Palm Beach Zoo is already a top attraction for children and families visiting the Palm Beach vicinity. The amazing tiger habitat, the monkey ropes and sea otter exhibits are fan favorites that keep smiles on young ones' faces for days on end. But things are about to get even more exciting. May through October 2014, the zoo is offering Safari Nights on select Fridays (over 20 nights in total).
What is a "Safari Night," you might ask? Well, it's basically a way for kids to get a greater hands-on experience after park hours. Pricing is between $10 to $16 for non-member children, which gets them four extra hours of zoo time from 5:30 p.m. to 9:30 pm.
A child enjoys a ride on the Safari Train at the Palm Beach Zoo — Photo courtesy of Palm Beach Zoo
Each of the Safari Nights will be themed. Visitors who come dressed according to the theme will be entered to win a valuable prize package from the zoo. Just check the zoo's website in advance for a theme description for whichever night you hope to attend.
You can plan on the following entertainment and fun for each Safari Night:
- Roving animal encounters, keeper talks and training sessions
- Free rides on the wildlife carousel
- Interactive fountain fun
- Children’s games and crafts in the Florida Pioneer House
- Glass Productions’ Purple People Painters face painting and Noisy Neighbors DJ & Dance Party in the Fountain Plaza
- Dinner specials in the zoo’s Tropics Café restaurant
- Animal painting selections to purchase from the Paws for a Cause animal art expo
- Photo opportunities with the ZooCrew’s costume characters: Kiwi the koala, Timmy the tiger, Crash the cardinal and Speedy the sea turtle
- Live music for adults on the Tropics Café deck overlooking Baker Lakes
At a most recent Safari Night, the Chic-Fil-A Cows were in attendance, too, signing autographs and taking pictures with lucky children.
Upcoming theme nights are as follows:
- May 23 - Bear Awareness Night
- May 30 - Tiger Fest
- June 6 - World Ocean's Day
- June 13 - Father's Day
- June 20 - Fairy Tale Night
- June 27 - Summer Gardens
- July 18 - Zoo Per Hero (Superhero)
Just looking at that partial list, the costume ideas are already flowing. Who doesn't have a Super Cow or Dumbo costume lying around they wouldn't love to wear on one cool evening at the Palm Beach Zoo?
Keep in mind that during normal zoo hours, certain exhibits may be crowded, keeping you from viewing the animals you came to see. Also, some of the animals aren't very active during the daytime anyway. Coming during a Safari Night allows you more time to spend with the animals in a more private setting.
For more information about the Palm Beach Zoo, visit PalmBeachZoo.org.