These are merely suggestions for the best animal encounter that will be enjoyed by all. Again, I state, I am flexible and will make every effort to meet your needs.
All guests should be invited to arrive at least an hour before the scheduled start time of the Lizard Wizard show. I highly recommend 90 minutes, some parents will be 30 minutes late. This is sufficient time that guarantees your party guests will socialize, run around, snack or eat a meal. Children are not allowed to eat while petting animals or over the tarp and sheet.
This is especially important for younger children with shorter attention spans. Each child is an individual. For a particular 2 year old, the show lasted 2 hours with only 5 friends. Other 8 year olds will last 30 minutes before they want to jump in the fun jump. On average, most children will be engrossed and spell bound. No child wants to sit down as soon as they arrive to a party. They are excited to play with their friends.
The focus will be on the safety of the animals being shared and your birthday child's enjoyment. Younger toddlers and babies roaming around, or touching the containers of animals behind the presenter will be another adult's responsibility. Containers are for the protection of the animals and are not meant to be touched.
It takes two trips to the car to unload all of the critters. This means that half of them are still in the car while out of sight. For this reason we need a close, safe, and reserved parking spot. Especially at public parks and very hot days. Or one adult volunteer to wheel in the other set of animals. While the animals are on wheels, they are 3' wide. Please consider this for driveway parking where your car is also parked. I cannot illegally park even with your permission. The vehicle cannot be on the sidewalk, blocking your driveway, or near a fire hydrant. I don't have off-road wheels on the carriers.
I plan to arrive 30 minutes prior to the scheduled start time. If I have a show after yours, we will be on a strict schedule. Otherwise, I don't wear a watch. I am having as much fun as the children are. The show is designed to share 21 animals in an hour. Digital cameras and many photos taken, does slow the pace down. Most events are alloted 90 minutes of animal sharing time unless disclosed earlier.
I do my best to answer the many questions during a "performance", but most of the answers are already built into the "routine." I do have valuable information that I would love to be known by all. Entertaining your guests is a priority, but educating everyone is an underlying goal. My 32 years of daily hands-on experience can not easily be found. I have been working with 100s of reptiles and amphibians since 1989. What you see is not the extent of what I have maintained and tended. The show is for children. I never get too technical about specifics. The emphasis will be on proper approach, petting and handling to teach respect for the natural behavior of each animal.
These are small animals with restrictions on the handling methods. Often grown ups are in the back row sharing their own reptile stories and the children in front will be straining to hear the rules of proper animal handling. This is completely understandable. After all, it is a party atmosphere. Yet more children will be able to touch and participate when they can hear how to properly do so. This is the way in which these animals are accustomed. For this reason, I don't allow others to help share them. For example, the tender delicate abdomen of the tarantula is never allowed to be pet. The safety of the animals over rule the entertaining of the people. I have never placed a claim with the insurance company.
Before I even arrive, young and easily influenced children will hear words between adults of how scary, mean, slimy, and dangerous reptiles are (especially snakes). Keep in mind that your stories told for fun with an element of fear, do actually scare children. It is a shame when a child will not participate because of this. On the other hand, if a child is told by their parents not to participate, I will honor this request. I never force anyone to touch an animal before they are ready to do so. Remember, these are mainly captive bred and raised animals. They are not wild animals that are threatened by our closeness or movement. They are extremely predictable.
Other adults will be responsible for the washing of the children's hands after petting animals and especially before eating.
Thanks for reading.