7 Midwest Zoo Events For A Perfect Date Night

This post and its photos may contain affiliate links, view our disclosure policy.

Sharing is caring!

Plan the perfect date night at these exclusive, adults-only events hosted by zoos across the Midwest.

These extraordinary gatherings serve as fundraisers to

Your date night adventure helps support the conservation efforts for animals within the zoo and across the globe.


Join one of these unique events and contribute to the preservation of wildlife while enjoying an immersive experience tailored for adults.

7 Midwest Zoo Events For A Perfect Date Night

Image courtesy of Indianapolis Zoo

June 9 – Indianapolis Zoo Zoobilation

Join the Indianapolis Zoo for a night of music, gourmet food, and wildlife at Zoobilation, considered to be the hottest ticket in town!

During the evening, the familiar landscape of the zoo will be transformed into a magical wonderland of incredible animals, exhibits, live music, great food and beverages.

What is Zoobilation?

It is an experience like no other offering samples from over 70 different restaurants/bakeries around Indianapolis.  Below is just a sampling of the restaurants that will be at this years event.

  • 1830 Chophouse
  • Boba & Everything
  • Convivio Italian Artisan Cuisine
  • Garrett’s Smokehouse Barbeque
  • Los Arroyos Mexican Restaurant & Bar
  • Nothing Bundt Cakes*
  • Schakolad Chocolate Factory – Zionsville

In addition to great food there will be an offering of premium wines and specialty cocktails from Republic National Distributing Company .

But Zoobilation isn’t just a party – this is a black-tie event with a purpose.

As the Midwest’s largest animal conservation fundraiser, Zoobilation supports the zoo’s mission to protect and care for its nearly 1,400 animals and 48,000 plants, as well as fund global conservation initiatives around the world.

Mark your calendar for this incredible event and join us in supporting the zoo’s vital conservation efforts!

Image courtesy of John Ball Zoo

Jun 9 – Grand Rapids John Ball Zoo Rendezoo

Experience one of the wildest parties in Grand Rapids, MI at John Ball Zoo’s Rendezoo!

Get ready to embark on an adventure on Saturday, June 9th, as the zoo comes alive with excitement, food, drinks, and entertainment, in an effort to support conservation.

Rendezoo Events

Rendezoo will be happening from 6:00 p.m. to 10:00 p.m., guests will be treated to an extraordinary event that combines the love for animals with the joy of celebration. 

Image courtesy of John Ball Zoo

Including live entertainment from Mac Daddy  several animal appearances, and  viewing of the Grand Rapids Lantern Festival experience.

As you mingle with fellow animal lovers, take the opportunity to explore the zoo’s diverse habitats and encounter animals from around the world.

Food and Beverage

Enjoy a strolling dinner provided by  Donkey Taqueria and Applause Catering while siping on speciality cocktails and other beverages.

Every ticket purchased helps protect endangered species and create a better future for our planet.

Image courtesy of Louisville Zoo

June 10 – Louisville Zoo Zoofari

Experience the excitement of the 42nd annual Zoofari! presented by Brown-Forman, happening on Saturday, June 10, 2023 with this years theme “Cool Island Breezes.”

Attendees can encounter amazing creatures such as Sumatran tigers, Little Blue penguins, orangutans, siamangs, Malayan tapirs, and colorful birds while enjoying tasty specialty appetizers and cocktails.

What is Zoofari?

Zoofari! is a remarkable philanthropic event hosted by the Friends of the Louisville Zoo board, celebrating the Zoo’s status as a cherished gem in the state and region.

By attending, you’ll contribute to the renovation of the MetaZoo education facility and support the Animal Ambassador Program.

Image courtesy of Louisville Zoo

Zoofari Ticket Options

Tickets for Zoofari! are now available, offering a range of options to suit your preferences.

For a more exclusive experience, consider the Mix & Mingle cocktail reception.

This special event from 8 p.m. to 11 p.m. includes animal encounters, cocktails, and appetizers in the Islands area of the Zoo.

Enjoy live music by Cover Me Badd, late-night bites, and dancing in the Oasis event field area.

Zoo Summer Event Series Pass

If you’re looking for a way to extend the summer fun, the Friends of the Zoo Summer Event Series Pass is the perfect choice.

This pass grants you access to both Zoofari! and Brew at the Zoo, Wine and Food, Too! (taking place on August 26, 2023) at a special early bird rate.

Brew at the Zoo offers a delightful array of beer and wine tastings, appetizers, animal encounters, live entertainment, and unique culinary treats.

Zoofari Logo
Image courtesy of Columbus Zoo

June 17 – Columbus Zoo Zoofari

Get ready for an unforgettable evening at Zoofari, one of central Ohio’s most highly anticipated summer events!

This year, the proceeds will support the restoration and revitalization of the North America region within the zoo.

What is Zoofari?

Zoofari promises an exciting blend of familiar favorites and thrilling surprises.

Starting at 7:00 PM, guests will embark on a journey through various regions of the zoo.

Indulge in bite-sized culinary creations, sip on inventive cocktails, and get up close with captivating animals through special encounters.

Plus, enjoy a range of entertainment options that will keep you entertained throughout the evening.

Image courtesy of Columbus Zoo


At 9:00 PM, it’s time to choose your own adventure! Laugh the night away with nationally renowned comedian Pete Lee at Lakeside Theater, or dance to the rhythm of live musical entertainment at Water’s Edge Events Park.

So doing forget to support the Columbus Zoo and enjoy a wild and unforgettable night. 

Image courtesy of Cincinnati Zoo

June 16  – Cincinnati Zoo La La

Zoo La La takes center stage at Cincinnati Zoo on June 16, 2023, and is one of the most anticipated events of the summer.

It’s the wildest party with a purpose in the region, supporting the Zoo’s programming, including the Living Classroom Education Access Fund, which provides free educational experiences to children in need.

Prepare for up-close and personal encounters with fascinating animals that will leave you in awe.


Indulge in food sampling from restaurants around Cincinnati offering a variety of options to please everyone,

Below is some of the restaurants offering food samplings this year.

  • Fiona’s
  • Krueger’s Tavern
  • 80 Acres Farms
  • Mazunte
  • The Cracked Pot


Live entertainment for the evening will include 3 Piece Revival Ben Lavin and Pickin’ Pear will take the stage.

And of course, a delightful selection of beverages to enhance your Zoo La La experience.

This party with a purpose is not to be missed, so mark your calendars and prepare for a night of endless adventure, and unforgettable food and fun.

Image courtesy of the Detroit Zoo

June 23 – Detroit Zoo Sunset at the Zoo 

Save the date for an extraordinary evening on Friday, June 23, as the Detroit Zoological Society (DZS) presents the highly anticipated Sunset at the Zoo: Leap into Conservation gala.

From 7 to 11 p.m., this spectacular fundraising event will take place at the iconic Detroit Zoo.

Sunset at the Zoo promises an unforgettable experience for guests. Indulge in a culinary samplings of signature dishes from restaurants and food trucks around Metro Detroit. 

In addition to great food the zoo will be offering specialty zoo themed drinks. 


The evening will include live performances include   The Jerry Ross Band which will take the main stage. 

Also the Detroit Mosaic Youth Choir, Devyn Mitchell, Louis Jones III and Jesse Medawar will be preforming throughout the Zoo.  

Sunset at the Zoo

One of the highlights of Sunset at the Zoo is the unique opportunity for guests to explore the zoo’s extensive animal habitats after hours.

As the sun sets, the zoo takes on a whole new ambiance, providing an enchanting and intimate experience. With exclusive nighttime access, attendees can witness the wonders of the animal kingdom, observing their natural behaviors under the starry sky.

Rain or shine, Sunset at the Zoo is an event not to be missed. 

Image courtesy of Brookfield Zoo

August 19 – Brookfield Zoo HOWL

Mark your calendars for a night of fun and conservation the 3rd Annual HOWL event!

The Chicago Zoological Society (CZS) is set to HOWL on Saturday, August 19, 2023, from 6:00 p.m. to 9:00 p.m. at Brookfield Zoo for a spectacular evening.

What is HOWL?

At HOWL, you’ll enjoy a fantastic lineup of activities throughout Brookfield Zoo’s Great Bear Wilderness and Hamill Family Wild Encounters.

Sip on cocktails, savor hors d’oeuvres, and immerse yourself in an evening that celebrates wildlife and the crucial efforts to protect it.

Tickets for HOWL will be available starting June 9, 2023.

Don’t miss your chance to be part of this exceptional event that supports the Chicago Zoological Society’s mission.


The night will kick off with a VIP Hour from 6:00 p.m. to 7:00 p.m., featuring exclusive animal experiences, delectable hors d’oeuvres, and cocktails at the Hamill Family Wild Encounters.

Then, from 7:00 p.m. to 9:00 p.m., the main event will take place at Great Bear Wilderness Underwater Viewing, where you can enjoy more hors d’oeuvres and cocktails.

By attending HOWL, you’ll be supporting the vital work of the Chicago Zoological Society Associates and contributing to the advancement of leading zoological institutions in the 21st century.

Similar Posts