What will zoo ocelot, bears, crocodiles, meerkats, parakeets and orangutans get for Christmas? Share in the excitement as animals enjoy gift-wrapped boxes of treats and fish or fruit-adorned trees and wreaths at Woodland Park Zoo Winter Celebration Saturday, Sunday and Monday. The creative treats enrich the lives of the animals, providing mental and physical stimulation and a chance for visitors to see a repertoire of behaviors as the animals figure out and devour their gifts.
Treat delivery includes lions at 10 a.m., wolves at 11:30 a.m., sloth bears at noon and warthogs at 1:30 p.m. Saturday; snow leopards at 11 a.m., gorillas at noon and jaguars at 2 p.m. Sunday; elephants at 1:30 p.m. Saturday and Monday, birds at Willawong Station at 11:30 a.m. all three days, and many more. Winter Celebration is 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. all three days; the zoo is open 9:30 a.m. to 4 p.m. daily (closed Dec. 25).
EMP Museum has another take on offbeat holiday adventures with back-to-back showings of what they bill as one of the worst films ever made, “Santa Claus Conquers the Martians,” 11 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. Saturday. Luckily, there’s lots more to see at EMP, including the last few weeks of the “Fantasy: World of Myth and Magic” exhibit closing Jan. 5, with pop culture artifacts from “The Wizard of Oz,” ”The Princess Bride” and “Harry Potter,” and manuscript pages from “The Hobbit” and “The Lord of the Rings” hand-edited by J.R.R. Tolkien.
Next week, EMP is open extended hours, 10 a.m.-7 p.m. Dec. 26-30, perfect for a visit with out-of-school students and holiday visitors from out of town.
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Attractions at other local destinations include Washington State History Museum’s popular annual Model Train Festival Saturday, Sunday, Monday and Dec. 26 through Jan. 1, and Winter Fishtival marine mammal-themed activities Dec. 26 through Jan. 5 at Seattle Aquarium.
Seattle Children’s Museum explores winter celebration traditions around the world through Jan. 5, including visits from Santa from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. Saturday, Sunday and Monday, while the Museum of Flight offers Winter Family Fun winter-themed aerospace and aviation activities Dec. 26 through 31.
See today’s Datebook for more information on all these events, including holiday hours.
And in case you’re still shopping for holiday gifts, memberships at Woodland Park Zoo, Seattle Aquarium and local museums provide an easy-to- buy gift that keeps on giving all year long while supporting our many local cultural attractions.
Madeline Mckenzie: email@example.com