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A Wild Sleepover: Family Overnights at the Sacramento Zoo

Sleeping Female Lion. Photo by Mike Owyang

This summer, families can choose to enjoy a campout at the Sacramento Zoo during one of the scheduled Family Overnight Safaris. An overnight at the Zoo provides the perfect opportunity for families looking to enhance a staycation this summer, or those just wanting to enjoy a unique family fun adventure.

As a teen volunteer, I participated in several overnights and, even though I had duties to attend to, I enjoyed each one of them. There’s something very special about touring the Zoo after normal hours and being able to see the animals during their evening routines; often they will display behaviors not normally seen in the daytime.

I also have many fond memories during campfire time. Just like any campout, snacks, songs and stories were shared as the grey skies turned black. Of course one of the most memorable things was crawling into my tent, or sometimes just a sleeping bag to be directly under the stars, and falling asleep to the sound of animals – not all of the sounds are easy to fall asleep to but it made for a beautiful bedtime soundtrack.  And in the mornings, the flamingos played the role of my alarm clock as I looked forward to a tasty breakfast and more animal viewing.

You and your family can expect similar experiences while making your own Zoo overnight memories. Family Overnight Safaris are offered on various Fridays and Saturdays from June through August.  Overnight adventure can also be arranged as a Group Overnight for groups of 50 or more. For a late night experience without the sleep over, private Starlight Safari birthday parties can also be scheduled.

Every sleepover has a packed itinerary with activities led by Zoo staff and volunteers. The evening events include meeting animals up close, taking a nighttime tour, watching special animal feedings, gathering around the campfire all in a unique environment.

Setting Camp near the Flamingos. Photo courtesy of the Sacramento Zoo
Setting Camp near the Flamingos. Photo courtesy of the Sacramento Zoo
Meet and Learn About Animals During an Overnight at the Zoo. Photo by April Johnson
Meet and Learn About Animals During an Overnight at the Zoo. Photo by April Johnson

 

Overnight Safari 2013 (55)
Family Overnight Safari
Snow Leo-Erik Bowker
Sleeping Snow Leopard. Photo by Keeper Erik Bowker

 

A Wild Sleepover: Family Overnights at the Sacramento Zoo via @sacramentopress

About the author

April Mae Saenz Johnson

April Mae Saenz Johnson

On a daily basis, I see animals from all over the world in one special place: the Sacramento Zoo. I am happy to share inside info, fun facts and photographs of the zoo's animals, staff and events.

In my personal life, I enjoy the sleepy, gross and amazing moments of motherhood, time with my husband and our labradoodle, with a bit of traveling, yoga and volunteering on the Leadership Team for Social Media Club Sacramento.

I am embarking on a new adventure as co-founder of Aging UP, a nonprofit empowering youth with experience in foster care to successfully transition into adulthood.

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