Why hibernate this winter when you can take your family for a walk on the wild side? Friends of the National Zoo (FONZ) proudly presents Wild Side Stage—a brand new educational performance series for children ages 2 to 10, sponsored by Whole Foods Market. Families are invited to sing with award-winning musicians, boogie with acclaimed dancers and interact with enchanting storytellers and puppeteers. Each performance includes a trip to one of the Zoo’s animal houses, where guests will get a chance to meet and greet keepers and watch up-close demonstrations of the animals that inspired the performances! (Please note that these encounters do not include direct contact with the animals.) Visit them before or after each performance (10 a.m.- 3 p.m.).
Conveniently located indoors at the National Zoo’s Visitor Center Auditorium, Wild Side Stage performances take place on Sundays at 11 a.m. and 1 p.m. Tickets to see these popular performers and animal demonstrations are the best deal in town: $5 for FONZ members, $7 for nonmembers. In addition to buying tickets for specific performances, for a limited time you may buy "anytime" tickets and use them toward any one Wild Side Stage performance. Adults and children ages 2 and older require tickets. Children under two receive free admission with a parent. Tickets may be purchased at fonz.org/wildsidestage, through Ticketmaster (202-397-7328), at the Zoo’s gift shops (Monday-Friday. 9 a.m.-4 p.m.), or the day of the event (if not sold out). Secure your seats now—performances are just around the corner!
January 10 – Brady Rymer (Ages 2 and up)
Rock-inspired singer and songwriter Brady Rymer is a 2009 Grammy®-nominee. His hits, which include “Eatin’ Animal Crackers” and “Jump Up (It’s a Good Day)!” combine a feel-good R&B foundation with traditional acoustic arrangements that all families will enjoy. Then rock and roll to the Amazonia rainforest to meet some of the Zoo’s most musical residents.
January 24 – CityDance Ensemble (Ages 3 and up)
CityDance is DC's leading modern dance company, and a winner of the DC Mayor's Arts Award. CityDance will present "Jungle Books," a fantastic adaptation of Rudyard Kipling's classic. Accompanying activities in the Reptile Discovery Center are sure to charm you. Snake, rattle, and roll!
February 7 – DinoRock (Ages 4 and up)
Hatch up some fun with life-sized, colorful prehistoric friends! Grammy®-nominee DinoRock introduces children to the world of science in “Dinosaur Babies,” an interactive musical puppet theatre performance. Take your imagination on an avian adventure in the Zoo’s Bird House and encounter some present-day raptors.
February 21 – Lucas Miller (Ages 4 and up)
Get ready to do “The Anaconda La Bamba” along with the singing zoologist, Lucas Miller. Recognized by the National Endowment for the Arts, Miller mixes science with real-life stories and music to make a fantastic show. Boogie on down to the Zoo’s no-backbone-zone, the Invertebrate Exhibit.
February 28 – Antonio Rocha (Ages 4 and up)
Small and furry friends will come to life right before your eyes through sound effects, music, and movement. Storyteller Antonio Rocha, winner of the Parents' Choice Gold Award in 2007, will draw you into his colorful world. After the tale, check out the tails at the Small Mammal House.
March 7 – Smithsonian's Discovery Theater (Ages 4 and up)
"What's for Lunch?" In this interactive play, meet Chef FONZ who will show you how animals eat on Asia Trail. Go see what's cookin' for yourself when you visit our giant pandas, red pandas, clouded leopards, and more!