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Kids & Families

Zoo Overnights

Socially distant campouts at the Houston Zoo!

Spring Campouts

Nocturnal Nights Campout 

April 17, 2021 from 5:30 p.m. -9:00 a.m.

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.

*Please note this program is open to both scout groups and families! 

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baby elephant and elephant herd

Summer Lovin’ Adults Only Overnight-NEW!

May 1, 2021 from 5:30 p.m. -9:00 a.m.

Everything gets cooler when the sun goes down! Join our staff for a love struck night exploring animal behavior at the Zoo. From courtship to parental care there’s a whole lot of love in the air! We’ll share some of our favorite stories and explore how we can help save our favorite animals in the wild.

*Please note this program contains mature content and is designed for adult audiences, ages 18 and up. 

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General Information

  • Registration: $75 per person
  • Zoo Overnights are for participants ages 6 and up. Children under 6 years of age will not be permitted to attend.
  • Registrations are per person and children under 18 must be accompanied by an adult; we require one adult for every five kids age 6 – 17.
  • Registration closes one week before the scheduled program date. No additions will be permitted after registration has closed.
  • Program Scheduling & Refunds: Guests who provide a written notice of cancellation to education@houstonzoo.org on or before 2 weeks (14 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.
  • A minimum of 20 participants must be in attendance to conduct overnights. Our maximum capacity for public program dates is 60 individuals.
  • Overnight 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!
  • For the safety of our staff, guests, and animals, and in accordance with Harris County orders, 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.
  • 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.

What To Bring

  • comfortable walking shoes
  • a filled water bottle
  • weather appropriate outerwear – ponchos/jackets
  • bug spray/insect repellent
  • sleeping bag, pillow, sleeping pad, air mattress, or cot
  • tent (individual, double, or 4-person tents allowed)
  • pajamas, personal care items
  • change of clothes (showers not available)
  • wagon (helpful to transport gear but not required)

Note: Please follow all Houston Zoo guidelines for food and drink items. Glass bottles, alcohol, and straws are prohibited. For a full list of Houston Zoo rules, please click here.

Additional Items for Purchase

$20 for each Houston Zoo Glow-in-the-dark Overnight t-shirt
$5 for each Houston Zoo fun patch

The opportunity to order t-shirts and patches will be included in your overnight registration. These items cannot be purchased night of the program.

Frequently Asked Questions

What steps is the Houston Zoo taking in regards to COVID-19 safety?

  • 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.
  • All Zoo staff are required to wear masks.
  • The Zoo has visual social distancing reminders placed to ensure guests maintain a safe social distance along the pathway.
  • During this program, guest tents will be spaced more than 6 feet apart, and we ask that each quarantine household help us in maintaining distance from other households and staff throughout the event.
  • Free hand sanitizer stations are positioned at the entry, exit, restrooms, and food locations.
  • Zoo staff is continuously cleaning high-touch surfaces like vending machines, tables, chairs, and more.
  • If a guest feels sick before their reservation, we ask that they not visit the Zoo.

Do we need to bring our own flashlights?

For any Houston Zoo overnight, while on tour our staff will provide lighting to maintain animal welfare. A personal light is permitted for use around your campsite only. For additional information, please contact us at education@houstonzoo.org

Where do we go when we arrive?

All participants will enter the Zoo through Gate 8, the Brown Education Center entrance. Staff will be on hand to help coordinate parking in the Zoo’s main lot, as security will be provided for all vehicles overnight. The gate will open at 5:30 pm and participants will be greeted by our Overnight staff to provide additional instruction. For after-hours assistance, please call 713-533-6646 after 4:00 p.m. to speak with one of our staff members.

Hermann Park Dr. is closed; how do we get to the Zoo?

When traffic is heavy throughout Hermann Park, officers will close Hermann park drive from traffic turning north off of Cambridge. If you are attempting to reach the Zoo and Hermann Park Drive is closed, continue on Cambridge until you arrive at Fannin. A right on Fannin will take you towards a roundabout that will allow you to turn southbound onto Hermann Park Drive. If you stay on Cambridge all the way to Main St, you will have gone too far and may have to circle back.

What if it rains?

Overnights occur rain or shine! In the event of extreme weather, notifications will be sent out by 2:00 p.m. on the day of the event. Should the event be cancelled, every effort will be made to reschedule, or a full refund will be provided. Should the weather become inclement during an event, activities will be modified and held within the Education Center until the weather passes.

Accommodations or Special Requests

We want you to have a great experience! Please advise us of any disabilities, special needs, medical conditions or any other concerns you may have that could prevent you from fully participating in the experience. The more information you can provide, the better we can assist you. Please contact us before registration at education@houstonzoo.org.

How do I book a Private Group Overnight?

If you are interested in booking a private overnight, please email education@houstonzoo.org or call (713) 533-6646. Note that a minimum of 20 individuals is needed to facilitate an overnight experience.

By Participating in a Houston Zoo Overnight, you help save animals in the wild!

Need more information? Don’t see a program that fits your needs? Contact us at education@houstonzoo.org and we can answer your questions.