Welcome! . . . to the most unique venue in Peoria! We seat up to 200 for dining, and the number can easily expand by using the adjacent open-air Village. Dine & celebrate, while viewing the animals of the Africa savanna; such as rhinoceros, zebras, giraffes, lions and more. Then dance under the stars using the state-of-the-art sound system.
OUR SPECIAL FEATURES
• Seats up to 200 people for a lovely dining experience for ideal year-round receptions and parties
• Open-air Rondoval is perfect for wedding ceremonies, romantic dining or live music and dancing under the stars
• Adjacent to Luthy Botanical Garden
• Family friendly restroom facilities in Lodge
• Experienced bar team, able to accommodate indoor and outdoor bar service with a fully stocked bar
• Gas Fireplace, cozy and picturesque
• No preset menus or required caterers
• Choose your own catering to suit your own unique flavor
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Recommended by 96% of couples
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Shannon · Married on 10/17/2015
Our wedding was an absolute amazing evening! Yvonne and her team did more than expected.
Amanda · Married on 06/14/2014
I had my wedding reception at the Peoria Zoo in June, 2014. Overall, it was great! Below are some things you should know:
*The majority, if not all, of the reviews below concern Preston. However, Preston left the zoo at the end of 2013 and there is a new coordinator in place. Carol was great at responding to emails, helping us finish things up the last few months, and keeping things going the day-of.
*I found the rental price for the lodge to be very fair. If you want to have the animals left out for guests to view, it is $400 an hour.
*The zoo is very much a do-it-yourself sort of venue. You will need to rent your own linens (we bought them online) and find your own caterer, etc. We used Hickory River and they were amazing--tons and tons of food for everyone, and they even packed up the leftovers. We did appetizers through them and rented the china from them as well. Super responsive and easy to work with.
*There is no sales tax on the rental, drinks, alcohol, etc., which helped save a good amount of money.
*One important thing to be aware of involves set-up. The lodge is a concession stand by day and doesn't close down until 3:00. There is no where to store all the linens, decorations, etc, so you either need to bring them that morning (which wouldn't work, because all the family and friends were at the wedding ceremony) or have a van or suv loaded with them and park it at the zoo overnight. We ended up renting a small moving truck, parking it at the zoo friday night, and leaving the keys with them. The zoo has a staff to help set up, but it is probably a good idea to have a wedding coordinator or hire a few people (as we did) especially if you are doing anything more elaborate, like a candy table, etc.
Overall, it's a really unique venue and we absolutely loved it!
Michelle · Married on 05/18/2013
I cannot say enough good things about Preston and The Peoria Zoo. Everyone there was absolutely amazing to work with and helped with everything and anything they could. The lodge is the most beautiful reception location I have ever seen and Preston is the most helpful and amazing person to work with. The staff went above and beyond to accommodate us and make our reception perfect. AND Preston even offered us the Zoo's Lodge as an alternate location for our ceremony in case of rain! The limited time frame available for setting up the event sounded concerning but worked out perfectly!! We couldn't have asked for anything more and we got many wonderful compliments from our guests about the establishment. We will definitely be spreading the word and keeping Preston and his team in mind for future events!
The Peoria Zoo Price Rates
I just wanted to acknowledge the Peoria Zoo for their overall excellent service to the public. They have an amazing amount of space. The scenery is beautiful. The staff they have is very friendly, helpful, and educated on the animals they have. The park there is also very beautiful for picnics and get-togethers. I would definitely recommend the Peoria Zoo for Weddings, Children's birthday parties, and their annual Howl-Zoo-Ween.
The Zambezi Lodge is a wonderful reception venue for our DJ company to entertain at. Very professional, friendly prepared staff. Easy to work with. Allows the bride & groom to customize & make choices in order to make the reception a special celebration for each couple. Preston, the coordinator for the venue is absolutely fantastic. He offers his wisdom and knowledge throughout the planning/timeline of the event and the process that helps to make any couples day special. We always enjoy playing at the Zambezi Lodge venue at the Peoria Zoo and working with Preston.
We had the pleasure of working with Preston at the Peoria Zoo and the service and care provided by the entire Zoo staff was exceptional. They truly care about the couples needs and they extend their courtesy to the vendors as well. Preston is engaging and personable and as a wedding officiant it is so important to feel welcomed and comfortable before a ceremony. From rehearsal to the reception the staff was there to not only meet the needs of the wedding couple, but also those working the wedding as well. I am more than happy to recommend the Peoria Zoo and their staff for events and weddings - You will be very pleased with service and care provided.