a night at the zoo

Houston Zoo goes wild with overnight camp for adults only

Houston Zoo goes wild with overnight camp for adults only

Houston Zoo tiger
Meet some cats on the prowl at this adults-only camp.  Photo by Stephanie Adams

Spring in Houston finds kids and teens enjoying the great outdoors with weekend camps and overnight getaways. But who says kids should have all the fun?

Not the Houston Zoo, which is offering adults a chance to indulge their inner camper while getting the zoo all to themselves via an Adults Only Overnight camp. The sleepover is strictly 18 and up (attention, weary parents) and limited to 60 guests. At press time, the zoo reports that only six spots remain for May.

Attendees should bring their own tent, reusable water bottles, clothes and personal care items, and insect repellent. (Ditch the nightcaps, as booze is strictly prohibited.) The zoo will provide showers and a host of activities that include intimate animal encounters and staff-guided, front-of-scenes zoo tours with zookeepers.

Consider this a fun date night and a rare look at (other) nocturnal beasts on the prowl. “The big draws are the elephants and the cats,” the zoo’s Jackie Wallace tells CultureMap. Guests will have the chance to see a variety of other animals, such as birds, sea lions, and hoofstock.

“The atmosphere is serene, I have also used the word intimate experience as we split guests into small groups for the on-grounds portions,” says Wallace, who adds that it isn’t unusual to hear a “variety of sounds” throughout an overnight stay. “The elephants and lions can be some of the loudest in the evening, macaws in the morning,” Wallace notes.

After a full dinner and late night snack, guests can retire to their own tents. The adventure resumes in the morning with a light breakfast and coffee. Then it’s more activities, swag (attendees receive a cool glow-in-the-dark shirt), and a ton of stories for the office — and jealous kids — the next day.


Get wild at the Houston Zoo’s Adults Only Overnight camp on Saturday, May, 4. Hours are 6 pm to 10 am. Registration for May is limited; visit the Houston Zoo for details.