Good Zoo Workshop & Sleepovers FAQ’s ~

What days and times are workshops and sleepovers held?
Workshops are available year-round on Saturday and Sunday afternoons starting at 10 am. Weekday programs are also available, and times may be altered to fit your group’s schedule. Duration: 2 hours.

Sleepovers are held on Friday or Saturday nights; however, weekday programs are also available. Sleepovers run from 7:00 pm until approximately 10:30 am the next morning.

What is included in a workshop or sleepover?

  • Zoo admission
  • Program presented by zoo education staff
  • Zoo guided tour*
  • Live animal presentation

*Groups may visit the zoo before or after the workshop during normal operating hours. The entire zoo cannot be viewed during the program. Please ask for zoo operating hours when scheduling.


  • Zoo admission
  • Program presented by zoo education staff
  • Zoo guided tour
  • Live animal presentation
  • Program supplies
  • Nighttime snack – pizza
  • Continental breakfast

If the zoo is open to the general public, you may stay after your program to view exhibits and visit the gift shop. Please ask for zoo operating hours when scheduling.

How do I schedule my group for a workshop or sleepover?

Please include your date preference, the approximate number of people (youth and adult) attending, and program choice. A deposit ($200 for workshops and $400 for sleepovers) is due at the time of booking. Dates will not be reserved without a deposit. Any remaining balance is due on the day of the program. (Taxes and fees may apply.)

Can siblings or friends attend workshops and sleepovers?
Yes, siblings and friends may attend workshops and sleepovers if they are close in age to the group participants. All youth and adults attending the program must be included in your attendance and pay the appropriate program fee.

When do I need a final attendance count?
A tentative attendance count is required at the time of booking. In order for the zoo to have the proper amount of supplies, it is necessary to have a close count at least seven (7) days prior to your program. You will only be charged for the people attending the program or the minimum fee, whichever is higher.

Do we get to see the entire zoo?
Because you will be doing a variety of activities with your educator, you will typically not have time during your program to visit the entire zoo. You may wish to allow yourselves extra time before or after your program for a self-guided tour to the zoo. Generally, one hour in addition to your program time is adequate for exploring the zoo. Self-guided tours of the zoo must occur during normal zoo operating hours. Zoo hours vary seasonally. Please check for zoo hours of operation at the time of booking.

Can we ride the zoo train?
The zoo train operates from April through October. Train rides are available to workshop participants for a discounted rate of $4.00 per person (facilities and weather permitting). To receive the discounted rate, train rides must be scheduled prior to arrival at the zoo.

 Can we go to the gift shop?
This is entirely up to your group. The gift shop is open during normal zoo operating hours. If you wish to visit the gift shop, please allow yourself time before or after your workshop. Please ask for gift shop hours when booking your program.

Do you provide the Girl Scout patch?
Girl Scouts patches are available through the Girl Scout Council.

Are there places to eat at the zoo?
The zoo has two concession stands that operate seasonally. The zoo can also provide bag lunches (turkey wraps, hot dogs, or pizza) for your group. These must be ordered at least 10 days prior to your program. Inquire when scheduling your program for rates and availability.

What is your inclement weather policy?
Workshops and sleepovers are held year-round, rain or shine! If snow or ice makes traveling to the zoo dangerous, the zoo may choose to reschedule your program.

Please dress for the weather. We will tour the outdoor areas of the zoo, provided the walkways are safe. If the weather prevents a tour of the outdoor areas of the zoo, additional animals will be added to your presentation as well as alternate activities of your educators’ choosing. Please contact the zoo prior to your program to make any inclement weather arrangements. Deposits are non-refundable and not transferable for groups who are a “no show.”

What if we do not want a workshop program or sleepover?
Groups may visit the zoo on their own at a discounted rate or choose from one of our many Edzoocation Programs. The Edzoocation Programs provides your group with a ½ hour animal or physical science program and a self-guided tour of the zoo.

Rates are subject to change and do not include applicable fees & taxes.

Additional Sleepover Questions

What food is provided?
The zoo provides a cheese pizza, a pepperoni pizza and fruit punch as a nighttime snack. The zoo does not provide dinner. We advise participants eat before arriving at the zoo. Breakfast is continental-style with a variety of foods including cereal, toaster waffles, fruit, milk, juice, and coffee.

Can I bring my own food?
Yes, you can bring additional snacks or drinks. Food must be consumed only in designated areas. The zoo does not have refrigeration space, and there are no stoves/ovens available.

Where will my group sleep and what facilities are available?
Groups sleep in the zoo’s theater. This room is carpeted and heated/air conditioned. (Other rooms in the zoo may be used if the theater is not available.) Adults may wish to bring an additional sleeping pad since the floors may be a bit hard. Restrooms are accessible throughout the program. There are no shower facilities.

What do we need to bring?
Sleeping bag, pillow, extra blanket if you get cold, sleepwear, toiletries, rain gear, coat/jacket, and change of clothes. The zoo prefers that you not bring an excessive number of items with you.

Do we need to bring games, movies, or other activities for our group?
No, the zoo educator has full evening and morning of activities for you!

Will my group be combined with another group?
Groups are typically not combined with other groups for the evening portion of the program. Another group may join your group for snack time, breakfast, and the morning tour of the zoo. The zoo reserves the right to combine groups.

Where can parents contact their children if there is an emergency?
Leaders/chaperones should make appropriate arrangements with parents for contacting them during the sleepover. During the sleepover program, the education staff conducting the program and park security are generally the only people in the zoo building and are unable to answer the phones or check messages. If there is an emergency, messages can be left by calling park security at 304-243-4000 or the zoo office at 304-243-4100. The zoo office is open daily from 9:00 am – 5:00 pm.