When the sun goes down, some animals go to sleep…but for others, life is just starting to get interesting. After everyone else has gone home, you and your family will get a once-in-a-lifetime experience at the Minnesota Zoo, as you find out just what happens deep in the ocean, far into the northern forests, or on the family farm after dark. In our family overnights, kids age five and older and their families get a nose-to-nose encounter with our animals and learn exciting things about nature and wildlife. An evening snack* (1 slice of pizza and juice) and breakfast will be provided.

All overnights offered Fridays, starting at 6:30 p.m. and ending at 9 a.m. the following morning. After the conclusion of the program all participants are invited to enjoy the rest of the day at the Minnesota Zoo.

A minimum of one adult and one child is required. Learn more by clicking on the descriptions below. We need a minimum of 15 people for the overnight to take place.

Fees for Family Overnights:
$49 per person for Zoo members
$59 per person for non-members

*If you have any dietary restrictions (example: gluten free pizza, etc.), please email [email protected] to let us know a minimum of 1 week prior to your program so we can accommodate your needs.

To request a specific disability accommodation, please contact the Minnesota Zoo at least two weeks prior to your program at 952-431-9364 (voice), 1-800-627-3529 (TTY), or [email protected]. More information can be found on our Accessibility page.

For Groups: If you are a community or scout group looking for a group overnight click here.  If you are with a school group click here.

For Adults: Check our our new Adult Only Overnight! Do you have a group of 15 or more adults interested in their very own Zoo overnight program? Contact [email protected] to book a private overnight program.

Types of Overnights

Farm After Dark
Forests After Dark
Oceans After Dark

Have you ever wanted to experience wild animals up-close? Now you can by attending one of our Close Encounters demonstrations! This program provides unique and engaging on-site animal experiences to Minnesota Zoo guests. Special animal enrichment and training demonstrations are emphasized during Close Encounters, providing guests with one-on-one opportunities to interact with our zookeepers and observe, or even touch, our wildlife.

Close Encounters occur every day, throughout the day, in all areas of the Zoo. With a growing collection of animals and an average of six daily Close Encounters presentations, this program offers something for everyone!

Please check in at the Guest Services Desk for information on the day’s Close Encounters.


Upcoming Dates

  • Date: 11/13/2019
  • Time: 10:00 AM
  • Date: 11/13/2019
  • Time: 10:00 AM
  • Date: 11/13/2019
  • Time: 10:30 AM
  • Date: 11/13/2019
  • Time: 11:00 AM
  • Date: 11/13/2019
  • Time: 11:30 AM
  • Date: 11/13/2019
  • Time: 12:00 PM
  • Date: 11/13/2019
  • Time: 1:00 PM
  • Date: 11/13/2019
  • Time: 2:00 PM
  • Date: 11/13/2019
  • Time: 3:00 PM
  • Date: 11/14/2019
  • Time: 9:30 AM