Camping in the Meadow
Have you ever spent the night at a zoo? Well here’s your chance. In case you
Roasting Marshmallows at the Campfire
haven’t heard, there are several programs that the Oakland Zoo offers to groups and families that allow them to experience this unique and fun opportunity.
Bedtime with the Beasts is a great example. Catering to organizations like scouts, schools and community groups, it includes a private zoo tour, a close-up encounter with a small animal, a fun educational activity, and a continental breakfast the next day.
Fun with Drums
This year-round program is especially popular with Boy Scout and Girl Scout organizations, who utilize the Oakland Zoo as part of their badge-earning and
Breakfast is Served
“Journey” activities. Scheduled from 7pm until 10am the following morning, BTWB provides a unique environment for these kids to enrich their scouting experience.
Schools can also take part in the Bedtime with the Beasts program. The activities involved are fun and age appropriate, and the curriculum conforms to California science standards.
Greeting a Hedgehog
BTWB also serves community groups such as YMCAs, Girls, Inc., and church youth groups, offering activities such as “Zoo Snoops,” which gives participants the chance to use clues to identify a series of mystery animal species as they move through the Zoo, where they find boxes of artifacts that enable them to learn more about these fascinating animals.
Making Enrichment Projects
Since it’s offered year-round, BTWB allows for flexibility in sleeping accommodations: either outdoors in the Zoo meadow, or inside the cozy education auditorium, depending on weather, curriculum, or group size.
But you don’t have to be affiliated with any group to enjoy the Zoo’s Family Sundown Safari, a fun summertime program from 5pm to 10am that caters exclusively to families. Held on five different dates throughout July and August, FSS offers families the chance to bring their own tent and sleep in the Zoo’s large grassy meadow. A series of cool activities awaits the participants. Once the tents are set up and people get settled in, they get to use their creative skills to make fun enrichment projects for the animals. Afterward, everyone goes on a nighttime tour of the Zoo. Back at camp, a professional storyteller awaits them with engaging tales of the animal world. Around the campfire, everyone gets to roast marshmallows and make their own s’mores. The next morning after a memorable night under the stars, a hot breakfast in the Zoo’s café starts the day off right. Next is a tour of the homes of the Zoo’s many rain forest animals. And finally, everyone gets the chance to see their enrichment items opened and enjoyed by the animals. All in all, the Family Sundown Safari promises a memorable overnight experience for everyone involved.
Choosing Treats for the Animals
And things are on their way to getting even better. As you know, the Oakland Zoo is planning to begin building its long awaited California exhibit complex. When completed, we’re hoping to have special overnight facilities up on the hill behind the Zoo, including tent cabins, fire pits and hiking trails. The project will take some time to complete, but it’s something that we’re all looking forward to here at the Zoo.
So if you and your crew are looking for a memorable way to experience the
Enjoying the Enrichment
Oakland Zoo, try one of our fun overnight programs: Bedtime with the Beasts or Family Sundown Safari. It’s easy to book a date; simply visit the Zoo’s website or call our Education Reservation Associate at 510-632-9525 x220. See you under the stars!