It's Birthday party time at our house again. When my older kids were little, I did a couple of birthday parties here at home, then I had a huge mess to clean up, that's when we decided we would start having thier parties somewhere else. So over the last 18 years we've had parties at the Pizza places, skating rink, bowling alleys etc.
This year my baby turns 9. She has said she wanted to be a vetrinarian since she was 3. I went online and was checking into places for a party and came across the Pueblo Zoo. I would've never thought about the Zoo for a birthday party. So I called and talked to Sunny Davis. she sent me all the info via email and I looked it over and called right back with my credit card info and booked the party.
They have 3 basic party plans:
If you want to do your own decorating and games etc, you can rent "The Party Place" which is close to the front of the zoo and has close access to the bathrooms, (a MUST with kids!), or the Gazebo which is next to the Lion exhibit, closer to the back of the Zoo.
They also offer the "Safari Summer" Plan where they provide everything, It includes admission for up to 14 guests, party place rental, special zoo t-shirt for the birthday child, animal themed decorations, party bags for each child, lunch, invitations and a hostess. The "Safari Winter" plan offers the same thing but is held indoors. You can add a cake for an additional fee.
Since my brain has been on vacation, and I thought I had more time, I was late reserving and so went with the do-it-yourself plan at the Party place. I was able to add on a zoo presentation that will take 20-30 minutes and Sunny sent me over a list of animals for my daughter to choose from that the kids could interact with. She had to choose 6 animals from the list and then they will pick 2-3 of those to present to the kids. The zookeeper will tell them all about the chosen animals, they may, depending on the animal, be able to touch or hold it. I gave her the list when she got home from school and it only took her 3 hours to pick which animals she wanted, because, of course, she wanted ALL of them, Her top 3 choices ended up being Doris the Ball Python, the 3 Sugar Gliders, and Abby the Alligator, then for her last 3 she picked Otus the Screech Owl, Charlie the Chuckwalla, (I had to look that one up since I didn't have a clue what a chuckwalla was-it's a lizard), and the Corn Snake. I was holding my breath because I just knew she would pick the African Giant Millipede, but she didn't, thank goodness! All those legs give me the creeps!
Once you get your invitations addressed you will fill out a paper showing the names of all those you invited, as they arrive at the gate, the cashier checks thier names off and you only pay for those that show up. Sunny told me we could bring in our own food or we could have Pizza delivered to the front gate, so we decided we would go with having Little Caesars delivered to the gate at around noon. The party will last for 2 hours, and afterwards those that want to, can stay and explore the zoo until closing time, with thier family.
This is a wonderful way to celebrate a birthday, the kids get to experience something educational without realizing it's educational, and get room to run and play and explore. Although they have to stay where I can see them or another adult can see them, and I made it a policy a long time ago that all the kids get bright colored name tags when they arrive so I can tell which kids belong with my group. Especially in a place where there may be a lot of other kids. We always have both my husband and I and at least 3 other adults with our group, and any parent that wishes to stay is welcome to. One of the adults that always goes with us is a 1st responder and the other is a paramedic. It comes in handy to have those in the family!
If you live in the Pueblo area and want something that is interesting and reasonably priced for a birthday party, this is a great place! It's $35.00 for the 2 hour party place and then you pay a discounted admission for the guests of $3.75. If you want a live animal presentation by the zoo keeper, that's an additional $35.00.
For the Safari Birthday plans the cost is $150.00 and includes admission and all the goodies mentioned above. If you are a zoo member the price is $140.00. I've ended up paying more than that at the skating rink, and Chuck E Cheeses! And it never hurts to sneak a little education in where ever you can!