Summer is a toad-ally busy time of year at Reptiles Alive. Each year we present approximately 800 shows, and almost half of those are presented in June, July, and August. Why are we so much busier in the summer? Well, while most small businesses get a bit of a break in the “lazy” days of summer, we go wild with summer camps, library shows, and all kinds of special summer events. During the school year, schools and daycare centers have 9 months to schedule special enrichment visits. During the summer however, summer camps, summer library reading programs, and summer family events only last for 6-8 weeks! For Reptiles Alive, that means we need our staff to be all hands on deck and fully ready to engage (and entertain and educate).
And we LOVE it.
Summer is not without challenges however. Starting with traffic. Ugh, the hardest part of performing shows for Reptiles Alive is just getting to them! Traffic in the DC area is notorious for being bad, but the biggest challenge is its unpredictability. In the summer, it can be especially frustrating on weekends heading for shows south on I-95, west on I-66, north on I-495, and oh, who am I kidding – traffic is awful everywhere around here. But RA Wildlife Educators are experienced and know to give plenty of extra time drive time to get to their shows. Nonetheless, driving to the shows is often the most stressful aspect of working at Reptiles Alive.
Summer also means presenting shows outdoors. Aaaah, the great outdoors are not always so great, especially for performing a show. Biting insects, sudden storms, heat and brutal humidity combine to create rough conditions for any performer. We take extra care to make sure our animals stay comfortable – we require shade for the animals in order to perform outside shows. The Wildlife Educator, however, has the unique experience of presenting a high-energy show to keep the attention of audiences that usually include very young children in a hot, humid environment while handling large and sometimes wiggly animals. It really does take a special kind of person to become a part of our Reptiles Alive team.
One of the best parts of summer at Reptiles Alive is performing public shows at special summer events and summer reading programs at libraries. Moms and Dads are always on the lookout for fun and FREE family entertainment and many of the events where we perform at are toad-ally free! Although it is already July, we still have more than 30 public shows coming up this summer. These shows are open to the public and are being held at libraries and events throughout the DC/Maryland/Virginia area. It is usually a good idea to check with the host or venue of the event or library before heading out to the show, so be sure to visit our public events page for show dates, times, directions, and contact information.
And our most favorite part of summer? Getting to meet so many awesome RA fans! Hope to sssssee you at our next show!