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    Children love slumber parties -- it's a fact -- which is the reason why so many look forward to the New Year holiday: it's the one night when many families deem it appropriate for youngsters to stay up past their bedtime to celebrate. The Louisville Zoo has capitalized on this trend this year by offering the first-annual "Zoo Snooze," the wildest way to ring in 2012!

    At 7 p.m. on December 31, bring your children to the Louisville Zoo, when the festivities officially commence. The night will begin with some animal-themed fun and games, rolling over into an informational session that includes actual safe and thrilling contact with some of the zoo's permanent residents! Of course, it wouldn't be New Year's without some resolutions, and children will have the opportunity to discuss ways they can improve their conservation efforts in 2012 with zoo staff. Games, crafts, and snacks will continue into the night, with walks being led through the different exhibits intermittently -- this is an exciting opportunity for children to see what the zoo is like after-hours. Finally, party-goers will countdown to midnight together, with traditional hats and streamers. By the time the ball drops in Times Square, these party-goers will be ready for some well-earned shut-eye, and guests will tuck themselves in out in the new Glacier Run exhibit classroom. The next morning, a hearty breakfast of juice and Krispy Kreme donuts will be served before a brisk walk through the zoo and pick-up at 10:00 a.m. For animal-lovers, inquiring minds, and even just fans of a good party, this will be a night to remember.

    The regular cost for this event is $90, and $75 for zoo members. This price includes a pizza dinner, late-night snacks, breakfast, party favors, and a T-shirt. Children will need to bring a sleeping bag and pillow, pajamas, toothbrush and toothpaste, and a change of clothes for the next day. You can purchase tickets electronically at the Louisville Zoo's website.

    Karen Ellestad's picture

    About Karen Ellestad

    When I was seven and my brother was eight, we both wrote to 'Where in the World is Carmen Sandiego?' for a free t-shirt. Two weeks later his arrived in the mail, signed by Carmen Sandiego herself, accompanied by an autographed picture of the cast, an official membership to the 'Gumshoe Club,' and a Rockapella casette tape. I got a postcard.

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