Say “ I Do” at the Zoo
The Tropics Trail offers a more traditional style with guests seated theater style while the bride and groom recite their vows under our thatched hut. Afterwards the Tropics Trail is open for the bride and groom to host their receiving line and social hour.
Lakeside Terrace, located on the Zoo’s new Central Plaza, is a seasonal venue that overlooks the Main Lake while the bride and groom deliver their vows under a beautiful willow tree. Guests can look on from the stone amphitheatre surrounded with flourishing greens and foliage.
Your Minnesota Zoo Wedding Consultant will help you create the celebration of your dreams! Contact a sales representative @ 952.431.9200 or firstname.lastname@example.org
Please note that wedding ceremonies are offered only when paired with a reception in one of the Zoo’s wonderful spaces.
What type of entertainment does the Zoo allow?
Call of the Wild: Dance bands (up to 8 musicians) are allowed in the Call of the Wild.
Both spaces have a dance area. Due to space limitations, the Tropics Trail is not available for a dance.
For the safety of our animals, music levels are strictly controlled by the evening event manager.
Lighting—Par Can lighting is allowed. Fog or bubble machines, strobe, laser, or cop lights are not permitted.
Can we bring in our own caterer?
The Minnesota Zoo is proud to partner with Lancer Catering as our exclusive on-site caterer. Lancer offers complete food and beverage service, as well as staff who will work with you to customize your event.
Is there a food and beverage minimum?
Yes. Depending on the night of the week, and the facility rented, the food and beverage minimums range from $2,000-$5,800.
Do we have to use Lancer's preferred bakery, Buttercream?
Lancer Catering partners with Buttercream for event cakes. Choosing to go with Buttercream is beneficial, as the cake fee is applied to your food and beverage minimum. You are not, however, obligated. Lancer does charge a cake cutting fee of $2 per person when a cake is brought in from vendors other than Buttercream. Outside cakes must come from a licensed bakery.
Are there decorating parameters?
Because the Zoo is a unique venue, we encourage you to take advantage of the décor that is already in place. Most clients have found that keeping decorations to table-top centerpieces adds a nice touch to the event and is just enough décor. Please note that all floral must be supplied by a licensed florist or wholesaler. Flowers and plants cannot come from home gardens or farmer's markets. All candles must be encased in glass. Live goldfish, mylar shreds, confetti, glitter, balloons, streamers, rice, birdseed, gel candles, and liquid bubbles are not allowed on Zoo grounds or in its facilities. All décor must be pre-approved by your Minnesota Zoo Sales Representative.
Can we have alcohol?
Alcohol is permitted at Evening Events at the Minnesota Zoo. Lancer Catering handles all beverage service, as they hold the liquor license and liability insurance for these events. Any alcohol brought in is not permitted on Zoo grounds or in its facilities and will be confiscated.
Is there a security charge?
Minnesota Zoo security is included with your room rental fee. If alcohol is served, an Apple Valley Police officer will be hired by the Zoo at an additional charge to the client.
What parts of the Zoo can we see during our event?
All Evening Events held at the Minnesota Zoo are held after the Zoo is closed. The only area you and your guests will have access to is the area you have rented for the event.
Does it smell like a zoo?
The Minnesota Zoo prides itself on the cleanliness of our facility, with staff cleaning the exhibits and common areas every day. Keep in mind, this is a zoo; however, once your party begins, everyone is having too much fun to notice anything unusual!
How far in advance can we reserve one of your facilities?
It is never too early to book an event at the Minnesota Zoo. Because we are one of the Twin Cities' most unique venues, our facilities do fill quickly!
What is your deposit policy?
Can ceremonies be held at the Zoo?
Ceremonies are welcome at the Zoo, when it is paired with a Zoo reception. We offer different spaces for ceremonies, including the Target Learning Center, Tropics Trail and Lakeside Terrace.
Do you have audio/ visual equipment on-site that we can use?
We have limited A/V resources on-site depending on the room you choose. Some items may have additional charges. Please ask your Zoo representative for more details.