Overnight Adventures
Spend the Night at the Zoo

Overnight Adventures

About Overnight Adventures

Overnight Adventures are Back and Better Than Ever!

Have you ever wanted to spend the night at the Zoo and learn something, too? With our Overnight Adventure programs, you can! Each fall and spring our Nocturnal Adventure programs are available for school groups.

We're here to help!

Questions about the
overnight adventures?

Contact Us
Nocturnal Adventures For Schools

Come join us on one of our thematic evenings — Adaptation Station, Conservation Connection, Habitat Junction — to help assist you teach these concepts to your class!

Cost: $70 per person Available for a maximum of 100 guests.

What's Included in the Nocturnal Adventures?
  • Adaptation Station

    From where they live to what they eat, animals have adaptations to aid them in their surroundings. Our nightly activities investigate how adaptations help an animal survive. The night will include an after-hours tour, an evening hike through our Deserts building and an adaptation game. Together, we will explore how certain physical or behavioral characteristics aid an organism’s fight for resources, food and survival. Recommended for grades 2-5.

  • Conservation Connection

    Who’s endangered and why? Get connected and explore what you can do to help endangered species and habitats around the world. Participants will learn about how species become endangered and why caring for the animals at the Zoo is important to the survival of species in the wild. Over the course of the night, groups will be taken on a behind-the-scenes tour of the dolphin kitchen, participate in after-hour exploration of the Oceans building, and learn more about conservation through games and a craft. Join us to find out more about what you can do to help protect the earth and its inhabitants! Recommended for grades 2-5.

  • Habitat Junction

    Who lives where and why? Discover the importance of habitats to animals and see what it takes for the Zoo to put together a habitat. Groups will be taken on a behind-the-scenes tour of Oceans to see what it takes to put together a habitat at the Zoo. Also, participants will go on an exploratory night hike in our Gardens, play games and make a craft. Recommended for grades 2-5.

Requirements for Participation
  • Participants must be at least 6 years old to participate in any Indianapolis Zoo overnight program.
  • All participants must have a signed waiver of liability before beginning the program. Participants under the age of 18 must have their waiver signed by a parent or legal guardian.
  • All school and scout groups must provide a certificate of liability insurance.
  • Nocturnal Adventures must be registered by a member of staff or administrator for the school.
  • Please note that our overnights have minimum attendance requirements (35 for Nocturnal Adventure and Summer Safari and 25 for Bunk for a Badge programs). If you have a smaller group, please consider signing up for a date with another group.
  • Group overnights require a deposit of $100 due at time of registration with the remaining balance due 30 days prior to your overnight.
Overnight FAQs
  • What is included in the overnight program?

    The program cost includes all activities in the evening, an evening snack, spending the night at the Zoo, a breakfast buffet from our catering company the following morning, and entrance to the Indianapolis Zoo and White River Gardens on the day following your overnight. Parking is included for all participants as well.

  • Where do overnight groups sleep?

    Your group will sleep in one of the designated sleeping areas, such as the Dolphin Gallery or the Hix Institute. The Zoo reserves the right to move your group’s sleeping area, as necessary.

  • What time should we arrive for our overnight?

    Check-in begins at 6:30pm with our first activities around 7:15pm.

  • What happens at an overnight?

    Arrival and parking: Vehicles will unload luggage at the front of the Zoo. Vehicles staying overnight should park in the main Zoo lot.

    Check-in begins at 6:30pm: Zoo staff will meet overnight groups outside the Hix Institute near where groups unloaded. Participants should have all their overnight luggage with them. Zoo staff will direct groups on where to put luggage. Luggage will not be taken to the evening events so be sure to keep anything you will need before bedtime with you. Each participant is responsible for getting their own luggage to the sleeping area.

    Orientation: Following check-in Zoo staff will give overnight instructions and any rules/orientation needed for the evening.

    Evening Events begin at 7:15pm: After orientation, students will participate in three stations. These stations will be based on the evening’s thematic unit.

    Sleeping Arrangements: Your group will sleep in one of the designated sleeping areas, such as the Dolphin Gallery or the Hix Institute. The Zoo reserves the right to move your group’s sleeping area, as necessary. At the end of the night’s activities Zoo staff will review the sleeping procedures, answer any questions, and introduce the evening Security officer. Security staff are on site 24 hours a day. Lights go out around 10:15.

    The Next Morning: The wake-up call is at 7am. Groups will pack up and head off to breakfast. A breakfast buffet will be served starting at 7:30am. Following breakfast, children and adult chaperones will exit the Zoo with their luggage to store in the buses or cars until the end of their trip.

    Animal Encounter: Zoo staff will guide group to the animal encounter. After the animal encounter overnight guests on their own for the field trip portion of their stay at the Zoo.

  • Can we purchase lunch or dinner meals?

    Lunch or dinner can be provided for your group through Centerplate. Please call (317) 488- 5555 for more information.

  • What are the minimum and maximum amount of participants for an overnight?

    Every attempt will be made to accommodate groups of all sizes, but minimum and maximum levels are necessary to guarantee the quality of our programs. Number of participants includes teachers, students, group leaders, parents, and chaperones. Minimum = 35 Maximum = 100

    If a date has not reached its minimum 30 days prior to the date of the event the overnight may be cancelled. We will contact you to assist you with a refund or moving your group to an available date.

  • What if we need to cancel?

    Refunds/Cancellations: The Indianapolis Zoo requires a fourteen (14) day cancellation notification from a group to issue a full refund, minus the $100 security deposit. A group canceling less than fourteen (14) days prior to the reservation date will forfeit all paid fees to the Indianapolis Zoo in order to cover costs of catering fees and program expenses. We offer no refunds, partial or in full, if your group cancels less than 2 weeks before the overnight date.

  • Can we change dates?

    The Indianapolis Zoo implements a $25.00 processing fee to change a reservation. Once we receive your rescheduling fee, we will work with you to find another date.

Register your school for a Nocturnal Adventure

Fall dates for Nocturnal Adventures will go on sale August 15. Spring dates will go on sale later this fall.

Overnights for Youth Groups, Scout Groups, Clubs and More
Summer Safaris

Have you ever wanted to take an evening trek through the wild? At the Indianapolis Zoo, you can! During our Summer Safaris, you will discover the animals of Africa and beyond on this overnight adventure. This summer safari takes place at the Zoo where you will explore animals big and small. You'll take an after-hours hike in the African Plains and go behind the scenes in the Zoo Commissary while being guided by one of our knowledgeable educators. Available select dates in June, July, and August.

Register your group for a Summer Safari

No Summer Safaris are currently available. Please check back in spring of 2023 for updates.