Jacksonville Zoo and GardensJacksonville Zoo and Gardens

Jacksonville Zoo and Gardens

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Call for Entries: Donor Plaza Redesign

Date: Oct 01
Event Information:

Jacksonville Zoo and Gardens Donor Recognition Plaza Project
Request for Proposals

Pre-proposal Conference and Cocktail Reception

Thursday August 14, 2014

5:30 – 7:00 PM

Samburu Room

Zoo Main Entrance

Competition Details

The Jacksonville Zoo and Gardens intends to renovate the outdated Donor Recognition Plaza just to the right inside the main entrance, 370 Zoo Parkway, Jacksonville, Florida 32218. This area annotates significant Zoo donors. The Zoo is requesting proposals for concept designs from teams consisting of at least one senior architect and one Emerging Design Professional (EDP).  Awards will be given for the top three designs.  Upon selection of what it considers the best design, the Zoo intends to execute the design with its own resources, with input from the selected team. 

Proposals Due October 1, 2014

Click here to download Zoo Donor Area RFP.

Click here to download Zoo Donor Area Submission Form.

Reference Images

Click image to view full sized version.



Brew at the Zoo

Date: Sep 26
Event Information:

Brew at the Zoo
September 26, 2014 from 7:00 p.m. – 10:30 p.m. (VIP entrance at 6:30 p.m.)

Jacksonville’s wildest Food and Drink Festival features delicious restaurants and breweries in the awesome setting of the Jacksonville Zoo and Gardens. Now in its eighth year, Brew at the Zoo is a “must-attend” event for adults to EAT. DRINK. ZOO. Guests will receive three drink tickets for beverages from our full bars, enjoy unlimited tastes of over 50 craft and import beers in signature tasting glasses, and sample dishes from over 30 local restaurants. All proceeds benefit the care and feeding of the Zoo’s over 2,000 animals.

All attendees must be 21 years or older, and show valid proof of ID upon entrance to the event.
Visit our event page on Facebook to keep up with the latest updates on participating restaurants, breweries, bands and more!


All tickets and hotel packages are sold out.

Treat friends and clients to as taste extravaganza while supporting the Jacksonville Zoo and Gardens! Contact Julie Peterson at 904-757-4463 x 134 or (JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address) for more information on sponsorship opportunities, including benefits and purchasing.

Leopard Lager, $10,000
Alligator Ale, $5,000
Stingray Stout, $2,500
Penguin Porter, $1,000

Thank you to our current sponsors…

JP Morgan Chase
Brumos Automotive
The Florida Times Union
Sight & Sound Productions
BUZZ Magazine
Republic National Distributing
Aloft Hotel – Airport
Omni Hotel – Downtown Jacksonville
THE PLAYERS Championship
Captain John & Carol O’Neil
Mr. James H. Winston
Mr. Matt Fairbairn
Celebration Party Rentals
Timucuan Asset Management, Inc.
B. Langston Antiques
Jacksonville Fraternal Order of Police

Tasty restaurants, renowned breweries, and fun vendors bringing a WILD time to this year’s Brew at the Zoo!

Alhambra Theatre and Dining
Anthony’s Catering
Blackfinn Ameripub
BONO’s Pit Bar-B-Q & Pastiche
Burrito Gallery & Bar
Catering by Liz
Catering in the Wild
Designed Events
Gumbo YaYa’s
Hightide Burrito
Hurricane Grill & Wings
Hyatt Riverfront
Mai Oui! Gourmet
Mitchell’s Fish Market
Mojo’s BBQ
Poe’s Tavern
Whole Foods Market
Moe’s Southwest Grill
Dunkin’ Donuts/Baskin-Robbins
Fionn MacCool’s
Hawkers Asian Street Fare
Earth Fare
Brio Tuscan Grille
Junior’s Seafood Restaurant & Grill
Bluefish Restaurant
Sticky Fingers
Table One
Tijuana Flats
Buford’s Brownies
Publix Super Markets, Inc.
Ruth’s Chris Steakhouse
Joseph’s Pizza
Jaxon Social
The Grotto
Alleycakes Bakery Co.
Pele’s Wood Fire
Aardwolf Brewing
Bacardi Bottling
Bold City Brewery
Engine 15
Green Room Brewing
Intuition Ale Works
Veteran United Craft Brewery
McKenzie’s Beverages
Zeta Brewing

Southeastern College giving free massages
Armada bringing their giant Kicker Tube!
Nunzio the Magician
Subject One Photography


2014 Elephant Appreciation Day

Date: Sep 20
Event Information:

Join us from 10:00 a.m.to 4:00 p.m. as we appreciate earth’s largest land animal.  There will be informational booths, elephant activities, and animal enrichment throughout the day in the Zoo’s Elephant Plaza.

Spooktacular 2014

Date: Oct 17–01
Event Information:

October 17-19, 24-26, and 29 - November 1

This Halloween, don’t miss Jacksonville’s most magical celebration.

Get into the Halloween spirit at the Jacksonville Zoo and Gardens!
Spooktacular is a safe and exciting Halloween adventure for kids of all ages.

The Jacksonville Zoo and Gardens is transformed into a family-friendly Enchanted Land with pirates, princesses and more. We also have three scare-zones including the Witch’s Lair, the Land of the Zombie and the all-new Dragon’s Cave. 

Members - $8, Non-Members - $10
$1 Off When Purchased Online

Members can receive a $1 off admission if purchasing tickets at the gate with coupon.
Click Here to download.

For more information including times, FAQs and rules, Click Here.


Giraffe Conservation Lecture 2014

Date: Sep 23
Event Information:

You’re invited to join us for a casual, conservation-focused lecture highlighting some of the world’s most intriguing animals.

Featuring renowned giraffe expert Julian Fennessy, Ph.D., the evening’s education will convey the importance of protecting giraffe populations in the wild to even the most inexperienced animal lovers.
Come see, learn and be captivated by the Zoo’s popular giraffe exhibit, and find out zoos roles in conservation, and how you can make a difference for the future of giraffes.

The lecture will be held at the Jacksonville Zoo and Gardens on September 23 and is FREE to the public.

Event Schedule:
• 5:30 – 6:30 p.m. reception with hors d’oeuvres, cash bar
• 6:30 – 7:30 p.m. lecture by Julian Fennessy, Ph.D.
• 7:30 – 8:15 p.m. Giraffe tour with $10 donation suggested
• Giraffe accessories available for purchase

All proceeds benefit the Giraffe Conservation Foundation.

Space is limited. (JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address) today!

Sculpture Exhibit 2014

Date: Sep 26–31
Event Information:

The history of the Zoo expressed through sculpture.

In honor of Jacksonville Zoo and Gardens’ 100 year anniversary, local artists have created beautiful pieces of art which commemorate milestones in the Zoo’s history. The Northeast Florida Sculptors worked with various mediums to bring the rich history of the zoo to life.

These sculptures will be exhibited in the Bamboo Gardens until the end of the year.

Conservation Lecture: Fertile Soil for Future Conservationists

Date: Jun 30
Event Information:

Featuring John Andrews,
Avian Ecologist, Illinois Natural History Survey Wildlife Veterinary Epidemiology Lab

Monday, 30 June, 6 - 7 p.m.
Jacksonville Zoo and Gardens’ Pepsi Co. Education Campus

Join us to hear John Andrews share how the Jacksonville Zoo influenced his life and career as a world traveling ornithologist. John began attending zoo camps at the age of 6 for 8 years. Once old enough, he began volunteering in all zoological departments until being hired as a keeper in 2004. He earned his Bachelors at UF and his Masters at the University of Illinois. He has worked on field conservation projects on four continents. 

This event is free of charge.

25th Annual Bowling for Rhinos

Date: Jun 20–21
Event Information:

25th Annual Bowling for Rhinos!

The Jacksonville Zoo and Gardens’ chapter of the American Association of Zookeepers (AAZK) is holding its 25th annual Bowling for Rhinos event on Friday, June 20th and Saturday, June 21st at the Batt Family Fun Center on 1838 Cassat Avenue at 7 p.m. Registration begins at 6 p.m. A $25 registration fee includes three games of bowling and shoe rental. There is a $10 registration fee for non-bowlers.  One Hundred percent of the proceeds from the event go directly to three rhino sanctuaries.

Click here to download the registration form. You can either mail in the form or bring it to the event. Advanced registration is recommended.

Help save the rhinos by donating!

What is an AAZK Chapter?
An AAZK chapter is a local branch of the national American Association of Zoo Keepers organization. Our chapter is made up of a group of dedicated individuals committed to helping captive and wild animals.

Bowling Rhino

What is Bowling for Rhinos?
Each year the Jacksonville Zoo AAZK chapter sponsors a fundraising bowl-a-thon called Bowling for Rhinos (BFR).  The members involved collect sponsors and bowl three games.
Over 70 chapters nationwide hold BFR events and raise over $250,000 annually.  100% of the money goes to help endangered rhinos and their ecosystems.

Where does the Money go that is raised in the Bowling for Rhinos Event?
Lewa Wildlife Conservancy (LWC) in Kenya Africa
Ujung Kulon National Park in Java, Indonesia
Bukit Barisan Selatan National Park in Sumatra, Indonesia

The money sent to these parks not only help to protect the rhinos, but entire ecosystems.

Lewa Wildlife Conservancy (Kenya, Africa)
This sanctuary in Kenya includes 62,000 protected acres with a 2 meter tall electric fence.  This area protects not only Black and White Rhinos, but also over 75 other mammals such elephants, cheetahs, and zebras. More than 350 bird species utilize the conservancy along with numerous rare plant species.

Ujung Kulon National Park (Java, Indonesia)
This park includes 300 square miles of area and is home to some of the rarest and most endangered plants and animals on earth.  The last of the Javan rhinos reside here, with less than 60 remaining!

Bukit Barisan Selatan National Park (Sumatra, Indonesia)
This national park includes 3,568 square km of protected area and is believed to have one of the largest populations of Sumatran rhinos.  This park also protects other endangered animals such as clouded leopards, tigers and Asian Elephants.

How much money has been raised?
Since 1990 the American Association of Zoo Keepers “Bowling for Rhinos” (BFR) has raised over $450,000 annually.  To date, the Jacksonville AAZK Chapter has raised over $70,000.
All money is raised entirely by volunteer efforts of zoo staff members across the country.


Jacksonville Artists’ Guild Exhibit

Date: Sep 01
Event Information:

In celebration of the Zoo’s 100-year anniversary, members of the Jacksonville Artists’ Guild have created 100 Zoo images for display in the Zoo’s Palm Plaza Café.

All images available for purchase for $100 until September 1, 2014.

Please visit the Palm Plaza Café, located in Range of the Jaguar, to view these beautiful works of art.

2014 Endangered Species Day

Date: May 16
Event Information:

Join the Jacksonville Zoo and Gardens from 10:00 a.m. – 4:00 p.m. as we celebrate Endangered Species Day.  Our endangered animals will receive special enrichment all day.

9:00 – Warthog (Africa)
9:30—Lions (Africa)
11:00—Leopard (Africa)
12:00—Bonobos (Great Apes)
12:20—Gorillas (Great Apes)
12:45—Jaguars (Range of the Jaguar)
1:15—Squirrel Monkey (Play Park)
1:45—Komodo (Asia)
3:15—Bear (Wild Florida)
3:25—Panther (Wild Florida)


2014 Mother’s Day Brunch & Special Admission Offer

Date: May 11
Event Information:

Join us for Mother’s Day Brunch from 10:00 a.m. to 12:00 p.m. featuring a delicious brunch buffet, a visit from Jazoo, live animal encounters and an activity for children. Pre-registration is required for Mother’s Day Brunch.

  • Adults: Members $24.95; Non-members $28.95
  • Children: Members $9.95; Non-members $12.95

Pricing does not include zoo admission.
Please reserve by Wednesday, May 7, by calling 904-757-4463 ext 200.

Also! Celebrate Mom with free admission. Mom gets in free with a BOGO offer with the coupon. Special admission offer sponsored by Wells Fargo.

Click here for the Mother’s Day Coupon!

100 Year Birthday Celebration

Date: May 10–11
Event Information:

2014 is a very special year for the Zoo. Not only did we open a brand new tiger exhibit this year, but we turn 100 years old! We’d like to invite YOU to help us celebrate!

Join us on May 10th and 11th to celebrate out 100th birthday! Activities include bounce houses and activities on the Great Lawn, entertainment, animal encounters, live music, conservation information, crafts and animal encounters!

We hope to see you there!

Entertainment Schedule

Saturday, May 10th
Great Lawn Dance Performances (1 p.m. - 4 p.m.)
- South African dance demonstration provided by Jacksonville Centre of the Arts
- Bollywood dance demonstration provided by Bollywood Dance Mania
- South African dance and Zumbatonic demonstration provided by Zumbajear

Orchid Pavilion
- LaVilla Symphony Concert Band (12 p.m. - 1 p.m.)
- Jukebox 337 (11 a.m. - 11:45 a.m., 1 p.m. - 4 p.m.)

Play Park
- Al Monte and Company’s Coming (10:30 a.m. - 4 p.m.)

Sunday, May 11th
Great Lawn
- J Collins (12 p.m. - 2 p.m., 2:30 p.m. - 4:30 p.m.)

Orchid Pavilion
- Mondo Mike and the Po Boys with Spice (12 p.m. - 5 p.m.)

- Al Monte and Company’s Coming (11 a.m. - 5 p.m.)

2014 World Penguin Day

Date: Apr 25
Event Information:

Join the Jacksonville Zoo and Gardens from 10:00 a.m. to 2:00 p.m. at the Zoo’s Tuxedo Coast exhibit to celebrate World Penguin Day! Guests can enjoy learning about penguins and participating in some fun penguin activities including the opportunity to see penguins up close and chat with their keepers. World Penguin Day is a celebration that coincides with the annual northern migration of penguins.

2014 January Jackpot - Special Admission Offer

Date: Jan 01–31
Event Information:

It’s the January Jackpot!  In the month of January, 2014, come to the Zoo on Tuesdays, Wednesdays, Thursdays or Fridays and take advantage of special money-saving deals!

  • $2 Tuesdays - Pay only $2 for general Zoo admission when you bring in the $2 coupon printed from below.
    Valid January 7, 14, 21, 28.
  • WACKY Wednesdays - Non-Members - Spin our prize wheel for the chance to win 15-67% off general admission, free carousel or train rides, free giraffe feedings, free drinks, gift shop discounts, or our Grand Prize: 75% off general admission, free train rides, 25% off any Zoo food outlet, and 25% off at any Zoo gift shop! Members get $2 off value bands!
    One spin per family. Prize winner will be given a coupon redeemable at the Jacksonville Zoo and Gardens location specified. Valid January 1, 8, 15, 22, 29
  • $3 Thursdays - Pay only $3 for general Zoo admission when you bring in the $3 coupon printed from below.
    Valid January 2, 9, 16, 23, 30.
  • $5 Fridays - Pay only $5 general Zoo admission when you bring in the $5 coupon printed from below.
    Valid January 3, 10, 17, 24, 31.

Click here to download the Tuesday coupon.
Click here to download the Thursday coupon.
Click here to download the Friday coupon.

Each coupon is valid only on the dates indicated for up to two adults and all the children in a family. The discount cannot be combined with any other discount or offer, including Zoo Value Tickets, and can only be used once per transaction. 

International Cheetah Day

Date: Dec 04
Event Information:

December 4th is International Cheetah Day! Stop by the Africa Loop for conservation information and chats with keepers.

2013 Members Only Dinner and Movie

Date: May 17
Event Information:

It’s our way of saying ‘Thank You’ to our members for all of their wonderful support of the Zoo. Join us from 6:30 p.m. to 10:30 p.m. for food, fun and a movie on an outdoor movie screen on the Great Lawn at this exclusive night for members only. Don’t forget to bring lawn chairs or a blanket to sit down and enjoy the movie! Ticket includes dinner and the movie. Event will occur rain or shine. Pre-registration is required.

Please call 904-757-4463 Ext 200 to register. Deadline to register is Friday, May 3, 2012.

Cost: $12.95 per member

Sponsored by

2013 Safe Kids Water Safety Day

Date: Apr 27
Event Information:

Join us from 10:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. at Play Park to raise awareness of water safety.  There will be activities, prizes, safety tips, entertainment, and a visit from Jazoo. Children can also cool off in the Splash Ground at Play Park.

Also! While you’re here, check out the 2013 Earth Day - Party for the Planet with a Special Admission Offer!

2013 ExZOOberation - Annual Zoo Fundraiser

Date: Apr 13
Event Information:

6:30 p.m.–11:30 p.m.

A casual, adult evening fundraiser to benefit the Jacksonville Zoo and Gardens, ExZOOberation, now in its 18th year, is one of Jacksonville’s premier events, raising in excess of $2.5 million for the care and feeding of the animals, educational programs and conservation initiatives. Please call (904) 757-4463 ext. 196 to purchase tickets.

2013 Spring DINO Zoo Camp - Jax Zoo Edu

Date: Mar 25–29
Event Information:

This spring, journey back in time with the Jacksonville Zoo and Gardens as we study DINOSAURS along with their modern-day relatives! Each day of our archaeological adventure will include up-close and hands-on encounters with our Education Animal Ambassadors, Zoo tours, animal crafts and hands-on activities. 

Camps: 9:00 a.m.-3:00 p.m.
Extended Care available for additional fee; 8:00 a.m.–5:00 p.m.

Cost: $175/week/student - member;
$200/week/student - non-member
$50/week for extended care registration

For details and registration, click here.

DinoTrek Grand Opening

Date: Mar 01–03
Event Information:

Although once believed to be extinct, a new generation of dinosaurs has been found onsite at the Jacksonville Zoo and Gardens! Venture through the DinoTrek exhibit to get up close and personal with over seventeen different species of dinosaur.

Grand Opening festivities on March 1-3, from 10:00 a.m.–4:00 p.m., will include prize drawings, live entertainment, and more. DinoTrek will be open from March 1-June 30, 2013.

DinoTrek Members Only Preview

Date: Feb 26–27
Event Information:

Members, get a sneak-peak at the ALL-NEW exhibit, DinoTrek! For two days only, from 1:00-6:00 p.m., visit DinoTrek for FREE and see the exhibit before the public. DinoTrek admission limited to the number of people included on your membership.

4-D Experience - Happy Feet

Date: Jan 01
Event Information:

Don’t miss the Jacksonville Zoo and Gardens’ 4-D ride!

You’ll love the thrills, chills, and excitement of this all new, all-senses experience.

The Happy Feet 4-D Ride Experience has returned!

4-D Ride (per ride):
$4.00 non-member
$3.00 member
Must be at least 42” tall to ride.

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