Birthday Party FAQ

Can I invite more than 45 guests?

Due to safety reasons, no more than 45 guests can be permitted to your party. Only children under the age of 1 are not included in this admission.

How will I receive my admission tickets?

Your birthday tickets will be sent with your confirmation letter upon booking your party. If you have not received these tickets, please call the number above.

What if I am a member? Do I still need to have a ticket?

Yes. The birthday party is a separate admission than the zoo. All birthday party guests (expect those 1 and under) need to have a birthday party ticket.

Can I bring balloons and other decorations?

For the safety of our animals, balloons, balls, straws, confetti, any inflatables and piñatas are not allowed on Zoo Grounds at any time. Small toys or items that could be considered a choking hazard for a child are also considered a choking hazard for our animals, and staff recommends to keeping those items in your car during your visit to the Zoo. You are welcome to bring other decorations that fall outside these parameters.

Do I bring my own cake?

You are welcome to bring your cake or cupcakes, however, other food or drink items are not permitted on Zoo grounds.  Accommodations for ice cream cakes and smash cakes are not available and are not permitted for your party.

Can I bring my own supplies?

You are welcome to bring your own paper products and utensils. We supply you with all paper products, cups, and utensils for 45 people.

Where do I meet for my birthday party?

The day of your party, a designated birthday party sign will be placed out front for you and your guests to meet at.

How early can I show up for my party?

Your party host will meet you at the front entrance 30 minutes prior to the party start time and they will take you back to the party room for set up.

Can I get into the Zoo early before my party?

You birthday admission tickets are only valid for the time of your party and may only be used during this time.

Can I get train tickets as part of my birthday party?

We recommend you buy train tickets at the ticket booth or at the train station on the day of your party. Train tickets are $2. For more information, please refer to the train website.

What if there is bad weather the day of my party. Can I reschedule?

All parties are held rain or shine and will be held indoors. The Virginia Zoo is open year round under all-weather conditions, except in extreme circumstances.

What is the next step to booking a party?

To book a birthday party at the VA Zoo, you must first call 757.441.2374 or e-mail to check for availability. After speaking with the Education Department, they will send an agreement for with our policy and birthday information. You will then have 1 day to read through and return this agreement to us. Once this agreement and payment has been received, you will receive a confirmation e-mail and your party has officially been booked.

What is the cancellation policy?

All parties are located indoors and will be held rain or shine. The Virginia Zoo is open year round under all-weather conditions, except in extreme circumstances. Party cancellations must be received at least three (3) weeks before the party date to receive a partial refund of 80%. No refunds will be given for a party cancelled less than three (3) weeks before the reserved date. Any changes or additions to the party must be made at least seven (7) days before the reservation date.

Can I choose the animal ambassadors that visit my party?

The Virginia Zoo cannot guarantee specific animal ambassadors. The ambassadors participating in the animal presentation will be chosen by staff at the Virginia Zoo. Ambassadors will be selected for your party based on animal health and safety which could include a small mammal, reptile, amphibian, domestic bird or small invertebrate

What does the animal painting experience entail?

The animal painting experience is an opportunity for you to observe and take home a painting created by one of our animal ambassadors. VA Zoo staff will set up a painting area along with supplies and the animal will paint and create a unique piece of art for you to take home!