Sleepy animals formerly seen napping in the daytime come out of their slumbering dens for a little night life. Zoo parks come alive featuring dramatic lighting and spectacular animal shows for their nighttime programming. There’s nothing like seeing something familiar during the day transform, quite literally, into party animals at night. Experience the unexpected at a nighttime zoo.
When to Visit a Nighttime Zoo
Los Angeles Zoo Zoo Lights
While nighttime zoos typically occur in the summer when the days are longer, some zoos also present family-friendly nighttime programs during the winter holidays. Be sure to check your local zoo calendar for nighttime events throughout the year. Note that special nighttime events can range from fine dining to themed sleepovers, but most activities start around dusk and last typically until nine or ten pm.
Creatures of the Night
San Diego Zoo Jungle Bells
Nighttime zoo events and activities commonly feature animals that your family may not encounter during the day. Zoos such as Night Safari in Singapore present nocturnal animals exclusively, such as the koalas, leopards, lions, and tigers, making their nighttime superstars the centerpiece of the park. Most zoos host animals that are not displayed daily. During their nighttime events, they offer additional experiences beyond your basic animal encounters. For example, the San Diego Zoo houses cheetahs, but there is no official area to see the cheetahs in the daytime. During their nighttime programs, however, visitors will often find these cheetahs featured in their live shows.
What to Expect at a Nighttime Zoo
Enjoy the zoo in a new light with cooler evening weather, enhanced dining, beer and wine gardens, roaming entertainment, live music, and laser light show, all surrounded by wildlife and nature. There’s something for everyone including nighttime tours, music festivals, and sleepovers for the whole family to enjoy. Nighttime shows are high energy holding up to a higher entertainment value versus the standard daily show. Lines form early and seats fill up quickly. In Albuquerque, New Mexico, the Rio Grande Bio Park showcases a weekly Summer Nights Concert series mixing music, botanical garden, and wildlife for a memorable evening.
Check out nighttime programming at your local zoo and peruse our list of favorite family-friendly Nighttime Zoos. If traveling, make time to visit the park closest to your destination during the day and night; you’ll be getting a taste of two parks for the price of one!Nighttime Zoo Programs Across the Country