xZOOberance is 16 days of performances, activities and animals

The Indianapolis Zoo is saying goodbye to winter and kicking off the new season with the annual xZOOberance spring festival.

Sprouting up just in time for spring break, this year’s event begins Thursday, March 21, and continues through April 14. Activities run noon to 4 p.m. every Thursday through Sunday, offering 16 days of lively performances, spring-centric activities, living artworks and, of course, animals.

The Bicentennial Pavilion will be buzzing with fun seasonal activities for guests of all ages to enjoy. New this year, visitors can step inside the Blooming Cottage and combine their green thumb with creativity via flower sorting games. Additional activities include testing skills with the Pollen Toss game, geting up-close to meet chickens and goats; and an animal-inspired yoga program which will have guests stretching up tall like a giraffe, spreading their wings like a macaw and balancing on one leg like a flamingo.

Families can make memories at the Fly With the Butterflies Photo Op. Everything is set amid a vibrant landscape of oversized pinwheels, animal-shaped topiaries and larger-than-life flowers to create epic photo opportunities.

Speaking of butterflies, xZOOberance is adding the return of the Fluttering Butterflies Exhibit to its roster. A fan favorite, guests can enjoy colorful butterfly species taking flight inside the Hilbert Conservatory at the White River Gardens and learn about important adaptations of butterflies that help them survive and thrive in the wild.

New this year, the Indianapolis Zoo is helping guests prepare for the solar eclipse. Zoo educators will have fun and exciting eclipse activities inside Blooming Cottage that will teach guests all about solar eclipses, safe eclipse viewing – and how they can get involved in helping scientists track animal behavior.

The Café on the Commons is perfect spot to enjoy a bite from the new seasonal food menu, which features savory options including burgers, BBQ pork and grilled brats. For smaller meals, stop by the Pavilion Café to pick up a variety of snacks and sweets including Bavarian pretzels, corn dogs, cake pops and funnel cake fries.

Moderate spring temperatures also mean more active animals. Many of the Zoo’s animals will be out to join in the fun with extra chats and themed enrichment created especially by guests.

Best of all, xZOOberance is free for Zoo members and included with regular admission. Visit IndianapolisZoo.com for advance tickets and more information.

PHOTO ABOVE: Live performances are part of xZOOberance, which runs Thursdays through Sundays until April 14.