Weddings are a wonderful occasion to celebrate, and Lehigh Valley Zoo has a wonderful and very unique setting for you and your guests. Home to more than 300 animals representing over 125 species, Lehigh Valley Zoo offers your guests an unforgettable and memorable day among wildlife and nature. Located in the heart of the scenic Trexler Nature Preserve, you can transport your guests to the beaches of South Africa, to the outback of Australia, along the great North American plains or to a farm in our own backyard.
When you rent the Zoo, not only are you giving your guests a day to remember, but you are providing wildlife species from around the world an opportunity to thrive. Lehigh Valley Zoo’s core purpose – to save species from extinction and engage people – inspires our work, our conservation education programs, and our leadership in wildlife conservation. The Lehigh Valley Zoological Society, a nonprofit organization, is accredited by the Association of Zoos and Aquariums (AZA), the international organization that sets the highest standards for zoos and aquariums. The revenue generated through rentals, catering and event enhancements helps support the daily cost to feed and care for the Zoo’s animal ambassadors, a cost of $1,900 each day.
At Lehigh Valley Zoo, you will hear the wildlife success story of America’s National Bird, learn about the most endangered wolves in the world and learn how your local Zoo is helping conserve an animal species already extinct in the wild. Renting the Zoo helps enhance the lives of these animals and helps us do our part to engage and educate Zoo guests year-round.
Renting the Zoo after hours includes a four hour wedding package, two Zookeepers that can be stationed in our interactive exhibits or mingle with your guests, as well as a Zoo staff person at our Admissions Gate welcoming your guests as they arrive. When you rent the Zoo, you get the Zoo for four hours, and you can always add additional hours if you would like to continue your celebration. Lehigh Valley Zoo closes every day at 4:00 p.m. April through October, and most weddings during our season begin at 4:30 p.m. and last until 8:30 p.m. A traditional wedding at the Zoo is below:
4:30 p.m. – Ceremony
5:00 p.m. to 6:00 p.m. – Cocktail Hour/Enjoy the Zoo
6:00 p.m. to 7:00 p.m. – Dinner/Speeches
7:00 p.m. to 8:30 p.m. – Dancing and Dessert
You can hold your wedding from 5:00 pm to 9:00 pm as well.
If you are interested in having your ceremony at the Zoo, we have three locations inside the Zoo that are perfect for you and your fiancé. Our first is at the top of the Zoo near our Jaindl Penguin Pavilion. We have a covered Pavilion which seats 96 and an Outdoor Dining Deck which seats 176. Our Penguin Pathway is an ideal spot to get married, and our ten African Penguins make for an unforgettable backdrop.
Our second location is inside the North American River Otter exhibit. The animals cannot be on exhibit while the wedding is taking place, but the amphitheater style layout makes for a perfect setting for parties of over 100 guests.
The final location is down by our Farm in the Zoo exhibit. This area hosts a 20x40 tent which holds 70 but has additional room to accommodate another 100 people. This area is a large area of blacktop that we can be situated any way you would like.
If you are simply looking to have your reception at the Zoo, we have two great areas that would be a wonderful backdrop. The first is at the top of the Zoo and would consist of both our Peacock Pavilion and Outdoor Dining Deck. Our Pavilion seats 96 people, and our Outdoor Dining Deck seats another 184 people. Our Dining Deck has colored umbrellas, and we can match the umbrellas to your color scheme if we have the colors that match your wedding. The colors we have at the Zoo are orange, green, blue, red and yellow. If you would like us
To secure the date at the Zoo, we do require a 50% deposit ($700.00). You would not owe the rest of the balance until after your wedding, though most couples pay the balance prior so we are not sending them emails while they are on their honeymoon.
Our interactive exhibits include our Rainbow Lorikeet exhibit, our Goat exhibit, our Farm in the Zoo exhibit and our Red Kangaroo exhibit. We can station three Zookeepers in an exhibit for a certain amount of time if you want your guests to enjoy dinner and dancing, or we can leave the keepers in the interactive exhibits until they need to put the animals away at dusk. If they are only stationed in an exhibit for a certain amount of time, during the cocktail hour for example, they are able to mingle and interact with your guests during other times. Our animal feeding stations include our Rainbow Lorikeet exhibit ($1 per cup of nectar) and Goat exhibit ($20 per bucket of goat food). Other interactions that guests could have would be our Education Animal Mingle ($425 for a 30 minute animal encounter or $475 for a one hour animal encounter, $100 less if you do wish to have a penguin.
Our Feast with the Beasts Buffet offers a two hour buffet including one salad, two entrees, two sides and non-alcoholic refreshments. We offer trays for a cocktail hour as well.
If you bring in an outside caterer, they must be insured, and there is a charge of $1.00 per person for cleanup, a minimum of $125 and a maximum of $300. Below is a list of our preferred caterers:
Culinary Experience: http://www.culinaryexperiencecatering.com/
Royal Gourmet Caterers: http://royalgourmetfoods.com/
Simply Smooth: http://www.simplysmooth.com
Soda Bar: If you bring in an outside caterer, let us worry about the drinks. We can open our fountain soda service for your guests for as long as you want. You can learn more in our catering package as well.
Alcohol: Alcohol is permitted after-hours, but Lehigh Valley Zoo is unable to serve it. If you would like, we can hire a bartender for you, or you can bring in anyone you would like. We do not allow glass, balloons, straws or lids inside Lehigh Valley Zoo.
Zoo Event Enhancements
Education Animal Presentations
Animal Connection Program – Have an African Penguin waddle in front of your bridal party, have you and your spouse hold a screech owl, meet a sloth or play with a Fennec Fox
Personalized Zoo Tour
River Otter Cake Enrichment - Invite your guests to watch as our North American River Otter enjoys their own wedding cake
Lorikeet Nectar - Feed our Rainbow Lorikeets
Goat Grain - Feed our Goats
Zoo Raffle Prizes – Zoo Tickets, Zoo Membership, A.D.O.P.T. an Animal, etc.
Face Painting and Glitter Tattoos
Pedal Boat Rides
Cow Milking Simulator
Penguin Bracelet Making
Penguin Feather Washing Activity
Pan for Gold Activity
Toad Abodes Making
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7 Reviews for Lehigh Valley Zoo
Recommended by 99% of couples
Ashley · Married on 09/08/2018
Penguins for the win!
LV zoo attended our wedding with penguins in tow! They were so adorable and the perfect touch to our special day. Guests got to take photos with them and their handlers got to share some fun information about them and how to help their habitats.Sent on 12/07/2018
Chelsea · Married on 12/12/2015
I had a wedding at the Lehigh Valley Zoo in July and had a FANTASTIC experience. Alan Raisman was very helpful and incredibly accommodating the entire time. Whenever we had any question or issue, he answered or resolved it quickly. This was especially helpful as I planned the wedding in just a few months! During the wedding he and his staff were always there to help make the wedding run smoothly (and he helped make it better than I could have done alone).Sent on 08/30/2015
We decided to actually get married on the little island in the otter arena and not only was it really, really, really neat to look back at all of our loved ones in the amphitheater, but it made for some amazing photos. This was actually my favorite part of the we
Katherine · Married on 07/05/2014
My husband and I chose to have our reception at the Lehigh Valley Zoo after we realized our guest list was going way over what my parents yard could handle. Alan, the event coordinator, was my favorite vendor to work with. Anything (and I mean ANYTHING) you needed, Alan and his staff were happy to assist with. The zoo also doesn’t charge you an arm and a leg to rent like most venues would, the cost is equal to what it takes to feed the animals for one day! We were fortunate to have a beautiful day but indoor accommodations are available. We were even able to choose two interactive exhibits that we could open up to our guests during cocktail hour (feeding the rainbow Lorikeets nectar out of our hands was a crowd favorite). Also, while you may need to book other venues a year or more in advance, the zoo has most weekends open. We booked our date a few months before our big day. So, if you’re looking for something a little bit different for your wedding day, I highly recommend the Lehigh Valley Zoo. Our day was perfect.Sent on 09/05/2014
Lehigh Valley Zoo Price Rates
We were fortunate enough to work with Alan and the gang at the Lehigh Valley Zoo when we performed at a wedding last August. The venue is great! Ample dance floor room, ample seating and staging area, and a myriad of creative locations for your ceremony. Where else can you have peacocks strolling around your reception? An added bonus was being able to stroll around the reception and check out the animals. A really fun yet lovely location. Alan was a true professional! We hope to work with the Lehigh Valley Zoo again.