Frankly, the zoo is always a fun and happening place to be, at least the Wilder Institute/ Calgary Zoo is. From special events to exceptional habitats to great eats and sips, the place is always brimming with fun things to do year-round. And their line-up for spring and summer is just as impressive.

From the newest zoo member (an adorable baby gorilla) to the dino animatronics to adult-only date nights and photo ops, here’re 8 must-have experiences at the Wilder Institute/Calgary Zoo. And many of these will tempt you into making return visits!

Meet the new zoo members

Calgary Zoo - Baby Monkey with Mom
Photos via Curiocity

Gear up for a cuteness overload coming your way as two new members joined the zoo fam. First is the four-month-old baby porcupine, Nettles. And second is the month-old gorilla from the critically endangered western lowland species. Trust us when we say, they’re going to melt your heart away!

Date: All year round

Live your childhood Jurrasic fantasy at the Prehistoric Park

Dinosaour Animatronics
Photo via Curiocity

The Prehistoric Park is back! And so are its animatronic residents, thanks to the park’s latest exhibit, Dinosaurs: Awakened. From bush-grazing triceratops to scary, meal-tearing T-Rexes, these life-like creatures are bringing Alberta’s pre-historic dino era back.

Date: Prehistoric Park – Currently open – Nov 1
Dinosaurs: Awakened (animatronic dinosaurs): Opens June – Nov 1

Have a nice weekend Safari Brunch

Every Sunday until November 13, 2022, you can enjoy a hearty brunch with gourmet delicacies and classic Canadian comfort foods in the very heart of Destination Africa. The Safari Lodge has brought back its Safari Sunday Brunch along with all our faves including eggs Benedict with Canadian bacon, Belgian waffles and a free-flowing chocolate fountain with fresh-cut fruits.

Date: January 16 to November 13, 2022; 9:00 am to 2:30 pm (in slots)

Red panda sticking tongue out at the zoo
Photo via Curiocity

Grab a meal at Grazers

Yet another culinary experience is the utterly delightful Grazers. The restaurant has been a popular destination for food and animal lovers for a while now and for good reason. First is adorable alpacas and rheas roaming the adjacent lawns. Second is its carefully curated menu and sustainably prepared meals with Alberta-grown ingredients. And third is its selection of wines and zoo-themed cocktails.

Date: June 3, 2022, onwards, Friday-Sunday; July 1, 2022, onwards, daily; 11 am – 5 pm

Enjoy craft beers and a no-kid night with Zoo Brews

Whether you need some time away from the kids, want to spend an evening with the squad or are on the hunt for a unique romantic date, the Zoo Brews event is the place to be. This adults-only after-hours event is all about local craft beers, great food and many fun activities.

Date: June 4, 2022
Tickets coming soon!

Check out nature and wildlife art at Wild about Art

The art night is back on! Gear up for an evening of intense artistic expression of nature and the wildlife surrounding us. From sketches and paintings to sculptures and woodwork to music and performances, there’s a lot to explore. Take a walk through creative town with your SO (or friend) by your side and a drink in your hand.

Date: July 8, 2022
Tickets coming soon!

Snap away with Focused: Zoo Island

Man taking photo of giraffe at the zoo
Photo via Curiocity

Here’s one for the shutterbugs! The event is happening twice over the following months and both come with their unique set of photo ops. While one gives photogs of all calibres exclusive morning access to the Exploration Asia destination, the other gives them exclusive evening access. You can snap the wild beasts and beauties here in the magic of the morning light or in the many shades of the setting sun.

Date: May 14, 2022, 7:30 am – 9:30 am; August 23, 2022, 6 pm – 8 pm

Find your way through an escape game with Locked Zoo

This is a zoo-wide escape game challenge that will let you explore the gorg grounds and wonderful wildlife after-hours. The theme of the game this season will be “saving the species.” And there is likely to be more than one version of it. Hunt for clues, solve elaborate puzzles, learn about wildlife, enjoy a boxed meal and have a good darn time.

Date: May 26, 2022, and July 20, 2022

That, folks, was our list. Now mark your calendars, grab the gang (or the fam) and head down to the zoo! And if you want to look for more events or any other info, you can find it on the Wilder Institute / Calgary Zoo website.