happy birthday gus

Photo by Lindsey Mogel.


Utica Zoo Birthday Parties

Celebrate your birthday at the wildest place in town!

We offer multiple Birthday Party packages and extras to fit your budget.

 Since space is limited, we recommend you reserve your party far in advance (at least 2 to 3 months), especially for Spring and Summer birthdays. 

Zoo-rific Birthday Party Packages

Basic Party 


  • Admission to the zoo for all party guests
  • Use of the Auditorium for two hours
  • Table cloths for the main eating tables
  • A personal animal encounter with two education animals of your choice
  • A gift for the birthday child

Cost: $160

* Available most Saturdays and Sundays (10am – 12pm OR 2:30pm – 4:30pm)

For an additional fee, you can choose to add some ‘wild party extras’ to your basic party package

(see all available extras below)!


The Explorer Party

Basic Party plus:

  • 30 extra minutes of party time
  • Rainforest-themed hanging decorations
  • One additional animal for encounter
  • A mini tour
  • A special Utica Zoo souvenir for each child that attends

Cost: $225

* Available most Saturdays and Sundays (10am – 12:30pm OR 2:00pm – 4:30pm)


Nocturnal Expedition Party

Basic Party plus:

  • Access to the zoo after-hours
  • 30 extra minutes of party time
  • One additional animal for encounter
  • A mini tour
  • A special Utica Zoo souvenir for each child that attends

Cost: $250

* Available most Fridays and Saturdays (5:00pm – 7:30pm), April to September!

Please be advised that there are several animals that may not be on exhibit during a Nocturnal Expedition party (these usually include: African Lions, Canada Lynx, Serval, Zebras, Lemurs). Others may not be viewable depending on weather conditions. 


Prices are based on a 25-guest maximum (a guest is considered 1 adult + 1 child). The birthday child plus parents and siblings are free and not included in the guest count. Extra guests over the allotted 25 will be a fee of $4.50/adult and $3.00/child ($3.50 for Seniors, Military, or College).


Wild Party Extras:

  • Additional 30 minutes of party time $15.00
    • Upon availability
  • Mini Tour*                                        $20.00
  • Additional animal for encounter       $15.00
  • Party Favors*                                   $4.00 each
  • Utica Zoo cups with goat feed         $1.50 each
  • Animal-themed art activity*              $2.50/child
  • Rainforest Bingo Game*                  $1.00/child 

Descriptions for above Extras 

*Mini Tour: Travel to the habitat of the birthday child’s choosing, where you’ll hear information about the selected animal including adaptations, environmental challenges, fun facts, conservation success stories and all about their natural range. Of course we can answer other questions as well!

*Party Favors: Included is a Utica Zoo cup, 1 piece of candy, 1 free child’s pass to the zoo (expires 1 year from the party date), and 2 (age-appropriate) zoo-related toys.

*Animal-themed art activity: Your choice of an animal-themed craft that each child gets to create and bring home. All supplies and instructions will be provided at the start of the party. The kids can make them as they arrive or any time before they leave. Parental supervision or help may be needed for younger children.

Options include: Butterfly or Beetle Rings, Snake Key Chains, or Animal Hand Tattoos

*Rainforest Bingo Game: Each child will get their own bingo board that will send them on a journey through the Wildlife Hall to search for BINGO. A prize will be waiting when they return!

For more information or to book a birthday party, contact the Education Department at 315-738-0472 ext 34 or e-mail birthdayparties@uticazoo.org


Be sure to check out our free custom birthday party invitations below by clicking on the downloadable PDF files. Our invitations are printable from any home computer, and include all of the important information that your guests should know when attending a Utica Zoo birthday party.

Want to help out the zoo!? We also offer a ‘giftless’ option, for those that would like to have their guests bring a donation rather than gifts. Below is a small list of items that the Utica Zoo staff and animals could always use. Be sure to print both the invitation and the list when choosing to ‘Go Giftless’. Thank you very much for your generosity!

Directions for invitation use: Fold paper in half horizontally keeping the words facing out. Then fold once more vertically, again keeping the words facing out.

PDF Party Invitation

PDF Giftless Party Invitation + Donation List