(credit: Aquarium of the Pacific)

(credit: Aquarium of the Pacific)


It’s a zoo out there, and with Zootopia and The Jungle Book tearing up the theater box office, chances are families – and singles, too – will want to see the real critters in person. So we’ve rounded up some of the best events for animal lovers in the LA basin. Get ready to roar!

(credit: Cabrillo Marine Aquarium)

(credit: Cabrillo Marine Aquarium)


Tidepool Walk
Cabrillo Marine Aquarium
3720 Stephen M. White Drive
San Pedro, CA 90731
(310) 548-7562
www.cabrillomarinemuseum.org
Date: Saturday, April 30, 2016

Naturalists from the Cabrillo Marine Aquarium lead an informative and fun tour through the tidepools of Point Fermin. The Tidepool Walk event will also include a slideshow about these sea creatures and their natural habitats, held in the John M. Olguin Auditorium. Small children need adult accompaniment, and participants should wear sneakers to comfortably scramble the rocky coast. The event is free; contact the aquarium for additional dates.

(credit: GLAZA)

(credit: GLAZA)


Wild for the Planet
Los Angeles Zoo
5333 Zoo Drive
Los Angeles, CA 90027
(323) 644-4211
www.lazoo.org
Dates: Saturdays and Sundays through May 22nd

Included with regular zoo admission, Wild for the Planet events at the Los Angeles Zoo offer families the close-up looks at animals and information about making a positive impact on the environment. Special animal feedings and zoo keeper talks will feature two animals each day, including elephants, Tasmanian devils, giraffes, tigers, mountain tapir, chimps, orangutans, pronghorn sheep, lions, flamingos, and zebras, among others. An interactive puppet show will also be held three times a day, featuring a brave raccoon’s quest to save an endangered species along with a magnificent condor puppet inspired by the Zoo’s ongoing work with the California Condor Recovery Program.

(credit: GLAZA)

(credit: GLAZA)


Roaring Nights at the L.A. Zoo
Los Angeles Zoo
5333 Zoo Drive
Los Angeles, CA 90027
(323) 644-4211
www.lazoo.org
Dates: June 24, July 29 & August 26th

Roaring Nights at the L.A. Zoo is a summer music series open to guests 18 and over. Held on three Friday nights this summer at the Los Angeles Zoo, a live band, D.J. dance party, pop up zookeeper talks and animal encounters, plus bars and food trucks make for a fun night. There will also be visits to animal habitats at the zoo, and an “Animal Artistry Paint Party” allowing guests to paint a favorite animal on a small canvas as a take-home souvenir. Ticket prices are $25, and $22 members for Greater Los Angeles Zoo Association members; and prices include admission to the Zoo’s special Dinosaurs: Unextinct at the L.A. Zoo exhibit.

(credit: GLAZA)

(credit: GLAZA)


Family Jam at the L.A. Zoo
Los Angeles Zoo
5333 Zoo Drive
Los Angeles, CA 90027
(323) 644-4211
www.lazoo.org
Date: July 9th

Family Jam at the L.A. Zoo features live music, dancing, and encounters with some smaller residents at the Los Angeles Zoo. There will be food trucks present for dining, and kids can enjoy after-hours viewing at popular animal exhibits. Tickets are $25 for adults and $20 for children ages 2 to 13; for Greater Los Angeles Zoo Association member, tickets are $22 for adults and $17 for children; and prices include admission to the Zoo’s special Dinosaurs: Unextinct at the L.A. Zoo exhibit.

(credit: GLAZA)

(credit: GLAZA)


Brew at the L.A. Zoo
Los Angeles Zoo
5333 Zoo Drive
Los Angeles, CA 90027
(323) 644-4211
www.lazoo.org
Date: August 5th

For the 6th consecutive year, the Los Angeles Zoo is hosting Brew at the L.A. Zoo for patrons 21 and older. Beer tasting samples from over 50 microbreweries and craft beer purveyors will be on hand. Live music, karaoke, a D.J., plus zookeeper talks and visits with some of the Zoo’s smaller inhabitants are all a part of the event. Tickets are $65, $60 for Greater Los Angeles Zoo Association members, and $25 for Designated Drivers. Enjoy a VIP experience for $125, with complimentary food and specialty pours.

(credit: Aquarium of the Pacific)

(credit: Aquarium of the Pacific)


Urban Ocean Festival
Aquarium of the Pacific
100 Aquarium Way
Long Beach, CA 90802
(562) 951-1630
www.aquariumofpacific.org

Celebrate the coastal life at the annual Urban Ocean Festival held at the Long Beach Aquarium of the Pacific. The event includes a fashion show, mural painting, art exhibits, and cruises exploring the local coast. The event itself is free; cruises are available for fees on site.

(credit: Aquarium of the Pacific)

(credit: Aquarium of the Pacific)


Shark Lagoon Nights
Aquarium of the Pacific
100 Aquarium Way
Long Beach, CA 90802
(562) 951-1630
www.aquariumofpacific.org
Date: Fridays through June 10th

The Aquarium of the Pacific invites guests to get up close and personal with one of the ocean’s predators. At Shark Lagoon Nights, you’ll get to see plenty of sharks. This free event allows Friday evening participants to touch bamboo sharks, sand tigers, and rays – all under the moonlight.

Genie Davis is a multi-published journalist, novelist, and screenwriter. She lives near the beach in Los Angeles. See more on: CBSLA | eco-exist.com | geniedavis.com | DiversionsLA | Twitter.