We are waiting for our first big snow and until it arrives, you can still find a lot to do outside if you look hard enough.

This week’s Get Out is one for the kids or those of us who are young at heart.

I visited the Alaska Zoo recently and found out there is still a lot to do at the zoo, even during our cold winters.

The Alaska Zoo is a winter wonderland, and this time of year is when its dwellers can really strut their stuff.

“Obviously it’s the most beautiful time for the Alaskan animals because all the — especially the fur bears, the wolves, the bears, the fox — they’re all getting their winter coats on so they look at their premium this time of year,” said Patrick Lampi, the zoo’s executive director.

Animals such as the arctic fox have traded their bland summer coats for their signature beautiful white winter coats.

The bears are often asleep by now, but they seem to be taking their time getting into their long winter nap.

“Brown bears and black bears; they’ll be going into hibernation in about two to three weeks depending on what the temperature does,” Lampi said. “It’s a little warm for this time of year, so might be a little later this year. They’re all kind of getting into that sleepy mode, from my understanding.”

One bear who won’t be catching some winter shut-eye is Aphun the polar bear.

“The only time a polar bear goes into any den situation is if a female is pregnant,” Lampi said.

But that doesn’t mean she’s always active.

Although the animals are the main attraction, the zoo offers many programs, too, like the kids’ sing-a-long.

“Every day we try and get out and do something, so we heard about this and thought it sounded interesting and fun and figured she would enjoy it,” said parent Jenny Pickett.

The activities gives kids the chance to warm up their vocal chords, strum some strings or play percussion. And it’s not just the kids who are busy breaking it down: The parents enjoy it as well.

“It was our first time. We really liked it. Just the fact that there are a lot of other little kids her age and she can just dance and be and it’s not so structured,” Pickett said. “It’s just a fun place for her to interact with other little kids.”

Toddler sing-a-longs happen at the zoo every Monday at 10:30 a.m. And the always-popular Zoo Lights is set to begin on Friday, Nov. 28.

For more information you can visit the Alaska Zoo website and Facebook page.



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