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Byte Night: ZooFari

Friday, September 25, 2020
6:00 pm to 7:00 pm
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Byte Night: ZooFari

 

Tune In

Friday, Sept. 25
6-7 p.m.
Free

Join Friends of the National Zoo as our biggest fundraising event of the year goes online! Bite Night: ZooFari is now Byte Night: ZooFari, sponsored by GEICO, a virtual version of our annual gourmet gala.

From 6-7 p.m. on Friday, Sept. 25, tune in to the free livestreaming event, see exotic animals, bid on amazing auction items like animal-created art, and enjoy a fun evening while supporting the Smithsonian’s work to take a byte out of extinction.

Donate Now

Panda Cub Update
Get an exclusive panda cub update from Deputy Director Brandie Smith.

Culinary Tips & Tricks
Take your culinary knowledge up a notch with at-home cooking tips from Host Chef Tim Ma.

Furry Fun
See what the Zoo's animals—like the seals and sea lions—are up to during exclusive demos.

Silent Auction
Bid on animal-created art, behind-the-scenes tours and more during the Byte Night auction.

Be a VIP

Be a Virtually Important Person

Take your Byte Night to the next level with our VIP package options. Bring one of Washington, D.C.’s best chefs into your home to cook a meal for you and your family and friends; have a prepared meal sent to your door; or receive a wonderful selection of wine or beer (with snacks) — all on a night of your choice. All VIP packages include virtual Q&As with animal keepers, a behind-the-scenes look at the Zoo and more!

VIP Chefs

Some of the Washington, D.C., area’s finest chefs will be contributing their expertise to Byte Night. VIPs who purchase the Chef’s or Restaurateur Package will receive a chef-prepared meal at their doorstep — or they can bring one of these chefs into their home for a special meal.

Participating Chefs

  • Chef Host Tim Ma, American Son/Prather’s on the Alley/Laoban Dumplings
  • Cathal Armstrong, Kaliwa
  • Amy Brandwein, Centrolina/Piccolina
  • Erik Bruner-Yang, Spoken English/Maketto
  • Bradley Deboy, Ellē
  • Jerome Grant, Jackie/Dacha Beer Garden
  • Bobby Pradachith, Thip Khao
  • Cable Smith, The Royal DC
  • Yuan Tang, Rooster & Owl
  • Kevin Tien, Himitsu/Emilie’s
  • Jonathan Till, Evening Star
  • Johanna Hellrigl Wilder, Mercy Me

Chef's Package
Any night of your choice*
$10,000
FONZ Members: $9,000

View details
  • The warm, fuzzy feeling that comes with the knowledge that you’re helping save animals
  • A chef-prepared meal in your home for up to 10 guests, including cocktail and wine pairings, on a night of your choice
  • A look behind the scenes at the Smithsonian’s National Zoo
  • A virtual greeting from FONZ Executive Director Lynn Mento and Steven Monfort, the John and Adrienne Mars Director, Smithsonian's National Zoo and Conservation Biology Institute
  • A virtual Q+A with a Smithsonian’s National Zoo animal keeper
  • Recognition on the event website
  • Recognition during the free event
  • A portion of your VIP party is tax-deductible!

*Pending chef availability

Restaurateur Package
Any night of your choice*
$6,000
FONZ Members: $5,400

View details
  • The warm, fuzzy feeling that comes with the knowledge that you’re helping save animals
  • A prepared meal for up to 10, plus wine pairings, delivered to your guests in up to five locations on a night of your choice — so you can all eat virtually together
  • A virtual appearance from the chef, who will introduce the meal
  • A look behind the scenes at the Smithsonian’s National Zoo
  • A virtual Q&A with a Smithsonian’s National Zoo animal keeper
  • A virtual greeting from senior Zoo staff
  • Recognition on the event website
  • A portion of your VIP party is tax-deductible!

*Pending chef availability

Wine Lovers Package
$3,500
Any night of your choice
FONZ Members: $3,150

View details
  • The warm, fuzzy feeling that comes with the knowledge that you’re helping save animals
  • A sommelier-led virtual wine tasting with Bluemont Vineyard
  • An experience for up to up to 10 guests in one location
  • A chance to sample — and re-sample — eight delicious bottles of wine
  • A Cabot Cheese gift box, delivered to your home prior to the event
  • A look behind the scenes at the Smithsonian’s National Zoo
  • A virtual Q&A with a Smithsonian's National Zoo animal keeper
  • A virtual greeting from Zoo staff
  • Recognition on the event website
  • A portion of your VIP party is tax-deductible!

Brewer's Choice Package
$2,000
Any night of your choice
FONZ Members: $1,800

View details
  • The warm, fuzzy feeling that comes with the knowledge that you’re helping save animals
  • A virtual beer tasting led by an expert from City Brew Tours
  • An experience for up to 10 guests in one location
  • A chance to sample 15 craft beers, delivered to your home prior to the event
  • A virtual tasting Box from City Brew Tours, including:
    • Gourmet cheeses
    • Chocolate treats
    • City Brew Tours koozies
  • A look behind the scenes at the Smithsonian’s National Zoo
  • A virtual Q&A with a Smithsonian’s National Zoo animal keeper
  • A virtual greeting from Zoo staff
  • Recognition on the event website
  • A portion of your VIP party is tax-deductible!

VIP Tickets Donate Now

VIP packages booked after 9/21 can not be scheduled until after 9/25.
Contact us for availability or to learn more.

Dine Out

For the past 35 years, ZooFari has been a staple event for the Washington, D.C. foodie community — and that’s due to the longstanding generosity of our partner restaurants. If you are tuning in to the free show, what better way to watch than with an incredible meal cooked up by one of this year’s participating restaurants? Support the restaurants that have supported FONZ for so long by purchasing a meal from one of the spots below prior to the event!

Support Our Partner Restaurants

  • ABC Pony
  • Agora Restaurant
  • Bastille Brasserie & Bar
  • Blackfinn Ameripub DC
  • Cabot Creamery Co-operative
  • Cafe du Parc
  • Cafe Mia
  • Calvert Woodley
  • Central Michel Richard
  • Chef Geoff's
  • CIRCA
  • Coconut Club
  • Congressional Country Club
  • Cooper's Hawk Winery & Restaurants
  • DC Sweet Potato Cake
  • District Commons
  • Dolci Gelati LLC
  • Entyse Wine Bar
  • Georgetown Cupcake
  • Hank & Mitzi's Italian Kitchen
  • Hard Times Cafe Alexandria
  • Haute Dogs & Fries Restaurant
  • Iron Gate
  • Joe's Seafood, Prime Steak & Stone Crab
  • Kora Lee’s Gourmet Dessert Cafe
  • Kuya Ja’s Lechon Belly
  • Matchbox
  • Morton's The Steakhouse
  • Nicecream
  • Nicoletta Italian Kitchen
  • Nina May
  • Number 1 Sons
  • Oceanaire Seafood Room
  • Opaline Bar & Brasserie
  • Pinstripes
  • Proper 21
  • QuiQui Catering
  • Rappahannock Oyster Co.
  • RASA
  • ROCKLANDS Barbeque and Grilling Company
  • Sababa
  • Santa Lucia Estate Coffee
  • Sweet Crimes
  • The Fourth Estate at the National Press Club
  • The Hamilton
  • Tonic at Quigley's Pharmacy

Be a Tastemaker

You can join the show, too!

Want to share memories of a past ZooFari? Show off your Byte Night meal? How about letting us know what conservation and the Zoo mean to you? Share it all—we’ll pick some of the most inspiring Byte Night posts to share with our viewers on our social channels and during the show. Start sharing on the event Facebook page now—all influencers are welcome!

Show Us

Show Your Support

Donate in Style

We can’t wait to see you (online)! Donate to Friends of the National Zoo today to show your support for FONZ and the Zoo’s species-saving mission. Those who donate $60 or more will receive a pair of custom species-saving Freaker socks.* Help save animals and warm your heart—and your feet.

socks with ferrets on them

Register Now Donate Now

*Socks will be shipped out after the event.

Silent Auction

Everyone is invited to bid on incredible items and experiences during the Byte Night silent auction. The silent auction is a rare opportunity to win art created by animals, behind-the-scenes Zoo experiences, and much more! Bidding begins on Friday, Sept. 18, and remains open until the end of Byte Night. Watch this space for more auction information.

Register Now Bid on Items

Questions?

Thank You

Thank you to all the sponsors and donors who have helped make this event possible — for our first virtual Byte Night: ZooFari and for the past 35 years of food and fun.