WCS Central Park Zoo Welcomes Winterfest

Julie Larsen Maher 9014 Polar Bear_Gus with Presents CPZ 12 13 08
(Julie Larsen Maher)
Julie Larsen Maher 9014 Polar Bear Gus with Presents CPZ 12 13 08
(Julie Larsen Maher)

The holiday season has arrived, and the Wildlife Conservation Society’s Central Park Zoo is gearing up to welcome Winterfest.

Winterfest boasts an array of awesome holiday specials from performances, lighting displays and presents for the animals. During the first three Fridays and Saturdays in December (Dec. 2-3, 9-10, 16-17) the zoo will stay open until 6:30 p.m. inviting visitors to stroll through the zoo and enjoy thousands of white lights, theater performances, and presents to the animals.

“At Winterfest, the polar bear and penguins will receive presents filled with their favorite treats including fish-sickles and fruits.  Animal keepers and zoo guides will be available to talk to guests about the animals and answer questions,” states Wildlife Conservation Society in a press release.

Additionally, visitors can expect polar-themed performances by WCS’s Wildlife Theater and live animal encounters in the Zoo Gallery, and special winter crafts. The zoo’s 4-D Theater will even be showing The Polar Express™ 4-D Experience, based on the film from Warner Bros. Pictures and Shangri-La Entertainment and Planet Earth: Ice Worlds 4D Experience from BBC Earth.

“For a break from the chilly air, the Central Park Zoo’s Tropic Zone is a steamy 80 degrees all year long.  Home to tropical birds, lemurs, and more, it is the perfect place to take a break from the cold,”  states Wildlife Conservation Society in a press release. “The Dancing Crane Café will be serving holiday treats, hot chocolate, and other festive fare. The Zootique will be offering holiday discounts and is the perfect place to find wild gifts.”

Winterfest Schedule: December 2-3, 9-10, 16-17.

2-6 p.m.-Wildlife Theater performances on the hour in the Zoo Gallery

2:30-5:30-Live Animal Encounters on the half hour in the Zoo Gallery

2-6:30 p.m. – Crafts in the Zoo Theater Classroom

3:15 p.m.-Presents to the penguins

5:30- Presents to the polar bear

Special Performances and Meet and Greet:

December 10 – If You Really Love Polar Bears – performance by Making Books Sing. 2 and 3 p.m. in the Zoo Gallery.

Dec. 18 –  Sprout TV – Super Why and Character appearances at 2:00 in the Zoo Gallery.