Frequently Asked Questions - Blank Park Zoo

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Are there a minimum number of guests needed to hold an evening event at the zoo?

No, groups of all sizes are invited to enjoy Iowa’s Wildest Adventure! Please call the BPZ sales staff (515-974-2506) to see what facility would best suit your group. We are happy to work with you to provide a custom event to remember. 

How soon do we need to reserve one of your facilities?
It's never too early to plan Iowa's Wildest Event.  We appreciate a minimum of three weeks notice before your event, at which time all details must be finalized.   We ask that a final guest count and all requests be in one week prior to the date of your event.    All rentals are on a first come, first serve basis.
Can we bring in our own caterer?

We are proud to say Johnny's Italian Steakhouse is our exclusive caterer at the Blank Park Zoo.  Johnny's Italian Steakhouse offers complete food and beverage service and their staff will work with you to customize the cuisine for your event.

Is there a deposit required to reserve a room at the BPZ?

A non-refundable deposit (half of the rental fee) that is applied to room rental is required at the signing of contract.  The sooner you sign, the sooner you have the date!

 

What parts of the zoo can we see during our event?

During Zoo hours, discounted admission to the Zoo can by purchased when a room is rented. For evening events, individual exhibits as well as the whole Zoo are available to rent. Please call the BPZ sales staff for details. The BPZ is closed Thanksgiving, Christmas Eve, Christmas Day, and New Year's Day.

 

Do I need to bring my own audio visual equipment?
BPZ does have some audio visual equipment for our guests to use, please discuss your needs with the BPZ sales staff.  Additional costs may occur if equipment rental is needed.
Can we decorate the room for our event?

Yes, with approval your event coordinator. A licensed florists or wholesaler must provide live floral arrangements. Flowers and plants may not be brought from home gardens or from farmers markets.  Balloons, glitter, straws, swizzle sticks, plastic stirrers, rice, birdseed, and bubbles are not allowed in the indoor exhibits or outdoor zoo grounds.  We also do not permit the use of nails, hooks, tacks, or screws on the walls of the indoor facility.  The indoor facilities' ceilings provide a great atmosphere to hang decorative items and the outdoor pavilion provides a wonderful space for streamers and other creative ideas.

 

Can we have a band or DJ?
Yes, you may have music at your event.  Your event manager, for the safety of the animals, will control music levels.  We do not allow fog or bubble machines, strobe, laser or cop lights in exhibit areas, also for the safety of the animals.  Your event manager will assign all bands and DJ's to a location
Does the catering staff do wedding cakes?

No, you are free to select the licensed bakery of your choice.  Johnny's Italian Steakhouse does have a selection of cakes, tortes and cheesecakes available for your dessert needs.

Does the Zoo serve alcohol?
Yes, permission must be obtained by a BPZ Guest Services Supervisor.  This permission will be withheld only in the instance when the dispensing of such beverages would constitute a disservice to the primary function of the Zoo.  BPZ carries a liquor license and liability insurance for such events. Under NO circumstances can alcohol be brought onto Zoo property, including parking facilities.
Is there a security charge?
BPZ requires the use of security at any event that is dispensing alcoholic beverages and/or is using the any of the outdoor facilities after normal Zoo business hours. The charge for security is $35 per hour with a minimum of two hours.
Can zoo animals come to my event?

Yes!  The Blank Park Zoo Education Department will bring animals to any Zoo event with a show and touch program.  Please talk to the BPZ sales staff to learn more about this program. 

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