On any given day, Utah’s Hogle Zoo is a child’s paradise. The chance to learn about wildlife, both local and exotic, and the ability to see them in person, is an experience that can’t be matched. But it’s not only youngsters who can benefit from this kind of experience. Once a month, Hogle Zoo provides a unique opportunity for adults to spend an evening at the zoo kid-free. At 6pm on the last Wednesday of the month, the strollers clear out, and the beer and wine tents prepare to welcome patrons of a certain age (21 years at least) to party with the animals at Zoo Brew.
I’ve been going to Hogle Zoo for as long as I can remember. In many ways it’s as familiar as ever, but it has come a long way since the old days! Animal habitats and enclosures have been rebuilt and improved along with upgraded facilities for patrons. Workers and volunteers are always at the ready to explain the various animals, offer hands-on encounters, and provide an educational experience for all. For a little extra, you can feed the giraffes or even get up close and personal with the rhinos, gorillas, or elephants. I love the World of Flight Bird Show where eagles, hawks, falcons, owls, and parrots are known to fly right over the heads of the audience.
Yes, the zoo is wonderful time for people of all ages, but you haven’t really lived until you’ve wandered the grounds after-hours with a beer in your hand and not a kid in sight. The beer is provided by Squatters and Wasatch, and all concessions, including The Beastro, are open to supply a variety of food and treat options. There is no need for sunscreen as you enjoy the cool evening temperatures. In many cases, the animals are more alert and playful than they might be during the heat of the day. Photo-ops abound providing plenty of fun backdrops for selfies and group portraits. Don’t miss a ride on the carousel! It’s only $2 and you can take your beer with you. Zoo Brew is an entertaining date night or night out with friends where you can unleash your inner-child (and inner-beast!) for a few hours.
You’re going to have a good time at Zoo Brew, but you’ll also feel good about it. Hogle Zoo supports a variety of conservation efforts in Utah and around the world. 100% of all proceeds go to saving animals and habitats in the wild. Each month, another one-of-a-kind form of “animal art” is sold to raise money for the animal “artists” involved. In May, paint-splattered glasses made by elephants were available outside the elephant enclosure, and a modern-looking rhino butt-print was raffled off to one lucky art aficionado. Also, keep your eyes open for fun zoo and drinking-themed t-shirts and other souvenirs to take home as a reminder of the exciting evening you had at Zoo Brew.
If you’re interested in attending Zoo Brew at Utah’s Hogle Zoo, don’t wait to buy tickets. The event typically sells out in advance of the scheduled date so don’t expect to show up and get in. Be sure to plan for a designated driver or take cab, Uber, or Lyft. Other than that, let loose! The atmosphere is festive, and people seem to be having more fun than you’d expect to see at a family destination in Utah. Party animals mingle with wild animals in a truly rare experience. Hope to see you at the next Zoo Brew!
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