A news blog for Seattle's Phinney Ridge and Greenwood neighborhoods

 

Woodland Park Zoo gears up for fall with new hours, Pumpkin Dash, Pumpkin Bash, and animal blessing

September 26th, 2012 · No Comments

Woodland Park Zoo in Phinney Ridge switches to shorter fall and winter hours beginning Oct. 1. The zoo’s new hours will be 9:30 a.m. to 4 p.m. daily, through April 30.

Admission will be $11.75 for adults (ages 13-64), $8.50 for children ages 3-12, and it’s free for toddlers 2 and under. (Discounts are given to active, retired, and veteran U.S. military and their families, seniors, and people with physical disabilities.)

In other zoo news, on Thursday, Oct. 4, clergy will conduct a “blessing of the animals.” The blessing begins at 12 p.m. at the zoo’s South Gate, and will make a two-hour circuit throughout the zoo, stopping at about a dozen animal habitats.

The blessing of animals on St. Francis Day has become very popular in churches, with dogs and cats, hamsters and turtles, birds and bunnies crowding the pews alongside their human companions. Taking such blessings to the wilder creatures of a zoo is a much rarer occurrence. This will be the first time it has been done in Seattle.

The custom of blessing animals on St. Francis Day stems from the saint’s own celebrated love for the natural world. In a time when wild animals were primarily seen as monsters or food, and domestic animals were routinely abused, St. Francis treated his fellow creatures as friends, brothers and sisters, and even teachers we could learn from. He lobbied officials to protect them, and urged his neighbors to care for them. He has become the patron saint of the environmental movement.

The annual Pumpkin Bash is coming up on Oct. 13-14, with pumpkins for the animals, trick-or-treating for kids, and entertainment including crafts and science projects. (Included in zoo admission.)ugural Pumpkin Dash 5K Fun Run/Walk and 1K Kids Dash are set for Sunday, Oct. 28. The kids 1K is free (but pre-registration is required); the 5K registration fee is $30 (or $40 day-of race). The course begins and ends at Green Lake’s Bathhouse Theatre.

And the inaugural Pumpkin Dash 5K Fun Run/Walk and 1K Kids Dash are set for Sunday, Oct. 28. The kids 1K is free (but pre-registration is required); the 5K registration fee is $30 (or $40 day-of race). The course begins and ends at Green Lake’s Bathhouse Theatre.

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