Tuesday and Friday Family Nights

Summer 2014 Tuesday and Friday Family Nights

  • When: Talks every Tuesday and live music every Friday through August 29, 2014.
  • Where: Alaska Zoo, Coffee Shop lawn and covered stage (tents available if rainy).
  • Who: Family Nights are family oriented, but suitable for all visitors. All ages welcome!
  • Time: Family Nights begin promptly at 7pm, so please allow yourself time to get through admissions and walk to the Coffee Shop area.
  • Cost: There is no additional fee for talks or music, you simply pay regular admission at the gate or use your annual zoo pass.
  • Amenities: The Coffee Shop and Gift Shop are open late on Family Nights. Cold drinks, espresso menu, snacks and light meals are available for purchase. Note: Some of our Tuesday Night talks are ASL Interpreted. The ASL dates are indicated in the schedule below.

A huge THANK YOU to our long-time Summer Family Night sponsors:


2014 Family Night Schedule

TALK June 3: "Chicken University", Dr. Steve Brown, University of Alaska Fairbanks Cooperative Extension Service *ASL INTERPRETED

  • Learn how to raise urban "chickens on the cheap" at this presentation by poultry enthusiast Dr. Steve Brown of the University of Alaska Fairbanks Cooperative Extension Service. Chickens for eggs or meat can be easily raised in the city and it is now legal in Anchorage. This presentation will focus on the basics of raising chickens whether you want them for food or just pets. Topics will include breed selection, brooding, coop design, nutrition, health and even chicken psychology! Most importantly, it will teach you how to be a good neighbor to both humans and wildlife.

MUSIC June 6: Grover Neely, Progressive Acoustic Rock

TALK June 10: "A Summer in Northwest Greenland", Zach Shoemaker, Alaska Zoo Husbandry Department *ASL INTERPRETED

  • From Alaska to Greenland, zookeeper Zach Shoemaker will discuss his "three months of sun" in Thule, Greenland, taking part in a decade-long research project centered on climate change and Arctic ecosystems. Astounding photos included.

MUSIC June 13: Diane Hall, Folk/Pop

TALK June 17: "Aliy’s Stories from the Iditarod Trail", Aliy Zirkle, Iditarod Musher *ASL INTERPRETED

  • The Iditarod Trail Sled Dog Race travels 1,000 miles across the Alaskan wilderness. Musher Aliy Zirkle has been racing the Iditarod for the last 14 consecutive years. It is because of the amazing relationship between this woman and her dogs, that she has been able to summit the challenging Alaska Range, as well as trek hundreds of miles on the frozen Yukon River and endure horrendous ground blizzards along the Western Coast. Aliy will share her Iditarod adventures through personal stories, as well as photos and videos from the trail.

MUSIC June 20: Grant Edwards, Rock/Blues

TALK June 24: "Saving Katie: The True Story of the Rescue of a Lost Baby Musk Ox", Dianne Barske, Award-winning Writer and Artist *ASL INTERPRETED

  • What would you do if you spotted a baby musk ox, alone, way up north along Alaska's Haul Road? You'd probably hope that the mother or the herd would return for her. When that didn't happen, employees of Alyeska Pipeline Service Company rescued her and eventually took baby musk ox Katie to her new home at the Alaska Zoo. Dianne Barske, award-winning writer and artist of several animal-related children's books, will talk about how she was asked to write and illustrate the story, Saving Katie, for her most recent book and will show several of her paintings published in the book. Meet the musk ox of the Alaska Zoo after Dianne’s presentation.

MUSIC June 27: The SpeNerds, Instrumental Surf/Spy Rock

TALK July 1: "Summer Wilderness Safety", Andy Romano, Executive Director, North America Outdoor Institute *ASL INTERPRETED

  • Wilderness First Responder and member of the Mat-SAR search and resuce team, Andy Ramano will discuss summer wilderness safety. Venture out on your next summer wilderness journey prepared for what Alaska might throw your way!

MUSIC July 4: The Flipside, Contemporary/60's to Today

TALK July 8: "What Does the Fox Say?", Christin Groth, Alaska Zoo Husbandry Department

  • Although the red fox is small and often overlooked, they are an incredibly smart and adaptable species allowing them to live throughout the northern hemisphere. Come learn what it would take to be and live the life of a red fox. After a short talk, go over and meet our resident red fox at The Alaska Zoo!

MUSIC July 11: Hannah Yoter, Folk/Bluegrass/Acoustic

TALK July 15: "Tigers!", Jim Rutkowski, Alaska Zoo Husbandry Department *ASL INTERPRETED

  • Join long-time Alaska Zoo zookeeper Jim, to discuss little known facts about tigers. Are they truly on the brink of becoming extinct, and what, if anything, can be done to save them?

MUSIC July 18: Grover Neely, Progressive Acoustic Rock

TALK July 22: "The Polar Bear Project", Shannon Jensen, Curator, Alaska Zoo

  • Come find out what what’s going on over at the polar bear exhibit. Some pretty big plans are underway… making space for rescued cubs, more bears, and a bigger and better habitat for both you and the bears. Get your paw on the project!

MUSIC July 25: Standard Deviations, Jazz

TALK July 29: "Predators of the Sky", DeAnna Thoma, Camp Coordinator, Alaska Zoo

  • Birds of prey are some of the most skilled and widespread predators in the world. They inhabit almost every ecosystem and have learned how to hunt almost every kind of prey. Come learn about the unique adaptations that have made them so successful and allowed them to conquer the world as predators of the sky.

MUSIC August 1: Denise Martin and Jim Kerr, Irish/Hammer Dulcimer

TALK August 5: "Anchorage Urban Bear Camera Collar Project", Tony Carnahan, Research Biologist, Alaska Department of Fish and Game

  • During the summers of 2012 and 2013, the Alaska Department of Fish & Game started a joint effort by research, management and education staff in Anchorage using new technology (video cameras and GPS devices mounted on bear collars) to study the lives and habits of urban bears. Tony Carnahan, a research biologist with ADF&G, presents preliminary results from this research, which should entertain and educate all who attend.

MUSIC August 8: Mojobone, Blues/Rock

TALK August 12: "The Western Honeybee (Apis mellifera)", Ian Williams, Beekeeper *ASL INTERPRETED

  • Humans have a long and historic cultural connection with honeybees. We have managed them for our benefit since ancient times. The western honeybee was originally found only in Africa and Europe, but its range rapidly expanded as people migrated out of Europe during the second half of the last Millennium. Honeybee colonies can now be found all over the world, including here in Alaska. Ian will share some of his experiences working with managed bees in Europe. He will also discuss issues that are currently threatening bees worldwide. Honeybee health has declined, and dramatic losses have occurred over recent years. These losses are worrying since bees provide a critical agricultural service, and their decline threatens our food security.

MUSIC August 15: Dale Gillespie Band, Classic Rock/Blues

TALK August 19: "Wild About Waterfowl", Joel Holyoak, Outreach Coordinator, Alaska Zoo *ASL INTERPRETED

  • Please join us at the Alaska to learn all about ducks, geese, and swans. This exciting talk will quack about the conservation of waterfowl and their habitats, how biologists conduct research on these animals, and the role of hunting in conservation. Nearly 20% of North America’s waterfowl nest in Alaska so we have a great opportunity to get out and see many different types of waterfowl as well as many species that are found nowhere else in the United States.

MUSIC August 22: Silver Train Band, Country/Contemporary Bluegrass - visit their website

TALK August 26: "Real River Monsters", Tim Lescher, Alaska Zoo Husbandry Department *ASL INTERPRETED

  • Listen to Tim Lescher, Alaska Zoo zookeeper, discuss his attempts to locate, capture and study the last giant Javanese Narrow-headed Softshell Turtles in the wild.

MUSIC August 29: Sing-a-long for "children" of all ages! Starring Annie Reeves of Alaska Zoo Sing-a-long fame.

Tuesday Night Talk contact: Stephanie Hartman at slhartman@alaskazoo.org.

Friday Night Live Music contact: Patrick Lampi at plampi@alaskazoo.org.