Go Wild! Birthday Parties

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In response to demand, we are happy to once again offer an in-person birthday party option!  The Celebration Package is designed to provide a much-needed opportunity for families to celebrate their little one's special day while reducing the risks of COVID exposure with some simple, common sense steps.  The following COVID-19 modifications are in place:

  • Parties are DROP-OFF only.  
  • Attendance is limited to 10 children* and 2 adults. 
  • Masks must be worn by all participants over the age of 2 years for the duration of the party.
  • To maintain masking, we are temporarily unable to allow refreshments to be consumed during the party, however you are welcome to provide to-go cupcakes or goodie bags at guest departure, if you wish.
  • The majority of the party activity takes place seated, to adhere to social distancing recommendations.
  • Anyone experiencing COVID-19 symptoms, unvaccinated individuals with a known exposure, individuals with a positive COVID-19 test, and children with a quarantining household member should not attend.

Please see the Go Wild! Birthday Party Program Guidelines for detailed information about party logistics and additional COVID-19 precautions. Please note: the fluid nature of the ongoing pandemic requires us to adjust our COVID-19 parameters as new guidance from the CDC, ISDH, and TCHD becomes available. Although we will do our best to keep website information up to date, some changes may not be announced in advance of when they take effect. Please contact the Zoo Education Department or inquire with your Zoo staff party host if you have any questions regarding current parameters.   

Please review our Education Program Participation Agreement for Birthday Party Reservations and Cancellation Policy, including the COVID-19 addendum prior to making a reservation.

Designed for children turning ages 5 -12, a Go Wild! Birthday Party is a great way to make your child's special day extra special.

Package Options:

Option 1: Celebration Package

  • 90 minute party room reservation in the DeFouw Education Center  
  • Up to 10 children and 2 adults may attend
  • Hands-on live animal presentation with up to 3 Animal Ambassadors
  • Photo keepsake of each child with an Animal Ambassadors (made available by digital download)
  • An interactive animal-themed game led by Zoo staff
  • Approximately 30 minutes of free time for your choice of activities
  • Zoo staff handles all clean-up

Celebration Package Fees:  $155 Members/$175 Non-Members


What to Expect:

The first hour of the party is facilitated by your Zoo staff party attendant. This includes the animal presentation**, photo, and game. Then we’ll turn the party over to you! The remaining approximately 30 minutes is your free time to plan and facilitate. You may use this time for opening presents, playing additional party games or visiting zoo exhibits***. 

You'll have access to the party room 30 minutes ahead of your scheduled start time to set-up or decorate, if you choose. After your party ends, you'll have an additional 30 minutes to wrap up and gather your belongings.  Zoo staff will take care of the clean-up!
 Please read the 
Go Wild! Birthday Party Program Guidelines for additional important information about how parties work, including important policy information.


To reserve your party date or for more information, please contact the Columbian Park Zoo Education Department at (765) 807-1540 or email zooeducation@lafayette.in.gov.


Parties are available most weekends, either morning or afternoon. Standard time slots are 10:00 a.m. - 11:30 a.m. or 2:00 p.m. - 3:30 p.m. Reservations should be made at least 4 weeks in advance for fall and winter dates. For spring and summer parties, please make your reservations 8-12 weeks in advance to ensure the best selection of available dates.

A signed Reservation Agreement and payment in full is required to secure your party date. Sorry, due to the number of requests we are unable to offer courtesy holds.

Zoo Members receive a $20 discount on all birthday party reservations! Please provide your Member number at the time of reservation to receive your discount.  Please note: we are unable to refund the discount back for Memberships purchased after your reservation has been made.  For more information about becoming a Zoo Member, visit our Membership Information Page here.



Important Notes:

*Parties are designed for children turning 5-12.  Guests must be at least 3 years of age to attend, due to the drop-off format of the party.  Note that little siblings of the birthday child under the age of 3 are permitted to attend, but may not be able to fully participate in all activities.

**A sample list of party-eligible animals can be made available upon request, but the exact animals that appear at your party depends on multiple factors, including the animal's choice whether or not to participate. Sorry, we are unable to tell you in advance which animals will appear or guarantee special requests.

***During normal zoo open season and operating hours, birthday party groups may visit zoo exhibits during the free time portion of the party.  During the winter months (mid-October-mid-April) when the Zoo is not open to the public, your Zoo party staff can facilitate a guided visit to the Family Farm during the free-time portion of the party upon request, and weather-permitting.

Don't See Something That Works For You?

It's ok!  Although we've aimed to create a party option that addresses exposure concerns while still providing an opportunity to celebrate your child's big day, in person with friends, we understand that this party option won't be in everyone's comfort zone. If it doesn't meet your needs, we invite you to consider one of these alternate ideas - or we hope you'll check out our party options again in a future year once the pandemic has eased.

  • Schedule a private Wild Encounters program or purchase a Wild Encounters gift voucher.
  • Register your child for one of our weekend youth classes - Cub Club (Ages 4-5), Critter Classes (ages 6-7) or Wildlife Workshops (ages 8-11)
  • Sponsor a ZooMobile or Animal Tales visit to your child's school classroom
  • VIRTUAL birthday parties are also available - we'll host the fun and your guest can log in from the safety of their own homes!

Contact the Zoo Education Department at zooeducation@lafayette.in.gov for more info about these options.

Questions?  Please contact the Zoo Education Department at (765) 807-1540 or email us at