The Long Beach El Dorado Nature Center is hosting the Southern California Herpetology Society Fall Reptile Show. This is a huge family event, taking place really supersoon: Sunday, September 28, 2008, from 10am – 3pm. Stop by to see all sorts of cold-blooded creatures, both teeny and gigantic, from slithery snakes & turtles to chunky patterned lizards!
Many handlers bring a few extra-friendly, socialized critters, and will invite children to touch their exotic, scaly friends. Most kids will want to indulge, so in order to avoid looking like a party pooper, but still remain a health-conscious parent, I recommend bringing hand sanitizer (reptiles can carry salmonella, and most also have an awesome sense of smell... so it's a good idea to remove odorous traces of things like tasty pet hamster or chicken nuggets from kid fingers before they go in for a touch. This also keeps the reptiles safe from kiddie germs, so it's a win-win for everyone!)
This is a great opportunity to talk about all sorts of sciencey things including: textures (bumpy? smooth? what are scales?), colors (camouflage, warning colors), movement (can you move like a snake? like a turtle?), sounds (how do snakes sound? ...what about lizards?), growth (live birth vs. eggs, shedding skin), needs (food, shelter, space) and on and on. Be sure to bring your camera, sunblock, sense of adventure...and ...patience (this is one of our biggest, most kid-crowded events.)