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National Aviary's varied programs promise something for everyone

| Thursday, May 17, 2018, 3:06 p.m.
A painted lady butterfly sits on a flower at the National Aviary's Butterfly Garden exhibit.
Tribune-Review File
A painted lady butterfly sits on a flower at the National Aviary's Butterfly Garden exhibit.
Valentino, a two-toed sloth, climbs on his perch, at the National Aviary.
Andrew Russell | Tribune-Review
Valentino, a two-toed sloth, climbs on his perch, at the National Aviary.
SOAR! Outdoor, free-flight show on SkyDeck, the National Aviary’s rooftop theater.
National Aviary
SOAR! Outdoor, free-flight show on SkyDeck, the National Aviary’s rooftop theater.
Feeding the birds in the Tropical Rainforest.
National Aviary
Feeding the birds in the Tropical Rainforest.
The National Aviary’s popular butterfly habitat is back.
National Aviary
The National Aviary’s popular butterfly habitat is back.
Checking out the cool penguins at the National Aviary.
National Aviary
Checking out the cool penguins at the National Aviary.

Summer-long programs and events

Butterfly Garden — opens May 26

Included with general admission. Daily from 11:00 a.m. – 4:00 p.m.

The National Aviary's popular butterfly habitat is back. Not all wings are the same, and this summer, visitors can study the delicate and colorful wings of butterflies up-close in this immersive habitat. Local butterfly species will flutter around visitors in a specially designed outdoor space in our blooming Rose Garden. Hand-feed them, take amazing photos and learn about the incredible migration routes of butterflies, their important role in the ecosystem and how to transform your backyard into a butterfly haven.

Newly renovated Tropical Rainforest unveiled in July

Built in 1952, the Tropical Rainforest is the oldest room at the National Aviary. To preserve it for generations to come, the glass is being replaced, pane by pane, with an insulated, bird-friendly variety; a new waterfall feature is being installed; and new species of birds and tropical plants are being added. See the stunning transformation when the newly renovated Tropical Rainforest is unveiled in July.

This transformation is made possible by funders: Colcom Foundation and The Allegheny Regional Asset District (RAD) and sponsors: Peoples Natural Gas, Trib Total Media, Vitro Architectural Glass.

Free-flight bird shows

Stunning birds of prey demonstrate their natural hunting prowess as they soar over audiences on outdoor, rooftop theater, SkyDeck; and tropical species highlight the fragile beauty of the world's rainforests in the indoor Helen M. Schmidt FliteZoneTM Theater.

SOAR! — May 26-Sept. 3

Outdoor, free-flight show on SkyDeck, the National Aviary's rooftop theater

Daily at 12 p.m. and 2:30 p.m. (weather permitting)

$5 per person

Swooping and soaring over audience members and Allegheny Commons Park, a variety of birds of prey, including Lanner Falcons, Black Kites, Hooded Vultures and a majestic eagle will perform hunting demonstrations. This show will give audiences a first-hand look at the hunting prowess of these incredible birds of prey and the techniques used by their highly skilled trainers.

Amazing Amazon

Presenting sponsor:AAA Travel. Daily at 11 a.m. and 1:30 p.m. $5 per person

Audiences are transported to the depths of the Amazon through dramatic video, theatrical lighting, music, narration, a custom designed set, and close interactions with rainforest animals and birds, including a toco toucan, plush-crested jay, grey-winged trumpeter, Southern three-banded armadillo, a scarlet ibis and colorful macaws. In addition, Valentino the sloth makes his way s-l-o-w-l-y across a vine spanning the stage. Audiences learn about these remarkable species, their natural adaptations and their dependence on the rainforest for survival.

Special monthly events

Father's Day BBQ Brunch — June 17

Two seatings: 10:30 a.m. and 12:30 p.m. $37 (non-members adult), $19.50 (non-member child 4-10); $32 (member adult) $17 (member child 4-10 ); Children 3 and under are free

Call 412-258-9445 to register. Space is limited; reservations required. Tickets are transferrable but not refundable.

Celebrate Dad with a special BBQ menu prepared by Chef Josef Karst of Atria's catering. Dine in the sunny Rose Garden, indulge in cocktails from a cash ba, and enjoy visits from some of the National Aviary's birds of prey.

Night in the Tropics — July 21

6 p.m. VIP Reception; 7 p.m. general admission. $85 general admission, $150 VIP ticket includes free valet parking, early admission, full bar, a special VIP reception, bird encounters and exclusive bar and food access.

Tickets: showclix.com/event/NIT2018

Join the National Aviary for a vintage beach party at thr 16th Annual Night in the Tropics. Hula dancers will transport guests to a distant paradise, and exotic fire performers keep things hot into the night. Dance under the stars to Latin Beats with DJ Mike MC and enjoy live music by The Lava Game. Explore the National Aviary's lush habitats after dark, including the newly renovated Tropical Rainforest, and get exclusive up-close interactions with colorful birds. Indulge with beer, wine and specialty drinks, plus tasty bites from more than 30 of Pittsburgh's favorite restaurants and bakeries.

Penguins & Pajamas — Aug. 16

5-8:30 p.m. Included with General Admission; Members $7 per person

Come dressed in your favorite pajamas and catch a movie with our coolest residents, the African penguins. Explore the National Aviary after hours and meet some of our penguin colony up close. Make some feathered friends, make a craft to bring home with you and settle in for a movie in our theater! Before you say goodnight, help us put the penguins to bed with a story.

Falconry — The Sport of Kings! — Aug. 18

10 a.m.-12 p.m. $50 per person (does not include general admission) Reservations required. Call 412-258-9445

Join the National Aviary's certified falconer, Cathy Schlott, to discover the history, practices and theories behind the unique sport of falconry. Explore the variety of birds used in the sport, meet a Lanner Falcon up close, and see an impressive lure flying demonstration. Become familiar with equipment and regulations governing falconry in the United States, and get information about becoming a certified falconer.

Vivien's Rainforest Brunch — Aug. 19

Two Seatings: 10:30 a.m. and 12:30 p.m. $37 (non-members adult), $19.50 (non-member child 4-10); $32 (member adult) $17 (member child 4-10 ); Children 3 and under are Free

Call 412-258-9445 to register. Space is limited; reservations required. Tickets are transferrable but not refundable.

Celebrate the reopening of the new Tropical Rainforest with rainforest creatures at brunch exclusively prepared by Atria's. Dine in the National Aviary's historic, blooming Rose Garden and enjoy visits from Vivien the juvenile two-toed sloth, a spectacled owl and colorful macaws. Then, explore the lush tropical habitats, including the new Tropical Rainforest.

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