Lowry Park Zoo’s mission is “to connect people with the living earth.” To do this they have many “exhibits and programs [that] are designed to engage and inspire visitors to treasure the natural world and act wisely on its behalf...Up-close experiences with living animals at Tampa’s Lowry Park Zoo help teach the value of the living world firsthand and reconnect us with our natural heritage.”
The behind the scenes truth about all of these exhibits and programs is that they are expensive to keep up. So, to raise the money needed to keep the zoo alive Lowry Park Zoo hosts several events throughout the year that are not only a lot of fun, but also help fund this Tampa Bay attraction.
Here’s a quick look at some of the events that are held annually at Lowry Park Zoo:
Held in April, Karamu is the signature black-tie fundraiser of the zoo. With a different theme every year, Karamu is like prom for adults complete with a pre-party, silent auction, live music, full service seated dinner and a live auction.
WaZoo Beer Fest
WaZoo Beer Fest has become recognized as one of the “10 Great Beer Festivals in the Country” by USA Today and is held every August. According to event organizers, “The all-inclusive tickets cover more than 280 types of beer from more than 80 breweries worldwide. Beer aficionados can go on a sampling safari of brews including lagers, porters, stouts, browns, ambers, wheats, ales, ciders, pilsners, draughts and more from international and independent brewers.” Along with beer samples, “guests can graze on sure-to-please snacks and pub-friendly finger foods from… local eateries.” Tickets are available for general admission, VIP admission and designated driver admission.
On select nights in October the Lowry Park Zoo transforms itself to a family friendly Halloween attraction filled with “fun and fear with haunted houses and trails, seasonal displays and lights, creepy crawlers, mysterious music, a specialty gift shop, night rides and eerie adventures for ‘monsters’ of all ages…The haunted attractions at ZooBoo are designed to provide a frightening experience for those who choose to participate without depicting violence or gore. Extensive decorations, animatronics, lights, sound effects, and costumed character actors* (volunteers) in designated haunts, scare up a good time.”
Every November the Zoo closes up early and sets up one of the “biggest, tastiest and ‘wildest’ all-inclusive food festivals in the Bay area known as Zoofari…For one ticket price, guests can go on a sampling safari of the Bay area’s best restaurants, enjoy open bars, browse the “Art Safari” art auction, and enjoy live music on multiple stages.”
During Wild Wonderland every December at the Zoo the area is lit up “with seasonal cheer and more than a million twinkling lights.” On several nights throughout the month guests get to meet Santa and real reindeer while enjoying rides, games and other entertainment.
New Year’s Eve
Close out the old and bring in the new on the last day of every year by celebrating family style to watch the clock strike NOON for the last time of the year. “The party begins when the Zoo opens with games, arts and crafts, live entertainment, educational displays and more. Families can ring in the New Year with noisemakers, hats and a juice toast as they watch the clock strike 12 NOON. Activities are included with Zoo admission.”
Can’t wait for one of the events to visit the zoo? Lowry Park Zoo is opened every day of the year except for Thanksgiving Day and Christmas Day. Click here to learn more about ticket pricing.