This is a going to be a great weekend to visit the Point Defiance Zoo & Aquarium. At least on Saturday. Sunday’s weather is looking a little iffy.
The Wild Wonders Outdoor Theater opens for the season with “Captain Adventure,” those colorful birds Budgie Buddies are back in their outdoor enclosure and the ZOOM zip line/challenge course will be up and operating. And don’t forget the new touchable stingray exhibit and Sumatran tiger cub, Kali.
Bonus: In honor of Mother’s Day (Sunday) all moms receive half off general admission prices (on Saturday).
Here’s a list of things to see and do.
“Captain Adventure vs. Dr. Do-Nothing: The Quest to Get Outside!” The fast-paced live show features an array of birds and land animals showing off their amazing talents on an outdoor stage decorated with a forest theme.
New this year are Nigel, a coendou, or prehensile tailed porcupine; Thurston the skunk; and Oscar the opossum. Audiences will thrill to low-flying king vulture and eagle owl skimming right over their heads; a slow-moving two-toed sloth; a rope-climbing parrot; a coati scampering up a tree; and an aardvark digging up bugs.
A majestic bald eagle, a tortoise, a three-banded, a Canada lynx and other animals also are in the cast.
Canada lynx Yukon is one of the Wild Wonders Outdoor Theater stars.
The plot is an epic battle between Captain Adventure and Dr. Do-Nothing over the benefits of getting outside and enjoying all that nature has to offer. It’s got catchy music and an entertaining storyline. In the end, Captain Adventure and trusty sidekick, Herald the Wonder Dog, triumph, much to the delight of their audiences.
Not all animals appear in each show. The performances change from morning to afternoon to give the animals a rest and visitors some variety. Free with zoo admission or membership.
Budgie Buddies: The colorful budgies – or budgerigars – return to the zoo for a season of wowing visitors in their walk-through exhibit. The popular and colorful budgies, which are native to Australia, fly right around visitors’ heads, and those who want to feed them can buy a seed stick for $1.
A visit with budgies is free with zoo admission or membership.
Stingray Cove: “Please Touch the Stingrays” could be the motto for this new experience, which opened May 4 to rave reviews.
Several species of rays inhabit Stingray Cove in the South Pacific Aquarium.
Visitors are encouraged to dip their hands into the 75-degree water and feel the rays’ velvety surfaces.
The stingrays’ barbs are clipped, so the only tingle people will get from them is the frisson of excitement at reaching out and touching these interesting animals. Free with zoo admission or membership.
ZOOM: It’s high excitement at the zoo. Two zip line/challenge courses are now open weekends for adventurous kids and adults. The Super Kid course is sized for kids 5 and up while its big brother, the Discovery circuit, is perfect for ages 8 and up. It’s not strictly kid stuff; adults will enjoy it, too. Both courses give participants challenges and thrills as they negotiate an aerial obstacle course filled with nets and interesting log bridges and tight ropes. There’s some fun zipping to do, too. ZOOM prices are $19.95, plus zoo admission or membership for Super Kid; $29.95 plus zoo admission or membership for Discovery.
For more information about all zoo programs and events, go to www.pdza.org.