This weekend is your last chance to check out the Assiniboine Park Zoo before the polar bears take over.
Officials announced this morning that starting Monday, the zoo will be closed for 10 days leading up to the grand opening of the new Journey to Churchill exhibit. The new polar bear and northern species exhibit, a key part of a $200-million renovation at the Assiniboine Park attraction, is scheduled to open at noon on July 3.
"Journey to Churchill is the signature exhibit in the redevelopment of Assiniboine Park Zoo and we want the Zoo looking its absolute best," Assiniboine Park Conservancy chief operations officer Don Peterkin said in a release.
"The closure will give our animals time to acclimatize to their new surroundings and allow us to complete all the final construction details and finishing touches."
The zoo also announced its programming schedule for the grand opening and the opening weekend:
Thursday, July 3 -- Opening Day
Open from noon to 5 p.m.
Friday, July 4 to Sunday, July 6 -- Opening Weekend
Main Stage Area
10 a.m. to 4 p.m. -- Facepainting
10 a.m. to 10:45 a.m. -- Fawn Wood
11:30 a.m. to 12:15 p.m. -- Fred Penner
1 p.m. to 1:45 p.m. -- The Northlands Denesuline Drummers
2 p.m. to 2:45 p.m. -- Aaron Burnett
3:30 p.m. to 4:15 p.m. -- Al Simmons
Story Telling Centre
10 a.m. to 4 p.m. -- Aboriginal story-telling: northern animals
Free Journey to Churchill collectible polar bear pins will be handed out to visitors (while quantities last). Following opening weekend, the zoo will resume normal summer hours of operation.