Summer at the Detroit Zoo


Stephanie Sokol for The Oakland Post

Sunset Auction (1)

Photo courtesy of the Detroit Zoo

Summer means warm weather and outdoor nights under the stars. Starting in June, the Detroit Zoo kicks off events for young people, in addition to family-friendly happenings.

Events include wine tasting, charity nights and family music events to reconnect people with the zoo.

“After 5 Detroit is a proud partner in the lineup of summer events targeted at the area’s young professionals,” said Kerry Doman, founder and CEO of After 5 Detroit. “We are excited about the opportunity to help attendees fall in love with the zoo again by engaging them in these fun and unique events.”

Sunset at the zoo

Starting off the summer, on June 14, the annual Sunset at the Zoo fundraiser provides “a strolling supper, zoo-themed martinis, live entertainment, dancing and live and silent auctions, according to Janeway.

This event is 21 and over, with tickets from $150 to $600.

The Zoo will close at 2 p.m. to get ready for the event.

“The Detroit Zoo is an incredible resource for our community and these events allow them to engage a younger demographic that is looking to enjoy a different side of the Zoo,” Doman said. “Before the Zoo started these summer events for young professionals, I personally had not been to the zoo since I was a kid.  That’s typical of the audience they are targeting with these events and any time a business or organization can attract a new visitor or patron, it is beneficial for all.”

 Wild Summer Nights

Wednesday nights throughout July and August, the zoo will host the free Wild Summer Nights concert series.

The shows, which feature live music, will be from 6:30 to 8 p.m. Jazz, pop, folk and blues are among performers’ genres.

While food and beverages will be available for purchase, people can bring a blanket and picnic to the celebration.

Summer Zoomance

Summer Zoomance is one of the newest events on the Detroit Zoo’s summer schedule.

This 21-and-over event will be hosted July 11 and August 22 from 6 to 9 p.m., and features adult beverages and foods for purchase.

Tickets are $12, with $5 parking.

“The goal with the 21 and over events is to attract an audience of people who might not come to the zoo,” Janeway said. “These events provide an opportunity for date nights for younger couples, and nights out for groups.”

Wild Beasts, Wild Wine

Guests can sample wines near the animals, at the Wild Beasts, Wild Wine event July 26.

From 6 to 10:30 p.m., wines from local and national wineries and vinards will be available, in addition to access to “habitats after dark, animal enrichment experiences and zookeeper talks,” according to Janeway.

Ticket packages for zoo admission, parking and 10 winte-tasting tickets can be purchased in advance for $35, or for $40 after July 19.

The event sold out last year and has a capped attendance, according to Janeway.

“The Detroit Zoo has done a great job in creating unique events that will cater to young professionals,” Doman said. “The various events offer a little something for everyone.  The Zoo Brew will sell out to beer enthusiasts and fun-lovers. Zoomance is great whether you want to mix, mingle and meet new people, or just go on a unique date. And whether you like reds, whites, cabernets or zinfandels, Wild Beasts, Wild Wine should have something for everyone to sip, savor and enjoy.”

For more information about the Detroit Zoo, or to order tickets to events, visit

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