A Wild Time At The Central Park Zoo’s Explorers’ Party: Under the Canopy, A Rainforest Adventure

Photo by Julie Larsen Maher © WCS
Elle gets dancey at the zoo! Photo by Julie Larsen Maher © WCS

This little explorer had a wild time at the Central Park Zoo’s Explorers’ Party: Under the Canopy, A Rainforest Adventure. It was an incredible evening for the great cause of supporting the Wildlife Conservation Society. This was a trip to the zoo like no other!

The animal action was nonstop. Wherever I went I was welcomed by my favorite zookeepers who had fun facts to share with me about the rainforest and zoo. There were all sorts of educational stations and fun activities like playing a colorful frog matching game, learning about products of the rainforest, coloring rainforest drawings, and more. I even made my own bird binoculars to use inside the Tropic Zone to play the Tracks in the Tropics Game. This scavenger hunt game had me exploring the Tropic Zone Rainforest, searching for some of my favorite animals in pictures and winning stickers when I found them in the Tropic Zone. Once I made all my matches, I got a prize!

The co-chairs of the event crack some smiles. Julie Larsen Maher © WCS
The co-chairs of the event crack some smiles. Julie Larsen Maher © WCS

Hands down highlights were the Animal Encounter Zone and penguin and sea lion feedings. The ongoing demos along with meet and greets with favorite animal friends at the Animal Encounter Zone was a perfect hands-on experience to spark my senses. And the feedings were a huge crowd pleaser. There were so many penguins flapping their wings and swimming for fishies. I wanted to jump right in but I walked over to see the sea lions swimming around their pool. The sea lions feeding was exciting to watch because they waved to me and gave the keepers high fives. I loved the animals and the plain fun of it all and Mommy loved the animal interaction and zoo education.

From falcon demonstrations to a Wildlife Theater Performance, there was something for everyone. But my animal instincts came out when in the middle of it all was a zoo-themed dinner buffet custom made for me (and the other little wild animals). The theme food and decorations were awesome. I had banana flavored monkey smoothies, mini grilled cheeses, and mac and cheese bites. I was in pig heaven. I even got to decorate my own cupcake and have my first taste of cotton candy. Then I worked off all that sugar through my fantastic dance moves and some new ones that I learned from my new DJ friend and dance coach. An awesome DJ from MME event design and productions that had everyone (yes, everyone) young and old dancing like a party animal!

This party animal’s favorite animals are monkeys. So I loved the Treetop Zip Line race where I knocked the socks off the big kids as I ran around cones and raced my positively pink monkey down the zip line to win the race! I also got to play Sizing Up Gorillas where I got measured and compared in size to a gorilla. It was so much fun that I could barely stand still to get measured. Instead I was cheering hee hee hoo hoo while thumping my chest. The monkey mania continued when I even got a purple monkey glitter tattoo! I went bananas!

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A young guest gets shows off some animal art. Julie Larsen Maher © WCS

There was more great music and dancing as the night went on led by the DJ who made us kids roar more. A whole zoo crew of us were doing moves alongside each other and trading signature dance moves. All the adults were videoing and snapping pics.

It was such an enchanted evening with the zoo transformed for a family party for such an important cause. With every step and new discovery there was more fun to be had and facts to be learned. There was literally a zoo adventure around every corner. Wild thing at the Central Park Zoo, I think I love you! But it was getting dark so I danced my way home and said, good night, zoo!

To make a donation to, and for more information about, the Central Park Zoo or WCS click HERE!