Have an end-of-summer blast at Point Defiance Zoo and Aquarium Animals get icy treats and enrichments, and visitors can chill out for a wonderful, relaxing, memory-making Labor Day Weekend to celebrate the end of summer

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Polar bears, tigers, elephants and more will chill out with icy treats and other enrichments during the End of Summer Blast at Point Defiance Zoo and Aquarium over Labor Day Weekend. The event runs from 9:30 a.m. to 6 p.m. Sept. 1, 2 and 3.

There’s nothing like watching a 9,000-pound elephant stomp a watermelon, or sea otters play in a pile of ice. Polar bears will get icy treats, and red wolves will devour papier-mâché kabobs. Keepers are even building a Sumatran tiger igloo.

Marine animals – no less than four walruses, plus seals, sea lions and sea birds – will splash around in their Rocky Shores habitats. Plus, four penguin chicks hatched during the spring will join the fun.

Here’s the special event schedule:

Saturday, Sept. 1

  • 11 a.m. South Pacific Aquarium Keeper talk and shark feed
  • 11 a.m. Rocky Shores Ice piles for sea otters
  • 12:30 p.m. Asian Forest Sanctuary Ice piles and an igloo for tigers
  • 1 p.m. Elephant Barn Keeper talk and watermelons for elephants
  • 2 p.m. Red Wolf Woods Keeper talk and ice blocks for red wolves
  • 2 p.m. Discovery Hut Pile of shaved ice for Walnut the North American beaver

Sunday, Sept. 2

  • 11 a.m. South Pacific Aquarium Lagoon feed and treats for tropical fish
  • 11:30 a.m. Arctic Tundra Keeper talk plus watermelon ice treats and sprinklers for polar bears
  • 12:30 p.m. Asian Forest Sanctuary Keeper talk and watermelon treats for tigers
  • 1 p.m. Elephant Barn Keeper talk and watermelons for elephants
  • 2 p.m. Red Wolf Woods Keeper talk and watermelons for red wolves
  • 2 p.m. Discovery Hut Pile of shaved ice for Walnut the North American beaver

Monday, Sept. 3

  • 11:30 a.m. Arctic Tundra Keeper talk plus watermelon ice treats and sprinklers for polar bears
  • 12:30 p.m. Asian Forest Sanctuary Keeper talk and rice paper “beach balls” for tigers
  • 1 p.m. Elephant Barn Keeper talk and watermelons for elephants
  • 2 p.m. Red Wolf Woods Keeper talk and papier-mâché kabobs for red wolves
  • 2 p.m. Discovery Hut Pile of shaved ice for Walnut the North American beaver

Younger visitors can have splashy fun themselves in the Kids’ Zone spray ground, and the exciting slate of activities is designed to get visitors closer than ever to animals through the long Labor Day Weekend.

Look for animal close encounters, two action-packed live-action animal shows each day, and keeper talks across the zoo.

Performances of the entertaining Wild Wonders Outdoor Theater Show, “The Wildest Show in the West,” are scheduled at noon and 3:30 p.m. each day. The show features a cast of zookeepers and animals including Herald the dog, known as Sheruff Bones for this production. He rides to the rescue aboard a hot air balloon to finish a performance starring an array of animals from an aardvark to a sloth to a flock of hilarious chickens.

Visitors are sure to leave with big smiles, inspired to help preserve our Earth – and its animals – via the three Rs: Reduce, Reuse and Recycle.

All activities are free with zoo admission.

For more information, go to www.pdza.org.

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