build a "bee hotel," dress up like bats, tour the zoo's butterfly conservation lab, and plant native flowers for their own backyard or neighborhood.
For "Safari Adventure," kids ride a magic Jeep to the savanna in search of African wildlife big and small. Campers can feed a giraffe, solve an animal mystery, touch a lion pelt, cast animal tracks and meet some African arthropods.
For more information or to register, visit oregonzoo.org/critter-club or call 503-220-5774.
The Oregon Zoo is a service of Metro and is dedicated to its mission of inspiring the community to create a better future for wildlife. Committed to conservation, the zoo is currently working to save endangered California condors, Columbia Basin pygmy rabbits, Oregon silverspot and Taylor’s checkerspot butterflies, Western pond turtles and Oregon spotted frogs. Other projects include studies on black rhinos, Asian elephants, polar bears and bats.
The zoo relies in part on community support through donations to the Oregon Zoo Foundation to undertake these and many other animal welfare, education and sustainability programs. The zoo is located five minutes from downtown Portland, just off Highway 26 at exit 72. The zoo is also accessible by MAX light rail line. Visitors who travel to the zoo via MAX receive $1.50 off zoo admission. Find fare and route information online or by calling TriMet Customer Service at 503-238-RIDE (7433).
General zoo admission is $10.50 (ages 12-64), $9 for seniors (65 and up), $7.50 for children (ages 3-11) and free for those 2 and younger; 25 cents of the admission price helps fund regional conservation projects through the zoo’s Future for Wildlife program. A parking fee of $4 per car is also required. Additional information is available by calling 503-226-1561.