Events

Events at the Zoo

Lincoln Children's Zoo offers a variety of exciting and interactive events. Check back often to see what the Zoo has in store for 2016!

March 5: Zoo Opens 
10 a.m. - 5 p.m.

The Zoo will open for LPS Spring Break and then each weekend in March. The Zoo will open with regular hours and days starting April 1.
March Open Dates
March 5 - 13 
March 19 - 20
March 26 - 27

March 26: Breakfast with the Easter Bunny
8 - 10 a.m.

Join the Easter Bunny for breakfast at the Zoo! This event includes exclusive early access to the Zoo, breakfast buffet, Easter egg hunt, photo time with the Easter Bunny, activities and special animal meet and greets. All proceeds from this event help care for the Zoo’s animals.

April 1: Opening Day
10 a.m. - 5 p.m.

The Zoo opens with regular hours on Wednesday, April 1 for the 2016 year. This year get up close to our animals like never before! See more animal shows every day and find new additions around the Zoo.

April 22: Earth Day & Party for the Planet
10 a.m. - 5 p.m. | Sponsored by Lower Platte South Natural Resources District

Celebrate Earth Day at the Zoo! Say hello to your favorite animal friends and watch a show on the Animal Encounter Stage.

May 8: Mother's Day Celebration
10 a.m. - 5 p.m.

Make memories with Mom at the Zoo this Mother's Day! All moms receive one free train or free admission.

May 14: Runza's Jammin at the Zoo
10:30 a.m. - 1 p.m. | Sponsored by Runza

The Zoo is teaming up with Runza to bring you a day full of music, animals, and some of your child's favorite books! Stop by and enjoy a live music by Mike Mennard and stick around to listen to stories read by local heroes and celebrities! After listening to stories, explore the Zoo to interact with over 400 animals!

May 20: Endangered Species Day
10 a.m. - 2 p.m. | Sponsored by Lower Platte South Natural Resources District

Visit all of the endangered species that call the Zoo home! 

May 21: Zoo Fun Run 
10 a.m.

It's the wildest kids race in town! This FREE, one mile race starts at 10 a.m. and all runners receive a free train ride. Have lunch at Safari Café and stay to see how a real fire truck works, go inside a police car, plus other great surprises. You can sign your child up in advance by visiting Lincoln Fire and Rescue or arrive early to the event to sign up. This race is organized by Lincoln Fire and Rescue.

May 21: Animals Got Talent! 
10 a.m. - 5 p.m.

Get ready for the Zoo's Animals Got Talent! Visit all of your animal friends and learn about each of their special talents. Then cast your vote for your favorite! The Zoo will also have special shows at the animal encounter stage showcasing some of our most talented animals!

May 28 - 30: Memorial Day Weekend
10 a.m. - 5 p.m.

The Zoo is open all weekend! Come visit all of your favorite animals and join us for the 2016 season opening of Laura's Butterfly Pavilion! Check out over 150 butterflies at one of the Zoo's most popular summer stops. 

June 1: Wild Wednesday 
5 p.m. - 8 p.m.

The Zoo is open late 'til 8 p.m. every Wednesday in June, July & August. Every Wednesday the Zoo will feature special animal demonstrations on the Animal Encounter Stage!

June 3: Garden Party 
6 p.m. - 9 p.m. |
Sponsored by Nebraska Lottery

This unique fundraising event includes drinks, dinner, auction and appearances by our Zoo residents. Garden Party is an evening of sophisticated fun, that raises money to support the Zoo's animals, educational programming and conservation efforts.

June 8: Wild Wednesday
5 p.m. - 8 p.m.

The Zoo is open late 'til 8 p.m. every Wednesday in June, July & August. Every Wednesday the Zoo will feature special animal demonstrations on the Animal Encounter Stage!

June 11: Train Birthday Party
10 a.m. - 5 p.m. 

Celebrate the 52nd Birthday of Z.O.&O. Each hour we will randomly select a child to be our kid conductor on the train. Plus, as a part of our 50th celebration, train rides are 50 cents OFF all day! 

June 15: Wild Wednesday
5 p.m. - 8 p.m.

The Zoo is open late 'til 8 p.m. every Wednesday in June, July & August. Every Wednesday the Zoo will feature special animal demonstrations on the Animal Encounter Stage!

June 19: Father's Day Celebration
10 a.m. - 5 p.m.

This Father's Day at the Zoo all dads receive one free train or free admission! Bring dad out for a fun day at the Lincoln Children's Zoo!

June 22: Wild Wednesday
5 p.m. - 8 p.m.

The Zoo is open late 'til 8 p.m. every Wednesday in June, July & August. Every Wednesday the Zoo will feature special animal demonstrations on the Animal Encounter Stage!

June TBD: Breakfast with the Penguins
8 - 10 a.m. 

This is your chance to feed a penguin! Your ticket includes a buffet breakfast, photo time with Pacific the Penguin (the Zoo's mascot) and a once in a lifetime opportunity to feed the Zoo’s penguins.

July 4: Red, White and Zoo!
10 a.m. - 5 p.m.

Celebrate the Fourth of July at the Zoo! Active and retired military get free admission and the entire family can explore the Zoo and learn about animals that are native to America.

July 6: Wild Wednesday 
5 p.m. - 8 p.m.

The Zoo is open late 'til 8 p.m. every Wednesday in June, July & August. Every Wednesday the Zoo will feature special animal demonstrations on the Animal Encounter Stage!

July 13: Wild Wednesday
5 p.m. - 8 p.m.

The Zoo is open late 'til 8 p.m. every Wednesday in June, July & August. Every Wednesday the Zoo will feature special animal demonstrations on the Animal Encounter Stage!

July 18 - 22: National Zookeeper Week

We are celebrating National Zookeeper Week! All of the Zookeepers at the Zoo spend countless hours giving our animals the best care. Next time you see one of them, be sure to tell them thanks and stop by The Hive to write them a letter!

July 20: Wild Wednesday
5 p.m. - 8 p.m.

The Zoo is open late 'til 8 p.m. every Wednesday in June, July & August. Every Wednesday the Zoo will feature special animal demonstrations on the Animal Encounter Stage!

July 27: Wild Wednesday
5 p.m. - 8 p.m.

The Zoo is open late 'til 8 p.m. every Wednesday in June, July & August. Every Wednesday the Zoo will feature special animal demonstrations on the Animal Encounter Stage!

July TBD: Brews at the Zoo
6 p.m. - 11 p.m.

It's time for adults 21 and over to enjoy some tasty craft beers and amazing music at the Zoo! This year's event features live music by local folk country singer/songwriter Evan Bartels, cover band Loose Affiliation and craft beers from Zipline Brewery, Empyrean Ales, Thunderhead Brewing, Lucky Bucket Brewing, and more! Tickets include Zoo admission and three drinks. A limited number of VIP tickets will be available. VIP tickets include an exclusive behind the scenes penguin feeding in the penguin pool area, three drinks, a free meal and access to the VIP room.

July TBD: Breakfast with the Penguins
8 - 10 a.m.

This is your chance to feed a penguin! Your ticket includes a buffet breakfast, photo with Pacific the Penguin (the Zoo's mascot), special meet and greet with Topper the Penguin and a once in a lifetime opportunity to feed the Zoo’s penguins.

August 3: Wild Wednesday 
5 p.m. - 8 p.m. 

The Zoo is open late 'til 8 p.m. every Wednesday in June, July & August. Every Wednesday the Zoo will feature special animal demonstrations on the Animal Encounter Stage!

August 10: Wild Wednesday
5 p.m. - 8 p.m.

The Zoo is open late 'til 8 p.m. every Wednesday in June, July & August. Every Wednesday the Zoo will feature special animal demonstrations on the Animal Encounter Stage!

August 17: Wild Wednesday
5 p.m. - 8 p.m.

The Zoo is open late 'til 8 p.m. every Wednesday in June, July & August. Every Wednesday the Zoo will feature special animal demonstrations on the Animal Encounter Stage!

August 20: Red Panda Run
Race Begins at 8:30 a.m.

The Red Panda Run is a family fun run that starts at 8:30 a.m. and is great for any age! After you cross the finish line inside the Zoo, you can explore and meet over 400 animals that live there! Participants will receive a Red Panda Run t-shirt, medal and registration will begin June 1st. 

August 24: Wild Wednesday
5 p.m. - 8 p.m.

The Zoo is open late 'til 8 p.m. every Wednesday in June, July & August. Every Wednesday the Zoo will feature special animal demonstrations on the Animal Encounter Stage!

Senior Discount Days: Every Tuesday and Thursday in September
10 a.m. - 5 p.m.

Senior citizens (62 and older) receive half price admission every Tuesday and Thursday in the month of September. 

September 3 through 5: Labor Day Weekend
10 a.m. - 5 p.m.

The Zoo is open all weekend! Come visit all of your favorite animals and visit Laura's Butterfly Pavilion one last time before it closes for the 2016 season.

September 7: Member Extra Hours
9 a.m. - 7 p.m. | Sponsored by First National Bank

Lincoln Children's Zoo members get exclusive extra hours from 9 to 10 a.m. and 5 to 7 p.m. Plus, take advantage of great perks including discounted train rides, free cookies from Runza, giveaways for children and additional Animal Encounter shows! The Zoo is open to non-members 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.

September 14: Member Extra Hours 
9 a.m. - 7 p.m. | Sponsored by First National Bank

Lincoln Children's Zoo members get exclusive extra hours from 9 to 10 a.m. and 5 to 7 p.m. Plus, take advantage of great perks including discounted train rides, free cookies from Runza, giveaways for children and additional Animal Encounter shows! The Zoo is open to non-members 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.

September TBD: Breakfast with the Penguins
8 - 10 a.m. 

This is your chance to feed a penguin! Your ticket includes a buffet breakfast, printed event photo and a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to feed the Zoo's penguins!

October 16: Last Day
10 a.m. - 5 p.m.

The last day of the 2016 Zoo season will be Sunday, October 18th. Be sure to bring the whole family to the Zoo one more time!

October 26 - 30: Boo at the Zoo
5:30 p.m. - 8 p.m.

Boo at the Zoo is Lincoln's largest trick-or-treat event. The entire family will love stopping at over 40 trick-or-treat booths to get candy, coupons, and more. All of the money raised during Boo at the Zoo directly supports the Zoo and its animals.

October TBD: Sensory Safari 
10 a.m. - 1 p.m.

Visually and sensory impaired guests will have the opportunity to touch, feel, hear, and smell at interpretative stations located throughout the Zoo. Zoo guides will lead tours to each station and nature experts from organizations across Nebraska will engage visitors at these interpretative stations. Sensory Safari is possible through a partnership with the Nebraska Game and Parks Commission.

December TBD: North Pole Express 

The North Pole Express is Lincoln's only train offering services to Santa's Village!  
 
After departing the train, your travels will take you through Candy Cane Lane where you'll stop at The Hive to write your official letter to Santa and see some of his favorite animal friends. Continue down Candy Cane Lane to meet the Big Man himself! After visiting Santa, enjoy treats made by the Elves, hot chocolate and candy canes. Be careful not to fill up on candy canes because your next stop is Mrs. Claus's Bakery to decorate your very own cookie! Next, head to the Gumdrop Stage and Rudolph's Animal Kingdom Building to encounter more of Santa's animal and zookeeper friends. Santa and his elves can't wait to see you!