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Published December 2nd 2013
Hang out where the wild things are
Summer Fun at Melbourne's Zoos
Melbourne Zoo, Werribee Open Range Zoo and Healesville Sanctuary are always well worth visiting however over the Summer there are extra special attractions to make it an even more fun-filled day, evening or overnight experience. From twilight concerts, kids activities and keeper talks to adventure tours and slumber safaris, each Zoo has a range of Summer events to enthral and entertain all ages.
Keepers choose different locations around the Sanctuary to show off the skills of predator animals including the Dingo, Tasmanian Devils, raptors and snakes. Running from 21 December 2013 until 27 January 2014.
The Wild Encounters on offer at Healesville include A Devil of a Time, Magic Moments and Wade with the Platypus. For some serious indulgence try the Wine and Wildlife tour which involves a personalised guided tour of the Sanctuary (optional), wine tasting, a two-course lunch at De Bortoli Restaurant and free tastings at the Yarra Valley Chocolaterie & Ice Creamery. Wild Encounters run all through the year however Summer is a great time to enjoy them.
Combining the opportunity to experience the Zoo at dusk with a concert the Zoo Twilights is an absolute Melbourne favourite. There are special animal exhibits open exclusively for Twilights guests up until 7.30pm and you'll forget you're in the city when you sprawl on the lawns with a picnic (or select from the food and drinks available for purchase) and listen to the music. This season's artists include Babba, Jessica Mauboy, Something for Kate, James Reyne and Daryl Braithwaite. Zoo Twilights run every Friday and Saturday night from 25 January through to 8th March 2014.
This school holiday program runs every day from 13th of January until 24th of January (excluding weekends). The kids are kept entertained all day with meeting animals, talking to Zoo keepers, playing games, visiting secret areas of the Zoo and craft activities.
A new exhibit with Madagascan themed land and soundscapes to showcase the Zoo's Ring-tailed Lemurs. Get up close to these adorable animals and get a taste of their rainforest environment. From 21 December until 27 January.
On 22nd December Werribee Open Range Zoo will host a special Christmas performance of traditional and contemporary carols by the Werribee Concert Band in the African village from 11.00am until 2.45pm. Bring a picnic and enjoy the music.
This is one of the most fun family-friendly activities you can do on a Summer afternoon-to-evening. Along with the Zoo's everyday attractions there's African bands, food, dancing, drumming workshops, coffee ceremonies, hair braiding, facepainting and African games. The usual Safari tours run with the last one at 6pm. Rhythm of Africa nights run on Saturdays 4.30pm until 9.00pm from 4 January to 22 February.
Try out walking on stilts to see the world from a giraffe's point of view. Have a go at the giant giraffe jigsaw - a real giraffe skeleton. Visit the giraffes on a safari. There's also a Tall Order Giraffe feed experience for an additional cost. Stand Tall for Giraffes runs from 21 December 2013 to 27 January 2014.
Year 7 to 12 students who might be thinking of a career working with animals may like to try out being a Keeper for a Day. This involves going behind the scenes at the Zoo, participating in some of the daily duties of a keeper caring for the animals and the exhibits and finding out more about the role of a zoo keeper. Keeper for a Day runs on January 15, 17, 21, 22 & 24.
From open vehicle adventures, encounters with animals, a tour plus lunch at Shadowfax Winery through to staying at the Zoo overnight in a luxury safari camp, Wild Encounters offers a great range of up close experiences at the Zoo.