Making a Reservation
- A minimum of 3 weeks notice is required.
- To book your party, please call (402) 738-2005.
What You Need To Know
- Birthday child must be turning a minimum of 4 years old.
- Birthday parties can be scheduled up to six months in advance.
- A $50 deposit is due when the party is booked.
- A non-refundable payment is required two weeks after selecting a party date to secure the reservation.
- The MAXIMUM number of people for a birthday party is 25 (children and adults).
Close Encounters! - Guests are sure to enjoy an up close encounter with one of Omaha's Zoo and Aquarium's own residents! We provide all of your basic party needs plus an animal visit! Cost is $250.00 for 12 people ($16.50 for each additional child or adult). The birthday child and two adults are free and do not count towards the 12 guests.
- 10 - 11:30 a.m. (Monday - Saturday only)
- 1 - 2:30 p.m. (Monday - Sunday)
- 3 - 4:30 p.m. (Monday - Sunday)
- 1 1/2 hour room rental
- Dedicated party host
- Fun craft and animal tattoos (washable)
- Animal themed activity
- Animal visit
- Bio-fact information (animal facts with furs)
- Birthday cake, ice cream and orange beverage
- T-shirt for the Birthday Child
- Group photo
- Plus...members of the private party receive full admission to Omaha's Henry Doorly Zoo and Aquarium
Party Favor Bags - $4 each (includes one train ticket and age appropriate items such as stamps, stickers and pencils).
Frequently Asked Questions
Can I have a party for two children together?
We do allow combined parties for two children. Please note that all of the same rules and features apply. Our party packages include a t-shirt for the birthday child. An additional t-shirt may be purchased for the other birthday child for $5.
I am interested in the Close Encounters birthday package that includes an animal visit. What kind of animal will you bring or can I pick the animal?
The health and well being of the animals at our Zoo is extremely important. Therefore, the Animal Ambassadors that we use for these types of programs are on a schedule so that they do not become overused and stressed. Because of this, guests are not allowed to choose the animal and we can never guarantee that a specific animal will come to your party.
My child is not four or older. Can we still have a birthday party at the Zoo?
The Birthday Program is geared toward children ages 4 and up. Unfortunately, we can not accommodate parties for younger children. However, you may rent one of our facilities and purchase food and beverage items through our TreeTops Catering Department. You may bring in your own cake. Contact the Events Department for more details.
Can we rent the room for an extended length of time?
No, the Zoo schedules parties back to back with a brief time in between to prepare for the next party.
What is the Zoo's cancellation policy?
A written cancellation notice must be received by the Zoo at least three weeks prior to the date of the scheduled event. The remainder minus a $90.00 administration fee will be refunded. If notice is not received within this time, the entire fee will not be refunded. If you would like to reschedule, you must reschedule in one month to retain use of the rental fee.
What if it rains or snows the day of my party?
The Zoo rarely closes due to inclement weather. If the Zoo is open, the party will run as scheduled. There are no refunds or rescheduling due to inclement weather. All activities are held indoors.
Some of my guests have Zoo memberships. Do I still have to pay extra for them if I go over the guest limit?
Birthday parties include Zoo admission and more. The fee covers the cost of the program. Parents and siblings of your guests (member or non-member) are more than welcome to enjoy the Zoo during the party free of charge; however, everyone that is present for the duration of the party is considered a guest.
When is my final balance and contract due?
The minimum base payment of $250 and contract are due no later than three weeks prior to the date of the party to keep your reservation. If the balance is not paid in full three weeks prior to the party, the party will be cancelled.
When will I receive the invitations? What if I need more?
Invitations will be mailed out once we receive the minimum base payment for the party. The base payment is due within two weeks after selecting your date. We provide 12 invites; however, extras may be purchased for $1 each.
When is my guest count due?
If the total number of people at your party will exceed 15 (including the birthday child, any adults and children), please notify us no later than 1 week prior to your party.
Can I choose the cake?
All of our cakes come from Olsen Bake Shop. They are a 1/4 sheet in size (1/2 sheet will be ordered for larger parties) and are available in vanilla, marble or chocolate. The cake is decorated with an animal of your choice, drawn with frosting and says, "Happy Birthday ____________".
What should I expect during the party?
You and your guests may get into the birthday facility 10 minutes prior to your party. A birthday host will begin by giving each of the children a washable animal tattoo and a craft to work on. Party guests will then get to meet one of the Zoo’s very own residents. A Zookeeper will share exciting information about an animal from our collection then follow up with questions and answers. After the animal visit, guests are invited to learn about animal biofacts and take a group photo. Next, guests will participate in an animal-themed activity followed by cake, ice cream and the opening of presents.
Can we store food or presents?
The Zoo does not provide any storage areas. We suggest bringing a wagon to help you cart items between the Zoo and your vehicle.
Can I bring my own decorations?
Yes. However, we do not allow balloons, straws, confetti or pinatas for the safety of the animals. Also, we ask that any decorations be hung with removable tape only.
Can I bring food to the party?
No outside food may not be brought to the party. However, if you would like to have food provided during the party, you may place an order with the Events Department to be prepared by our TreeTops Catering Department. Please be aware that this may cut into the time allowed for other party activities. If you do choose to order food, please notify the Events Department at least two weeks before the party. You are also welcome to take your guests to any of the concessions stands or the Tree Tops Restaurant to eat before or after the party.
If you have any other questions, please call (402) 738-2005 or e-mail email@example.com.