After-hours events at Edinburgh Zoo & Highland Wildlife Park

If you fancy watching the animals after-hours at Edinburgh zoo, want to track down giant giraffes on the city’s streets or watch Scotland’s only polar bears at play – now is your chance!

Visitors can enjoy the long summer evenings at the zoo and park
Visitors can enjoy the long summer evenings at the zoo and park

The Royal Zoological Society of Scotland (RZSS) has once again organised after-hours events at Edinburgh Zoo and Highland Wildlife Park, and arranged its second Halloween-themed illuminated evening trail.

The Royal Zoological Society of Scotland (RZSS) is a wildlife conservation charity with a bold vision: a world which protects, values and loves nature.

Visitors can enjoy the long summer evenings at the zoo and park and see how the animals spend their time after closing, while also helping the wildlife conservation charity’s vital work around the world.

This year a dinosaur-themed takeover will be available for families on select Friday and Saturdays throughout July and August at Edinburgh Zoo

Edinburgh Zoo and Highland Wildlife Park are gateways to the natural world through which people can experience nature, learn about the challenges facing wildlife and discover how they harness their expertise in conservation science and animal care to save animals from extinction.

Lindsay Ross, events and experiences manager at RZSS said, “It is really exciting to bring our After Hours and theatre events back for our visitors after they were such a big hit last year. They offer a great opportunity to soak up the atmosphere of Edinburgh Zoo and Highland Wildlife Park in the summer evenings, while supporting our charity’s vital conservation work.

“Lots of our animals are active in the evening, so our After Hours events give visitors more time to marvel at these spectacular species, enjoy live music and local food vendors. There’s something for everyone at our zoos this summer.”

Summer events

This year there are two styles of After Hours events running on select Friday and Saturdays throughout July and August at Edinburgh Zoo. A dinosaur themed takeover will be available for families whilst an adult only offering will celebrate the Giraffe About Town trail, which has seen a herd of 42 eight-foot-tall giraffe sculptures hit the streets of the capital.

Further north, Highland Wildlife Park will be running their own After Hours for the second year in a row, giving visitors the chance to drive through the reserve enjoying the Cairngorms backdrop at dusk, and relax to the sound of traditional music acts and enjoy a range of local food and drink. This unique opportunity means you can see exactly what Scotland’s only polar bears, including little Brodie the polar bear cub, get up to once the park usually closes.

Back at Edinburgh Zoo, July will also see the return of open-air theatre from Chapterhouse Theatre Company, with performances of Pride and Prejudice, Romeo and Juliet and Cinderella.

Autumn events

Looking on to autumn, visitors are invited to come along to Edinburgh Zoo on select evenings in October to listen out for a rustling amongst the trees and peeping eyes as they make their way through the zoo, meeting lots of spooky characters from pirates and wizards to scarecrows and spiders along the way.

Designed in partnership with NL Productions, the team behind The Enchanted Forest in Pitlochry, Edinburgh Zoo Spooktacular offers a family-friendly evening.

Dates and booking

Edinburgh Zoo After Hours will run on select Friday and Saturday nights up to 13 August, Chapter House Theatre will run on limited nights in July, Highland Wildlife Park After Hours will run on select evenings in July and Edinburgh Zoo Spooktacular will run on select evenings in October.

To find out more about the complete range of events at both sites, click here and here.