Liberty Science Center goes to the dogs for Paws and Prosecco event

LSC After Dark

On May 16, puppies, pigs, and more fascinating animals came out for “Paws and Prosecco,” our latest LSC After Dark event for guests 21 and over. (If you missed it, make sure to get tickets now to our next LSC After Dark event, "Whiskey in Westeros 2," on June 20!)

At this celebration of furry friends, guests interacted with local animal organizations, discovered amazing animal abilities, enjoyed prosecco tastings, explored all the exhibitions in the Science Center, ate delicious snacks from local food vendors courtesy of Midnight Market, and so much more.

Not only did guests meet some cute creatures, but they learned a lot about them, too.

“This is my first time at an LSC After Dark event, and I want to cry looking at all these animals. It’s the best!” said Milltown resident Anna Johnson. “This is so beneficial. I’m learning so much more about animals.”

Take a look at some of the coolest experiences guests had that night:

Participating in Goat Yoga

Certainly one of the most unique experiences of the night was goat yoga! The Ringwood-based organization Totes Goats LLC brought along some of their goats, adorably dressed in pajamas, for a little bit of yoga time with our guests. Check it out:

Studies have shown that animal-assisted therapy can help with mental health and physical health, including lowering anxiety, lowering blood pressure, and releasing hormones such as Phenylethylamine which has the same effect as chocolate.

Meeting Farm Animals

Totes Goats also brought along several of their farm animals for guests to meet, including piglets, chickens, guinea pigs, and rabbits. Guests learned some of these animals’ amazing traits – for example, did you know pigs have an excellent sense of smell?

Meeting Seeing Eye Dogs

At our Wags and Whiskers Expo, we were joined by multiple vendors and organizations devoted to cats, dogs, and beyond.

One of the organizations was The Seeing Eye, a guide dog school based in Morristown, who brought along seeing eye dogs for guests to meet. Guests learned about the school’s training process, which includes getting dogs comfortable with working in harnesses, walking in different environments, and recognizing barriers for a blind traveling partner. Dogs are trained via a combination of repetition and praise.

Discovering the Future of Dog Walking

Every month at LSC After Dark, our Innovation Station shows off the latest in must-see tech. This month we were joined by Barkly Pets, an app company that is innovating the dog walking experience. Guests learned how the Barkly app connects dog owners with local dog walkers, and even allows users to track dog walks with GPS tracking.

Connecting with Local Animal Shelters

Several animal shelters joined us for the event, making it so much more than just a party, but also an opportunity for guests to connect with their local rescues.

One of the shelters was Liberty Humane Society, located directly across from the Science Center. Guests learned about their different services, such as low-cost spay and neuter opportunities, as well as low-cost wellness dates when pet owners can purchase affordable vaccinations to keep their pets healthy.

Prior to the event, we asked guests via social media to bring essentials for the Liberty Humane Society. Many guests brought items such as wet and dry cat food, paper towels, dish soap, newspapers, and more. Thank you to all guests who brought essentials with them!

Learning Which Plants to Avoid

We were joined by representatives from the Meadowlands Veterinary Hospital, who taught guests about common household plants that are toxic to pets, such as English Ivy and Madagascar Dragon Tree.

Guests also learned about general items that are toxic to pets when consumed in excess amounts, such as chocolate, coffee, and xylitol (a sugar alcohol found in gum).

Experiencing the Rat Olympics

LSC After Dark: Paws and Prosecco saw the return of our Rat Olympics! Guests watched our “rat-letes” go for gold by leaping hurdles, jumping off diving boards, climbing across tightropes, and more. It was a great way for our guests to learn about rats’ natural abilities and the adaptations they have that make them so good at surviving in the wild.

Becoming Tick Experts

Did you know May is Tick-Borne Disease Awareness Month? We were joined by Dr. Andrea Egizi, New Jersey’s tick expert, who led a special presentation about tick safety and keeping pets (and people!) safe from tick-borne diseases such as lyme disease. Among her safety tips, Dr. Egizi advised searching for ticks in ears, between toes, and under the tail – some of the most common places that ticks like to hide.

Building Enrichment Activities for LSC’s Animals

“Enrichment” is a popular word you’ll hear at the Science Center – it’s any type of activity that we use to keep our animals mentally active, such as providing them with a new toy. At Paws and Prosecco, guests created enrichment toys for our animals using items such as string, blocks, and crinkle paper. Our naked mole rats and green-winged macaw are just some of the animals that will receive these fabulous creations!

Learning About 3D-Printed Prosthetics for Animals

3D printing is changing our world, and one of the most exciting ways that it is being used is to create prosthetics for injured animals that otherwise might not get a second chance. At our Wags and Whiskers Expo, guests learned about 3D-printed prosthetics by viewing injured stuffed animals who were pieced back together via innovative technology in LSC’s MakerLab.

Making No-Bake Dog Treats

Who needs to buy dog treats when you can make your own? At one of our labs, guests created dog treats to bring home using peanut butter, coconut, and cornstarch.

Creating Dog Poop

Yes, you read that right! At another one of our labs, guests learned the difference between human and dog digestive systems by making their own poop using dog food, bananas, and bread, and then seeing it make its way through a model digestive system of a dog.

Experiencing a Sneak Preview of Superpower Dogs 3D

Guests got an exclusive sneak preview of LSC’s newest 3D movie, Superpower Dogs 3D. In this film, viewers journey around the globe to meet remarkable dogs who save lives. Some of the pups are trained in disaster response, work as lifeguards and avalanche rescuers, help people with special needs, and more.

Checking Out the Pet Hall of Fame

Before the event, we asked guests on social media to submit their favorite pet photos to be featured in the Pet Hall of Fame! At the party, our elevators were covered in our guests’ pet photos, from cats to dogs to horses to lizards and beyond!

Soaring Through Black Holes

The event wasn’t just about animals. Over in our Jennifer Chalsty Planetarium, the biggest planetarium in the Western Hemisphere, guests experienced our thrilling show Black Holes. Did you know there are millions of black holes just within our own galaxy? The largest, located at the center of the Milky Way, clocks in at over 4 million times the mass of our Sun.

Guests also experienced our new Laser Unleashed Laser Show, which featured dog-themed hits such as “Dog Days Are Over” and “Who Let the Dogs Out” set to high-tech lasers.

So Much More!

There were so many amazing experiences at LSC After Dark: Paws and Prosecco! Just a few more highlights included meeting therapy dogs from The Good Dog Foundation, checking out non-alcoholic wines for cats and dogs from Apollo Peak Pet Wine, exploring all-natural dog and cat treats from K9 Confections, and learning to identify animals by their tracks in our “Guess Who?” lab.

Don’t miss out on our next LSC After Dark event! On June 20, be there for LSC After Dark: Whiskey in Westeros 2. Due to popular demand, we’re bringing back our Game of Thrones-themed event for one final bash. Click here for tickets.

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