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Snow leapord at the Central Park Zoo
Photograph: Courtesy CC/Flickr/kowarski

Nine summer events that animal lovers won’t want to miss

Annalise Mantz
Written by
Annalise Mantz

We all know that person: The one who oohs and ahhs over every cat she meets, has strong feelings about SeaWorld and feels about puppies the way some people feel about babies. Maybe it’s you!

Whether you lose your cool over cute doggos or know more about the red panda than you do about anything else, we’ve got the summer event lineup for you. Think boozy lectures at the zoo, yoga with kitties and stand-up comedy with dogs. So mark your calendars, pet lovers: These animal-centric events are what dreams are made of.

Open Bark Night; May 4
Stand-up comedy, pizza, booze and dogs: What more could you possibly want? Dog owners are welcome to bring their furry family members to this monthly show at Bark & Co’s headquarters, so other audience members can get their dog fix from the tubby pugs, fluffy Pomeranians and adorable mutts running amok. And hey, if a comedian can get the audience to clap and woof, they know they’re killing the set.

Bronx Zoo After Dark; May 6
Get in touch with your inner child for this adults-only slumber party at the Bronx Zoo. You’ll spend the evening eating hors d’oeuvres in the Mouse House, knocking back a few pints with the rhinos and competing in a scavenger hunt through the exhibits. The price of a ticket includes snacks, drinks, a hot breakfast and a tent to sleep in. You’ll wake up to the sounds of the sea lions barking. How’s that for an alarm clock?

Yoga and Kitties at Meow Parlour; May 18 and 28
Forget downward dog—you’ll be doing more cat-cow in this kitty-centric yoga class at Meow Parlour, a cat cafe and adoption center. The class starts with half an hour of cuddle time, followed by 45 minutes of vinyasa yoga and another 15 minutes of cool down time with the kitties. And who knows? You might even find it in your heart to take one of your new furry friends home.

In the Mood: Spring Fling at the Central Park Zoo; May 20
Ah, spring: The season when the birds, the bees and all the other animals get a little frisky. Learn how the animals at the Central Park Zoo get down and dirty in this adults-only lecture complete with appetizers and drinks. So that’s what they mean by “do it like they do on the Discovery Channel”...

Puppy Prom; June 10
Better invest in a pint-sized bow tie or tiara, because your pup is going to need to be dressed to the nines for this doggie gala. You’ll strut your stuff on the red carpet, shake your tails on the dance floor and compete in a lip sync battle before crowning this year’s king and queen. Might we suggest “Who Let the Dogs Out” for your song choice?

Brew at the Zoo; June 16
Lions and tigers and beer, oh my! Say hello to the grizzly bears, giraffes and lemurs with a beer in your hand at the Bronx Zoo’s annual Brew at the Zoo. Your ticket gets you unlimited samples of more than 100 varieties of wine and beer, plus access to karaoke, trivia and a game room. It might just be the best happy hour ever.

Brooklyn Botanic Garden at Night: Nocturnal Critter Crawl; July 20
Take a moonlit walk through the Brooklyn Botanic Garden to spot bats, owls and other nocturnal animals. You’ll want to bring a flashlight and magnifying glass so you can take a closer look at the beetles and other creepy crawlies your guide points out. Hope you’re not afraid of the dark!

Zoo Camp for Adults; August 4
Who said camp was only for kids? Head to the Bronx Zoo for this three-hour day camp and educational experience. You’ll meet some of the experts, try your hand at zookeeping and even meet a few of the animals up close.

Lucky Dog; anytime
There’s always a cold one for you and a treat for your doggo at this canine-friendly dive bar in Williamsburg. A fenced-in courtyard allows owners to let their pooches frolic off-leash, and you’ll often find tipsy animal lovers happily doling out chin scratches and belly rubs. Though it’s busiest on Saturday and Sunday afternoons, patrons looking for some dog time can check out Lucky Dog any day of the week.

Can’t make it to any of these events? Don’t worry—there’s always horseback riding in Central Park.

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