BRIDGEPORT, Conn. (WTNH) — It’s going to be a zoo-pendous summer at Connecticut’s Beardsley Zoo.
Connecticut’s only zoo released its 2023 calendar, outlining events from June through September 2023.
Almost all fun and educational events — that celebrate animals like tigers and red pandas — are free with the cost of admission.
See the highlights from the zoo’s 2023 summer calendar below:
Cool Blue Bridgeport free admission — June
Every Saturday throughout June, Bridgeport residents can receive free admission to the zoo as a part of the “Cool Blue Bridgeport” educational program. Register here with the code “COOLBLUE.”
Farmyard Fun: Zoo Tots — June 14
Children from 22-months-old to 4-years-old can participate in stories, games, crafts, and see live animals during the session of “Farmyard Fun.” Register and purchase tickets here.
Wild About Reading — June 17
25 area libraries have teamed up with the zoo to celebrate the new Andean bear habitat. At participating libraries, 500 prizes are hidden through books about bears, including animal adoption kits, zoo admission and memberships, and soft serve ice cream.
AARP free admission — June & July
On June 23 and July 28, AARP cardholders can receive free admission to the zoo with one guest.
Photography Goes Wild contest — June & July
A special photo content will run from June 1 through — allowing both amateur and professional photographers the chance to submit their best work for public viewing. On June 10, photographers join Milford Photo at the zoo for a demonstration of cameras and best techniques for animal photos. Photos can be submitted here.
Evening Lecture Series — June through September
There is a lecture each month pertaining to a different animal.
June 21: Horseshoe Crab Monitoring with Sacred Heart biology professor Jo-Marie Kasinak.
July 19: Hooked on Killfish! with marine biologist Andre Carletto.
August 16: Olympic Cougar Project with Panthera field technician Kurt Zias.
Sept. 20: Vampire Bats with SCSU biology professor Miranda Dunbar.
Summer Animal Shows — July through August
Children and teens can learn about wildlife and conservation throughout multiple sites around the zoo. Programs take place every Thursday and Friday, beginning July 6.
Zoo Patrol — July through August
Starting July 3, children between the ages of 7 and 13 have the opportunity to explore a different area of the zoo each day for a custom, guided experience. There are six weeks in total, with sessions running Monday through Friday. Find tickets and register here.
Teddy Bear Fest — July 15
Children are invited to bring their favorite teddy bear or plush to the zoo for a day of activities and storytelling, focusing on bear awareness. Teddy bears can also receive a free health checkup at the “Teddy Bear Clinic!”
World Snake Day — July 16
Educators will be stationed throughout the zoo to share information on the misunderstood species.
National Merry Go Round Day — July 25
Receive a free ticket for a ride on the carousel with paid admission.
International Tiger Day — July 29
Tabletop displays throughout the zoo will celebrate the tiger.
Chris Rowlands — July 29 – 31, Aug. 1-13
The family fan-favorite Chris Rowlands will be live to perform children songs, dance, and bring kids onstage for sing-alongs with puppets and colorful props. Each performance is around 30 minutes, with shows at 11 a.m., 1 p.m., and 3 p.m. each day.
Sky Hunters in Flight — July & August
Every Saturday and Sunday from July 1 through Aug. 27, guests can watch birds of prey in free flight with presentations by one of the nation’s premiere wildlife presenters, Master Falconer Brian Bradley.
BeeCommunity Kind Day — Aug. 19
Find out how you can help the decline of the honeybee and enjoy some honey-based treats. Liberty Bank, who is hosting the event, will also give out some bee-themed freebies!
Fairy Tales Day — Sept. 9
The zoo will transform into a magical land with seven storybook characters in-costume on the zoo grounds from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. All children are encouraged to dress-up and participate in activities like face painting, glitter tattoos, and animal presentations.
Annual Golf Tournament — Sept. 11
The Brooklawn Country Club in Fairfield is hosting the 16th annual golf tournament. Experience some fun and fundraise alongside an open bar, silent auction, and raffle. Register here.
Glow Wild Lantern Festival — Sept. through Dec.
The festival will kick-off Sept. 15 and run through Dec. 2 from Thursday through Sunday evenings. More than 40 large-scale illuminated sculptures will be on display from 5:30 to 9:30 p.m. Find tickets here.
International Red Panda Day — Sept. 16
Visit red panda Berry in her home at the Natt Family Red Panda Habitat. The staff will also give talks about Berry throughout the day.
FrogWatch Party — Sept. 23
FrogWatch Citizen Scientists — who helped record frog and toad calls throughout the year to update the census in area wetlands — are invited to the zoo’s end-of-the-season celebration.