Smithsonian National Zoological Park l Friends of the National Zoo



Night Owl Overnights

Whooo is stirring when the sun goes down? Come spend a wild winter night at the National Zoo and learn about the creatures that lurk in the shadows. After an evening of science experiments and activities, enjoy a bedtime snack before hibernating indoors. Have a light breakfast and then head out on a sunrise tour of the zoo with your Night Owl Overnight Host.

Night Owl Overnights are for scout groups and birthday parties for children 6-12 years old. Available Saturday evenings from January through March. Whoooo will be the first to join the Night Owls?

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Children ages 6-12 years old. Birthday children must be turning 6 on or before the day of the overnight. A paying adult must accompany all participants under 18, and one adult chaperone is required for every three children. Children under the age of 6 may not attend and no refunds will be given to registrants under the age of 6.


7:00 p.m. to 9:00 a.m. the following day. A small snack will be provided in the evening, however participants should eat dinner before coming to the Zoo. All Zoo restaurants close at 4:30p.m. A light breakfast is provided in the morning before the tour. Overnights are avaiable every Saturday beginning January 11 through March 29, 2014.


Overnights for scout groups are $500 for up to ten people, and an additional $50 for each individual above ten. Maximum of 20 participants total (adults included).

Overnights for birthday parties are $600 for up to ten people, and an additional $60 for each individual above ten. Maximum of 20 participants total (adults included).

A FONZ Birthday Party includes:

  • A festive party room. You are welcome to add personalized banners or extra decorations that can be hung with removable tape. (Sorry, no balloons are allowed at the Zoo, and our party rooms cannot accommodate piñatas.)
  • An engaging walking tour of The Small Mammal House. Tours are rain or shine, the Zoo tour will be fun and educational for all party-goers. Please ensure that children dress appropriately.
  • A Zoo-themed goody bag of party favors for each child, including a safari hat to take home.
  • A special birthday gift, including a plush animal and a photo.
  • All the table setting items such as tablecloths, napkins, plates, and forks.
  • Snacks and ice cream. You are welcome to bring additional food including birthday cake or cupcakes.

Cancellation and Transfer Policies

Cancellation requests received at least four weeks prior to the start of the overnight will receive a 75 percent refund. Transfer requests must be made at least four weeks prior to the overnight and will be charged a 10 percent administrative fee if a satisfactory reschedule date is available. Please email the FONZ Education Programs Office with cancellation and transfer requests. No refunds or transfers will be made if less than four weeks' notice. Friends of the National Zoo (FONZ) reserves the right to cancel or reschedule any activity. A full refund will be made if an activity is cancelled by FONZ. Night Owl Overnights are held rain/snow or shine.

Night Owl Overnight registration will open at 10:00 a.m. on October 29, 2013.