Skip to Content
Kids & Families

School and Private Overnights

Create a unique, once-in-a-lifetime experience for your students! Our program allows you to request what date and theme would be best for you. Perfect for adventure trips, family reunions, or other gatherings for special groups.

Hours & Important Information

Program time: 7 pm – 9 am
Arrival/Drop-Off: 7-7:20 pm

Registration: $75 per person
Age requirement: 6 years old and up
Chaperone requirement: 1 adult per every 5 children, ages 6 – 17

Dates are based on availability and are sold on a first-come, first-serve basis. Group rates are not available.

A minimum of 20 or more participants is required for overnights Sunday – Thursday nights; Friday or Saturday nights require reservation and payment of 60 or more spaces. A non-refundable deposit is required at the time of reservation.


Scheduling your Overnight

  1. Select your top three date preferences. Overnights take place mid-January to the first weekend in November.
  2. Choose your Overnight theme. Each of these programs includes a staff -guided night hike, encounters with ambassador animals, group activities and an early morning Zoo tour that are 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. Email us at to submit your request! You won’t need to provide payment until we confirm your program date and complete a group registration.

Program Themes

Sensational Senses -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.

Home Sweet Habitat -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.

Ecosystems! -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!

Nocturnal Nights -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.

What to Bring

  • comfortable walking shoes
  • reusable water bottle
  • weather appropriate outerwear – ponchos/jackets
  • bug spray/insect repellent
  • sleeping bag, pillow, sleeping pad, air mattress or cot
  • pajamas, personal care items
  • change of clothes (showers not available)

Note: The Brown Education Center has the potential to be cooler in the evening hours, so many guests bring an additional blanket or sweater when sleeping indoors. Please plan accordingly for your group and to meet individual needs.

Frequently Asked Questions

Where do we go when we arrive?

All overnight participants will enter the Zoo through the Employee Entrance at Gate 1, which is located across from Memorial Hermann Emergency. The gate will open at 7:00 pm (unless otherwise noted) and participants will be greeted by our Overnight staff to provide additional instruction.

Twilight Safari participants will enter the Zoo through Gate 8, which is located 200 yards to the left of the Zoo’s main entrance. The gate will open at 6:00 p.m.

Hermann Park Drive is closed; how do I 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