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Zoo Fare Includes Dancing, Shows

Never content just to let visitors meander by the cages, the Los Angeles Zoo plans a summer filled with special activities. Families can take in African dancing and flying parrots and get up-close-and-personal with a snake.

The Djimbe Dancers and Drummers, a local group dedicated to preserving the musical traditions of Africa, will perform weekends (through Sept. 4) in the Treetops Terrace at 11:30 a.m. and 12:30, 2, 3 and 4 p.m. During their 15-minute performances, they encourage children in the audience to come up and learn the steps.

World of Birds is a natural behavior show. Parrots fly in a circle over the crowd, a hawk catches a lure in mid-air to simulate how it goes after prey. The 20-minute show, in the Wildlife Theater, starts at 11:30 a.m., 1:30 and 3 p.m. daily except Mondays.

Animals of All Sizes

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At the Pepsi Zoopendous Center, docents offer a close-up view of smaller animals such as ferrets, rabbits and snakes. Show time is 11 a.m. and noon, daily.

Keeper Close-Ups are held cage-side. The caretakers give short talks about their charges: orangutans, tigers, elephants, tortoises. The discussions begin at 2 p.m. daily and last 5 to 10 minutes, depending on the questions asked.

In the zoo’s latest show, Wild in the City, visitors are led on an imaginary night hike through Griffith Park, seeing raccoons and other indigenous wildlife along the way. Located in Adventure Island’s Zoorific Theater, the shows begin at 11 a.m., 1 and 3:30 p.m. daily.

Zoo hours are 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. Admission is $5.50 for adults; $4.50, seniors 65 and older; $2.25 for children 2-12. Information: (213) 666-4090.

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SPECIAL EVENTS

Ever wonder why there are more flies in summer? Or why ladybugs have different numbers of spots? Art Evans, science specialist and curator of the upcoming Insect Zoo exhibit, will take center stage at today’s Whale’s Tales at the Ralph M. Parsons Discovery Center at the Natural History Museum, 900 Exposition Blvd. “What’s Buggin’ Ya,” a discussion on the summer habits of insects, begins at 3:15 p.m. and is free with museum admission ($3 for adults, 75 cents for children 12 and younger). Information: (213) 744-3335.

Learn how to marble-ize paper into those glorious Florentine designs at a Sunday workshop at the Westside Arts Center, suitable for ages 6 and older. Artists will show participants how to dip paper into big vats of color. The two-hour workshop begins at 2 p.m. at 2320 Arizona Ave., Santa Monica. The cost is $4.50 per person, all supplies provided. Reservations recommended. Information: (213) 453-3966.

OUTDOORS

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Bring your own telescope if you have one, but astronomer Jon Hodge will also let you peer into his (bet it’s a good one) at tonight’s “Star Tours” astronomy program, which takes place around the campfire at Leo Carrillo State Beach. The free talk begins at 8 p.m. Parking is $4. The beach is on Pacific Coast Highway at the Ventura County line. Information: (818) 706-1310.

Send items at least two weeks before event (Saturday and Sunday events only) to Family Spots, View Section, Los Angeles Times, Times Mirror Square, Los Angeles 90053. Phone calls will not be accepted. All items must include dates, times, exact address, phone number and ticket prices.


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