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The Short Version: At the Los Angeles Zoo, lazy lions, creepy critters, huge hippos, and other awe-inspiring animals lay in wait around every corner. You can visit the zoo any day of the week and explore its 133 acres of gardens, rain forests, and savannas with someone special. Now celebrating its 50th anniversary, the LA Zoo remains committed to educating guests about wildlife and preserving endangered species for future generations. In total, the zoo houses over 250 species of animals, 29 of which are on the endangered species list. Daters can meet these creatures at special events such as music concerts, light shows, and animal feedings. The LA Zoo showcases animals of all sizes — from tree frogs to giraffes — to spark the curiosity of millions of visitors every year.
In 2015, Danny took his girlfriend Elizabeth and their daughter Sophia to the LA Zoo for a day of fun. As they were touring the many enclosures, Danny suggested they pose for a drawing with a caricature artist. What Elizabeth didn’t know was this had all been pre-arranged by her long-time boyfriend.
The artist shared a knowing smile with Danny as he drew a very special drawing of the trio. When he turned the paper around, Elizabeth was shocked. He’d drawn Danny down on one knee with a speech bubble asking, “Will you marry me?”
Her answer was a joyful and enthusiastic, “Yes!”
Two years later, the married couple added another daughter to their young family and continue visiting the LA Zoo to share special memories in a lively setting.
Since 1966, the LA Zoo has invited visitors to appreciate the beauty of reptiles, mammals, birds, fish, and other animals in an array of rich habitats. If you’re on the prowl for a fun and engaging date destination, come to the LA Zoo to explore hundreds of animal enclosures and attend dynamic educational events.
Emily Marrin, Marketing and Communications Manager at the LA Zoo, painted a lovely picture of what the zoo’s 1.8 million annual visitors experience. “There are so many conversation starters at the zoo,” she said. “Coming here gives you the opportunity to talk about your childhood, your favorite animal, and the things that impact your life.”
From the plains of Australia to the rainforests of South America, the LA Zoo transports visitors to natural wonders from the world over. The zoo is home to more than 250 species of animals and 800 plant species, which are carefully looked after by expert zookeepers. These animal lovers work hard to preserve and protect endangered species, such as the beautiful Sumatran tiger, for future generations.
“Our animals and environments are gorgeous. It’s such a pleasure to come to work at a zoo every day,” Emily told us. “Just walking through here is so restorative. The place is always busy and full of life — there’s just nothing like it.”
At the LA Zoo, you can look a tiger in the eye or watch a sloth hang out in a tree. You can come here to see over 6,500 reptiles, 5,400 mammals, 10,000 birds, and 7,400 individual plants. The zoo’s animals are a colorful representation of the biodiversity of Earth and give visitors a glimpse into the natural wonders of the world. Surrounded by the wild gardens of Griffith Park, daters find great photo opportunities among all the greenery.
You can become a member to receive free admission to the LA Zoo and discounted admission to more than 170 zoos and aquariums across the country. Other member benefits include free docent-led member tours and discounts on events and classes at the LA Zoo.
“You see couples on dates here all the time,” Emily said. “Some are dressed to the nines in these impeccable outfits, and others come dressed to move and be active.”
At the LA Zoo, you can take your date on a memorable trip to feed the giraffes, pet newborn goats at the Winnick Family Children’s Zoo, ride on a hand-carved wooden carousel, or simply wander the 133 acres looking at botanical gardens, palm groves, desert plains, and other eye-catching environments.
If you and your date love to learn new things, you can go on a guided walking tour or download an audio tour to an iPod or MP3 player.
“This is a versatile date destination,” Emily said. “The LA Zoo inspires nice conversations, nostalgic memories, and those getting-to-know-you moments that are such an important part of a new romance.”
At the LA Zoo, daters can attend many fun-filled events to get a behind-the-scenes look at some fascinating animals. Sometimes there’s even dancing and games involved. “Your experience at the zoo can be as strenuous or as leisurely as you want it to be,” Emily told us. “There’s a lot of different things to do.”
The LA Zoo hosts zoo yoga before the park opens and a World of Birds Show in the afternoon. You can take your pick from among many engaging shows. Maybe your date would enjoy watching a chimpanzee, giant river otter, or red-bellied piranha chow down in a feeding demonstration. The zoo has plenty of attractions to entertain and inform visitors.
You can look through the event calendar to find a fun opportunity for you and someone special to see another side of the LA Zoo. “With our nighttime events, we work hard to attract young adults,” Emily told us. “We want to draw people back to the zoo to experience it anew with the eyes of an adult and the memories of a child.”
Roaring Nights invites people to the LA Zoo for a wild time. During the summer, the zoo plans special music events along a fun theme, like country, safari, or the ‘80s, and attendees dress up in cowboy hats, cut-off jeans, and other wacky outfits to have a good time.
Couples dance the night away to the music of a live band or DJ while food trucks and full-service bars wait to satisfy any late-night cravings at this popular event. The LA Zoo’s summer music series also features keeper talks as well as animal encounters during the evening.
Nocturnal daters enjoy seeing the zoo at night and getting an up-close look at one of their interesting critters.
“Exploring the zoo at night feels really special,” Emily said. “It’s become a summer tradition around here.”
During the holiday season, the LA Zoo creates a magical atmosphere for couples and families. LA Zoo Lights is a nighttime event that lights up the zoo with glittering forests, glowing snowflakes, and illuminated animal decorations hanging all around the zoo. Guests can also stop by the Reindeer Romp Village to see Santa’s sled team during this rain-or-shine event.
The LA Zoo serves hot chocolate to warm you up as you wander through 3D projections, animated displays, and hundreds upon hundreds of colorful lights. “There’s always lots of couples strolling around under the twinkling lights,” Emily said. “It’s a great date-night event.”
Emily told us the Twinkle Tunnel is a favorite spot for couples to linger in and capture a cute photo — some even propose under the glimmering glow of the lights!
According to the event’s official webpage, “LA Zoo Lights is a not-to-be-missed nighttime holiday light experience that debuted in 2014 and has grown each year since.”
Daters who enjoy gourmet food and wine pairings would be best served by joining the LA Zoo’s Sustainable Wine Dinner Series. It’s a perfect outing for an anniversary or special celebration. Dinner guests enjoy an elevated experience at the zoo with a custom five-course meal coupled with an expert presentation from one of the zoo’s curators or keepers. Plus, you’ll be joined at dinner by one of the LA Zoo’s scaly, feathery, or furry residents.
These events offer an upscale treat for daters and promote sustainable agriculture by partnering with eco-friendly wineries and farms.
“At the dinners, we showcase our commitment to conservation in all of its forms,” Emily said. “All aspects of our lives are touched by conservation, and we love the opportunity to give people an intimate look at what we’re doing across the zoo to protect and preserve wildlife.”
When you attend an event or spend a day at the LA Zoo, you’re supporting a good cause. “The zoo’s mission is not just about entertainment and fun,” Emily told us. “It’s about saving animals.”
The LA Zoo works to preserve the earth’s biodiversity through its breeding programs, which endeavor to save dozens of endangered species, but the space also raises environmental awareness in people of all ages. The zoo’s knowledgeable staff shares information about animals so visitors appreciate the importance of looking out for the welfare of animals in the zoo and in the wild.
“We always want to engage people’s hearts and heads here,” she said. “We try to get them thinking, laughing, and connecting with each other over a shared love of animals.”
If you want to make your date truly unforgettable, you can take a trip to the LA Zoo to watch an orangutan at play, feed a baby giraffe, pet an Angolan python, and learn about hundreds of animal species from around the world. Now in its 50th year, the zoo continually improves and expands its services to safeguard more animals, welcome more guests, and host more events. Currently, the staff is making plans to build a zoo without borders so visitors can enjoy a more immersive experience at the LA Zoo.
Whether you’re looking for a low-key first date or a special place to pop the question, the LA Zoo offers daters the opportunity to make a lasting memory in a stunning environment.
The zoo’s popular events, featuring popular music, fine and wine, or twinkling lights, set the mood for daters to bond. The LA Zoo has a little something for everyone, from family-friendly days to wild partying nights, so daters can choose whatever dynamic experience calls to them.
“You can indulge your imagination and curiosity on your visit to the LA Zoo,” Emily said. “These lush gardens and varied landscapes provide a perfect place to take a date.”