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Engagement Opportunities with the Zoo

Create a unique and immersive experience for your scouts by spending the night at the ZooPrograms are tailored to the needs of your group.  Request dates that work for your busy schedule and choose-your-own adventure by selecting from our list of program themes. 

Please note the Houston Zoo is currently only offering outdoor tent campouts and evening twilight safaris. Indoor overnights have been puon hold until further notice. 

Camping materials such as tents are not provided by the Education Department for campouts. Participants are responsible for bringing their own supplies. Please plan accordingly. 

Socially distanced campouts for families, scouts, and adults! See our Spring events here!

Booking Private After-Hours Programs

Hours & Important Information 

Overnight Program Times: 5:30pm – 9:00am
Overnight Arrival Period: 5:30-6:15pm 
Overnight Registration: $75 per person

Twilight Safari Program Times: 5:00-8:00pm 
Twilight Safari Arrival Period: 5:00-5:15pm 
Twilight Safari Registration: $35 per person 

Age requirement: 6 years old and up

Chaperone requirement: 1 adult per every 5 children, ages 6 – 17 

A minimum of 20 participants is required for after-hours programs. Camp site and program location will be selected by Education staff based on availability and group size. 

Submitting a Program Request 

  1. Select your top three date preferences. Dates are based on availability and are sold on a first-come, first-serve basis. 
  2. Choose your theme and preference for an overnight or twilight safari (evening-only)Each of these programs includes front-of-scenes staff-guided tours, encounters with our ambassador animals, and educational activities that are all thematically focused. 
  3. Be prepared with your anticipated number of guests. We will need a breakdown of how many adults and how many children will be attending. 
  4. You won’t need to provide payment until we confirm your program date and complete a group registration. Group rates are not available. 

Submit Your Request Now 

Program Themes

Caring for animals is fun and important. Get ready to learn all the ways to keep animals safe and happy – just like your family cares for you! 

Bugs help us in lots of cool ways. Explore the world of insects and learn how they help the earth, animals, and people, too! 

Investigate how plants and animals interact with each other through the food cycle and what all organisms need to survive. Discover what the Houston Zoo and our partners are doing to protect landscapes in the wild and how you can help, too! 

Is this my habitat? Find out about wild animals and the places they call home. Investigate a variety of unique habitats and learn how animals are specially adapted to survive in diverse regions of the world. 

Ever wonder how scientists learn about wildlife without always seeing, or hearing, them? Together we’ll explore techniques wildlife biologists use in the field to discover new and amazing things as well as ways we can utilize these skills to explore habitats in our own backyards! 

Calling all night owls! Discover how the world around you changes when the sun goes down and meet animals specially adapted to living in the dark. When morning comes, we’ll search for animals waking up that are ready to play. 

Nature is beautiful and full of inspiration! Scouts will explore the colors, smells, and sounds of the outdoors to create art! Then we’ll learn some ways to protect the environment and keep living things safe when we venture outside. 

Engage your five senses as we explore the Zoo by moonlight! Discover how animals sense their environment and learn to identify some of their unique adaptations. 

Join us on a journey exploring our wetlands and aquatic habitats! We’ll celebrate the beauty of water and talk about all the ways animals and people need it. Scouts will then discuss ways they can help conserve water and protect water habitats for wildlife. 

Additional Information

  • For the safety of our staff, guests, and animals, guests 10 years or older and all Zoo staff are required to wear facial coverings that cover their nose and mouth. This change is effective Monday, June 22, 2020.
  • Overnight registration includes next- day of admission, snacks, and a light breakfast. Please plan to eat prior to your arrival or pack a ready-to-eat picnic dinner.
  • Overnight and Twilight Safari experiences are front-of-scenes for the safety of our animals and guests. If you are interested in other interactive experiences for your family, please check out our Animal Encounters page!
  • Program Scheduling & Refunds: Guests who provide a written notice of cancellation to on or before 3 weeks (21 days) prior to the program date will receive a full refund. No refund will be issued after this date. Rescheduling is subject to availability at a $25 change fee.