POSTED: Wednesday, January 25, 2012 - 1:00pm
UPDATED: Wednesday, January 25, 2012 - 1:15pm
The El Paso Zoo will have some overnight guests this coming Friday. As part of "Zoo Adventure", staff members host a sleepover filled with fun.
When the El Paso Zoo closes its doors come this Friday, the adventure begins for children like Ivy Cordero, who's taking part in the "Zoo Adventure Sleepover".
"It's fun because noone's around and you and all the animals are out. So it's just different," said Ivy.
"They sleep in comfortable camp cots that are really big so all people have to do is bring their blanket and their pillow and they're ready for the sleepover," said El Paso Zoo Education Specialist and Zoo Adventure Coordinator Naima Montacer
The zoo holds the sleepovers about once a month for children 7 and up with an adult supervisor. Each time, there's a different theme for the sleepovers. This time it's bats. "It'll be all about bats. So they'll do a bat enrichment, a bat craft. They'll learn about local bats," said Montacer.
The adventure begins with an animal encounter, where children will get to learn about bats by visiting their cave and watching a video.
Next comes a behind the scenes tour. "A lot of the animals have access, so what that means is that they can either be outside in their exhibit or they can be in their exhibit. So we go around and use our night optic to try to find some of these animals," said Montacer.
This is followed by a nocturnal tour which includes a visit to the sea lion area. The children also get to draw or do some sort of craft project. "At the end of the night, if it's not really windy, we can have a campfire outside and we roast marshmallows and we also do a story time themed to that sleepover," said Montacer.
In the morning, the children get breakfast and then have another behind-the-scenes tour of what goes on before the zoo opens. "In the morning, it's really calm and peaceful and that's when all the animals are being let back out and they're really playful," said Montacer. "Those are things that the general public, when they come at 9:30 they don't get to see."
Zoo Adventures Sleepover takes place this Friday January 27th at the El Paso Zoo. It's located at 4001 E. Paisano. The adventure starts at 6:00 p.m. Friday and ends at 9:00 a.m. Saturday. The cost is $30. It includes snacks and breakfast.
Space is limited and there are a few spots left. You must register by Wednesday at 5:00 p.m. Children have to come with a supervisor. There can be one adult per five children.
For more information visit www.elpasozoo.org .