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Detroit Zoo’s Summer Safari camps for kids start June 24

ROYAL OAK, Mich. – The Detroit Zoo is offering a lineup of new and past-favorite Summer Safari camps to keep kids occupied all summer long. From June 24 through Aug. 16, 2013, children ages 4 to 12 can explore the wonders of nature and wildlife with tours of the Zoo, hands-on activities, games and crafts.

Parents can choose from a variety of weeklong half-day and weeklong full-day sessions geared toward specific age groups. Weeklong morning and afternoon sessions can be paired for full-day experiences.

Prices for the Summer Safari camp sessions range from $130 to $250 for Detroit Zoological Society members and $140 to $270 for non-members.

Busy parents can drop daytime campers off early or pick them up late to enjoy before- and after-camp activities. Early Bird drop-off starts at7:30 a.m. and Late Owl pick-up runs until 5:30 p.m. Costs range from $6 for a single session to $60 for Monday through Friday mornings and afternoons.

Visit http://www.detroitzoo.org/education/safari-day-camps for class availability and to register. For questions, emaileducation@detroitzoo.org or call (248) 541-5717, ext. 3800.

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Tri-county Seniors Invited to Free Day at Detroit Zoo April 24

Tri COunty Senior - Detroit Zoo

ROYAL OAK, Mich. – Senior citizens living in Macomb, Oakland and Wayne counties are invited to enjoy a free day at the Detroit Zoo on Senior Day, Wednesday, April 24, 2013, 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Seniors 62 and older and a caregiver will receive complimentary admission and parking.

Senior Day will feature live music, tractor train tours, bingo and a senior resource area. The day’s activities will also include animal enrichment and zookeeper talks highlighting some of the Zoo’s senior animal residents.

The spring Senior Day is one of two free days for tri-county seniors held annually at the Detroit Zoo in appreciation for voter approval in August 2008 of the ballot proposal to keep the Zoo. A fall Senior Day will be held on Wednesday, Sept. 4, 2013.

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It’s Easy Being Green at Detroit Zoo’s GreenFest, April 20-21

Green Fest - Detroit Zoo

ROYAL OAK, Mich. – The Detroit Zoo will host its inaugural GreenFest on Saturday, April 20, and Sunday, April 21, 2013, 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. The Zoo-wide event is dedicated to celebrating Earth Day and educating Zoo visitors about environmental conservation.

Each GreenFest guest who turns in a Green Zoo survey – which can be downloaded at detroitzoo.org beginning April1 – will receive a reduced admission price of $8, parking not included. Admission for Detroit Zoological Society members is free, but members are encouraged to participate in the survey. Green Zoo surveys will also be available at the admission gates during GreenFest.

GreenFest will feature earth-friendly craft projects, an endangered species and green scavenger hunt, a 30-foot rock climbing wall (weather permitting), family yoga classes and animal enrichment. Off Broadway Productions will present a mini-musical about recycling at the Events Pavilion at 11 a.m., 12:30 p.m. and 2 p.m.

A Green Games Gallery will be hosted by the Detroit Zoological Society (DZS) Green Team conservation group, including games using recycled materials, storytelling and educational displays. The event will also include hands-on science experiments by the University of Detroit Chemistry Club, composting demonstrations by SOCWA (Southeastern Oakland County Water Authority) and exhibits by local conservation groups. All GreenFest activities are free with Zoo admission.

A “Save Vanishing Species” semipostal stamp-cancellation ceremony will take place on Saturday, and the stamp will be available for sale throughout the weekend. Proceeds will benefit the Wildlife Without Borders Multinational Species Conservation Funds administered by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service.

Anyone who turns in a used cell phone for recycling between April 7 and April 21 at Noodles & Company restaurants in Livonia, Northville, Rochester, Royal Oak or Troy (two locations) to benefit the Detroit Zoo will receive a free appetizer and a voucher for one complimentary admission to the Zoo’s 4-D Theater or Simulator Ride in the Wild Adventure Zone during GreenFest. Cell phones will also be collected at the event.

GreenFest is supported by DTE Energy, Ford, The Home Depot, IKEA, Noodles & Company, United Healthcare Community Plan and Whole Foods Market.

GreenFest is an initiative of the DZS Greenprint, a comprehensive strategic plan to refine and improve facilities and daily practices, develop new policies and programs and improve green literacy in the community.

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See What’s Popping at the Detroit Zoo

Detroit Popcorn Company | Detroit Zoo

Detroit Popcorn Company | Detroit Zoo

ROYAL OAK, Mich. – The Detroit Zoo’s “pop” culture now includes Detroit Popcorn. The new concession offers an assortment of gourmet popcorn, including the company’s signature caramel corn, a recipe that has been used since its founding in 1923. Additional menu items include cotton candy, fried fruit pies, funnel-cake bites, beverages and other treats.

Detroit Popcorn, which opened March 30, is located across from Rackham Fountain in the space formerly occupied by Kijiji Café. The concession is managed by Service Systems Associates (SSA), operator of concessions, retail and grounds services for the Detroit Zoological Society.

“The Detroit Zoo and Detroit Popcorn are the perfect combination, two Detroit traditions that have been popular with the community for decades,” said SSA General Manager Stacie Linn. “We are happy to partner with this superb local business.”

Detroit Popcorn is currently open Thursday through Saturday during regular Zoo hours and will be open daily beginning Memorial Day weekend.

The concession at the Detroit Zoo is Redford, Mich.-based Detroit Popcorn Company’s first free-standing location.

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Detroit Zoo Ushers in Ice Age with New 4-D Film

Ice Age - Detroit Zoo

ROYAL OAK, Mich. – Detroit Zoo visitors can experience an adventure of mammoth proportions with “Ice Age 3: Dawn of the Dinosaurs”, now showing at the 4-D Theater in the Wild Adventure Zone.

The sub-zero heroes from the worldwide blockbuster venture into a mysterious underground world after Sid the sloth stumbles across three abandoned eggs and decides to raise them as his own. Once the eggs hatch, the adventure begins in the lost world of the dinosaurs. The 14-minute film is voiced by an all-star cast, including Ray Romano, John Leguizamo, Denis Leary and Queen Latifah.

Back for a return engagement and alternating with “Ice Age 3” at the 4-D Theater is “Great Escapes: Life in 4-D”, which takes a look at the ingenious tactics animals have developed to survive and thrive in a danger-filled world.

Also returning this season is “Happy Feet: Mumble’s Wild Ride” at the Simulator Ride in the Wild Adventure Zone. Mumble and his penguin friends race down the frozen cliffs of Antarctica at chilling speeds, and their icy journey turns into a suspenseful chase as they come face to face with the notorious Leopard Seal. The action-packed wild ride has a happy ending and is a cool, immersive experience for the entire family.

All three films are produced by SimEx-Iwerks, an entertainment company specializing in 4-D cinematic experiences. Click on “Attractions” at www.detroitzoo.org for the most up-to-date information and movie times.

The 126-seat 4-D Theater delivers a high-definition viewing experience in 3-D with 7.1 digital audio surround sound. The experience features a variety of sensory surprises that are built into the seats and theater environment, bringing on-screen images to life with 4-D effects such as mist, scents, back pokers, leg ticklers and seat vibrations. Some 4-D effects may be too intense for children 5 and under; parental discretion is advised. Tickets are $5 with Zoo admission for visitors ages 2 and older and are available at the main gate, the Wild Adventure Zone ticket booth or online.

The 30-seat Simulator Ride is an educational, action-packed thrill ride which offers a “you-are-there” experience from the comfort of a specially equipped, motion-simulated cabin. Passengers must be at least 36 inches (3 feet) tall, and it is recommended that they be at least 5 years of age or older. Tickets are $5 with Zoo admission and are available at the main gate, the Wild Adventure Zone ticket booth or online.

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Detroit Zoo’s Newest Attraction Fits in Your Pocket

Detroit Zoo Phone App

Detroit Zoo Phone App

ROYAL OAK, Mich. – A new Detroit Zoo mobile application makes getting a daily dose of Vitamin Z easier than ever. The Zoo’s new and improved smartphone app helps guests plan their visit, find their way, learn more about their favorite animals and even go on a wildlife scavenger hunt. The app is available for both the iPhone and Android.

“The new app allows users to plan their visit as well as enrich their experience once they arrive,” said Detroit Zoological Society CEO and Executive Director Ron Kagan. “One exciting feature allows kids to become ‘secret agents’, using their imagination and special clues to discover the Detroit Zoo in a whole new way.”

Kids can explore the Zoo via an interactive scavenger hunt with the Detroit Zoo’s mascots, Junior Z and the Zooper Heroes. By checking in at various locations throughout the Zoo and answering questions about the animals, youngsters can complete “Z-missions” and become Zooper Heroes as well.

Other key features of the redesigned Detroit Zoo app include:

• A demo with instructions on using the app
• A map featuring clickable locations, filtering and details about each location
• Information about upcoming Zoo events
• Reminders that can be set in the phone’s calendar through the app
• A searchable database of every animal, habitat, attraction and facility
• A “Z-tector” QR code scanner for exclusive content, including video of zookeepers talking about the animals

The new app retains some of the core features of the former app, including Detroit Zoo hours, pricing information, the ability to purchase tickets and memberships and a GPS-enabled map with a “Near Me” function to help find habitats, attractions, restrooms, concessions and gift shops.

The new app was designed for the Detroit Zoo by Detroit-based Doner. “We wanted to develop an app that was not only practical, but that would also completely enhance the visitor experience,” said Doner Co-CEO and Chief Creative Officer Rob Strasberg. “The unique functions of this new and improved mobile app provide Zoo guests of all ages with another fun and engaging way to get their dose of Vitamin Z.”

The Detroit Zoo app is available for download at the iTunes App Store and Android Market (search for “Detroit Zoo”) for $1.99. Proceeds from the sale of the app benefit conservation.

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Detroit Zoological Society Leads Expeditions To Peru

DetroitZoo

The Detroit Zoo

ROYAL OAK, Mich. – For the fifteenth year, the Detroit Zoological Society (DZS) is leading an expedition to the heart of the Peruvian rainforest to deliver school supplies to rural communities along the Amazon River.

From April 6 to 15, 2013, DZS staff members and volunteers from Michigan and around the country will deliver school supplies purchased with donations to the Peru Adopt-A-School program.

The volunteers – who travel to Peru at their own expense – will work with DZS staff passing out books, paper and supplies to hundreds of students in remote villages, enabling them to attend school and achieve a basic education with a focus on conservation.

“It is part of our mission to provide outstanding and unique educational opportunities to thousands of children in the Metro Detroit area. The Adopt-A-School program helps children in an underserved part of the world receive the important tools they need to further their education,” said DZS Executive Director Ron Kagan.

A second conservation expedition from April 13 to 22, 2013, will build simple water purification systems to provide clean drinking water to two established Amazon communities.

Donations for the Adopt-A-School program are accepted by the DZS on behalf of Conservacion de la Naturaleza Amazonica del Peru (CONAPAC). One hundred percent of every donation is used by CONAPAC to purchase school supplies in Iquitos, Peru, thus supporting the local economy, reducing purchasing costs and eliminating shipping costs.

During the 2011-12 school year, Peru Adopt-A-School donations provided more than 3,000 students and teachers with educational materials and training in 58 communities.

For more information or to make a donation to the Adopt-A-School program, contact DZS Curator of Education Claire Lannoye-Hall at clannoyehall@dzs.org or (248) 336-5803, or visit www.detroitzoo.org/adoptaschool.

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