With so much to see and do at Zoo Nights, we’ve put together a handy guide to help you out.
The amazing Zoo Nights have returned to ZSL London Zoo! This fabulous after-hours event is your best chance to see exotic animals up close, whilst also enjoying street food, live comedy, and other top-class entertainment. Before you grab your ticket, check out everything there is to see and do at Zoo Nights.
A is for… Aerial Acrobats
Inside ZSL’s Amphitheatre, a troupe of rather talented acrobats will flip, fly, bend, and move their bodies in ways you never thought possible. This animal-themed show is an excellent way to kick off your Zoo Nights experience.
B is for… Bars
Zoo Nights is a social occasion, meaning you’re very welcome to enjoy it with a drink in hand. Head to one of the pop-up bars, and then out on your intrepid adventure around the zoo.
C is for… Conservation
An evening at Zoo Nights is great for so many reasons. Obviously, you’ll get an excellent night of animals, food, and entertainment. But even more importantly, the money made from Zoo Nights goes towards protecting and conserving animals around the globe. Really, it’d be rude not to…
D is for… Dark
Okay, so it won’t exactly be pitch black. But in the dusk of a summer evening, animals that wouldn’t usually appear during the day will come out for a wander. Oh, and there’s ample opportunity for picture-perfect ‘grams under a canopy of fairy lights.
E is for… Educational
A wander through the zoo will teach you loads about the animal kingdom, and any questions you have can be answered by ZSL London Zoo’s friendly zookeepers. Fun and knowledge come in equal measure at Zoo Nights!
F is for… Face painting
Unleash your inner animal with a trip to ZSL’s face-painting stand. Tigers may not glitter in real life, but they do here, you magnificent beast!
G is for… Giraffe Supper Time
Feeding time is sure to bring the giraffes out to play, giving you amazing photo opportunities. It’s also prime time to watch them run, which is a sight you won’t forget in a hurry.
H is for… Hippos
More specifically, pygmy hippos. The teeniest, cutest hippos in all the land form an adorable part of ZSL’s Into Africa section. They’re also nocturnal, meaning that Zoo Nights is your best chance to see them out and about, and coo about how sweet they are.
I is for… Illuminations
As the evening turns to dusk, the lights go on and ZSL London Zoo becomes even more beautiful. The herd of animal lanterns dotted around the zoo certainly help that – plus, it’s your only chance to get up close to a tiger without it biting…
J is for… Jokes
The funniest part of your Zoo Nights experience takes place in the Amphitheatre, where LiveWired lay on a hilarious improv show every Friday night. They’ve got wits quicker than a cheetah, so be prepared to laugh like a pack of hyenas.
K is for… Komodo dragons
It’s no exaggeration to say that were it not for the komodo dragon, the world might not have Sir David Attenborough. The beloved naturalist and his team were the first to introduce the British public to the dragons, as part of the groundbreaking documentary series Zoo Quest. Sir David only took on presenting duties when the BBC’s original choice fell ill – come and give thanks at the Attenborough Komodo Dragon House.
L is for… Lemurs
Did you know that the collective noun for a group of lemurs is a conspiracy? And this conspiracy are anything but shy. When we visited, the lemurs were only too happy to pose for the camera, or run along the branches overhead. Just be sure not to stand directly beneath them, unless you want an unpleasant surprise…
M is for… Merry-go-round
The carousel is open for Zoo Nights, so whilst we’d never advise riding a real lion, you can climb atop a plastic one and gallop nobly towards the horizon. A top excuse to unleash your inner child – and speaking of which…
N is for… No kids
It’s an adults-only affair at Zoo Nights, so leave the kids at home for the evening (carefully supervised, of course!). It’s Friday night, you deserve a night off.
O is for… Owl Meet & Greet
Wise and majestic, ZSL London Zoo’s owls will be out in the open at Zoo Nights. Find them in The Farmyard at 8pm, where the zookeepers will answer questions, and give you the opportunity to get up close to these wonderful birds.
P is for… Penguins
We simply couldn’t mention the zoo without mentioning penguins. Everyone’s favourite flippered friends are only too happy to partake in Zoo Nights, as feeding time at Penguin Beach takes place every Friday at 7:15 and 8:15pm. It’s scientific fact that no-one can look at a penguin and not be happy. Just can’t be done.
Q is for… Quiz
Think you know everything about the animal kingdom? Want to prove you’re top of the food chain? Zooniversity Challenge is the place for you! It runs each Friday at 8:45pm, with a host of devilishly difficult questions, and some sweet prizes up for grabs.
R is for… Rainforest Live
Twice a night during Zoo Nights, you can join a live talk in the totally tropical Rainforest Life enclosure. Here, experts will tell you all about the lives of our forest friends, including an adorable baby sloth, who spends much of Zoo Nights hanging out (quite literally) in the canopy. Once more, for emphasis: adorable baby sloth!
S is for… Superheroes
Iron Man won’t be here, but ZSL have someone even better: you. Join Captain Z’s Superhero Mission to unite an all-star team of superheroes, fight dastardly villains, and save planet Earth.
T is for… Tours
It’s the zoo, for adults only – which means things get a little more racey. Join The Birds and the Bees tour for an uncensored insight into how members of the animal kingdom get down to business. “Let’s talk about sex, baby…”
U is for… Unique
Zoo Nights is unlike any other after-hours event in London. For one thing, they have lions – anyone else out there want to try and top that? It’s the late-night event of the summer, and frankly you’d be mad to miss it.
V is for… VIP
Looking to keep the good times rolling? ZSL London Zoo’s VIP packages give you overnight accommodation in their lodges (set amidst the Land of the Lions), food vouchers for Zoo Nights, and entry to ZSL London or Whipsnade Zoo the next day. You can even help feed the animals breakfast the next morning!
W is for… World Food Market
When hunger strikes, head to Barclay Court to enjoy a street food market. Vendors will offer unique dishes from around the globe, so this is no ordinary feeding time at the zoo. Don’t worry though – carnivores and herbivores will be equally happy with the menu!
X is for… Xenarthrans
As you may have noticed, we had to get a little creative for X. Xenarthrans are a group of animals which include anteaters, armadillos, and sloths. Which is the perfect time to mention that baby sloth again. Seriously people, you don’t want to miss it.
Y is for… Yoga
It’s yoga, but not as you know it. Wild yoga at Zoo Nights will introduce you to animal-inspired poses such as flamingo, elephant, and hunting dog, and help you to de-stress after a long week.
Z is for… Zzz
Animals need their beauty sleep, too. Zoo Nights ends at 10pm, when turtles and tapirs alike turn in for the night. That’s your cue to head home (or out on the town, for the social butterflies amongst you), thoroughly satisfied by a night of incredible animal entertainment!
This post was supported by ZSL London Zoo