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Do you have questions about our birthday programs? Here are some of the most frequently asked questions we receive regarding our birthday parties.  If the answer to your question isn’t listed here, please refer to the Birthday Information Packages (in PDF format) on our website for additional information about arrival and departure procedures, food ordering or catering services, and more!

Additionally, you can contact the birthday bookings office by phone (780-442-1442) or email (cmsbirthdaybookings@edmonton.ca), and we will be happy to answer your questions!

What happens if I need to end the program before my program is scheduled to end?

Please let your interpreter know prior to or at the start of the program when you would like the program to end, so that s/he will end the program with enough time to walk your group back to the front gate, or to ensure the group is back in the party room for parents to pick-up their children.

What happens if we arrive late?

Your program will start when you arrive at the Zoo, and will end at the scheduled end time indicated on your booking confirmation sheet.

What happens if the weather is poor or my child is sick the morning of my program I want to cancel/re-schedule?

Our programs run rain or shine. We do not automatically cancel any of our on-site programs due to weather. Your interpreter will adjust the program to allow for more indoor activities in the event of poor weather.

If you want to cancel and/or re-schedule your program for any reason, please refer to the Program Cancellation policy section. You will need to call the birthday program booking agent (780–496–7948) to officially cancel and/or re-schedule your program. Cancellation fees may apply. Even if you have already talked to your interpreter prior to the program and have expressed interest in cancelling/re-scheduling, you will need to call our birthday booking agent to formally request a change to your program booking.

Are there food services on-site?

There are beverage and snack vending machines, a change machine, and an ATM year-round in the Saito Centre. You can also visit the Wild Earth Café in the front entry plaza year-round. During summer operations, there is also an open-air concession that sells items including burgers, hot dogs, fries, muffins, popcorn, cotton candy, and hot and cold beverages. We recommend that groups bring their own food or order food to be brought to the Zoo to avoid line-ups at the concession and vending machines.

Please call 311 (outside of Edmonton: 780-442-5311) or visit our website for hours of operation, winter/summer season dates, and for other questions about on-site services at the Edmonton Valley Zoo.

For more information, see all of our guest services.

I booked a room rental. Do we have the room for the whole time?

Yes. Food, presents, and other belongings can be left in the room during the program. Many of our program activities will take place outside of the room and in other locations around the facility, so we will not be in the one room the entire time. We usually draw the doors closed when the party is out of the room. Although the rooms do lock, we recommend bringing any small valuables (i.e., purse) with you, or asking your interpreter to lock them in one of the room’s cupboards/closets.

How will I know which room is the birthday room?

We have 4 party rooms in total, all located in the Edventure Lodge (located in the main plaza area through the large metal Zoo entrance gates). They are within close proximity to each other, so look for the sign on the door that has the birthday child’s name on it.

Do we need to clean up afterwards?

Your interpreter will clean up the room after your party. Please be considerate and help our staff by ensuring that all of your garbage and recycling is placed into the correct receptacles. Additionally, please assist our staff with any large messes (i.e., spilled food/drink), by minimizing/containing the spill. If no paper towels are available in the room, please ask your interpreter for some.

Can parents enter the facility to drop-off/pick-up their child without paying admission?

Yes. You can enter into the Edventure Lodge without having to pass through the payment area.

My child attended a school/group/birthday program at the zoo previously. Will they get to do the same activities?

We cannot guarantee you will get to do exactly the same activities, or entirely different activities involving animals (this includes feedings, enrichments, behind-the-scenes tours, and animal encounters) during your program. Activities selected for your program depends on staff availability, animal health and enclosure locations, and facility availability (i.e., construction). 

Can we have the room rental portion before the interpreter-led program portion?

Yes this is possible.  Please include your request/preferences in the “notes to interpreter” section of your booking confirmation sheet at the time of booking. When your interpreter calls, please discuss your request with him/her, so that the interpreter can plan time for activities accordingly and will not plan any activities during the room rental time.

Do parents need to stay with the children during the program?

For birthdays with a maximum of 26 kids (Zoo Safari, Zoo Clue, and Animal Alphabet birthdays), a minimum of 4 parents MUST stay with the group for the entire program to help supervise.
 
For Be a Zookeeper parties (maximum 18 kids), a minimum of 2 parents MUST stay with the group for the entire program to help supervise.  If there are fewer than 18 kids, additional parents can attend up to a maximum of 20 people in total.

I have only 15 children, but each of them has 1 parent (a maximum of 30 people total in the group). Can they all participate without the parents paying extra admission?

For Zoo Safari, Zoo Clue, & Animal Alphabet parties: If there are fewer than 26 kids, additional parents can attend up to a maximum of 30 people in total.

For Be a Zookeeper parties: If there are fewer than 18 kids, additional parents can attend up to a maximum of 20 people in total.

Additional parents and children are welcome to pay facility admission (during regular operating hours) and tour the facility on their own during the program.  They are welcome to re-join the group after the program.

Can I go on a train ride/carousel ride/paddleboat ride/pony ride during the program?

Rides are not part of our birthday program packages. You are welcome to make separate arrangements to pay for and take your group on any rides before or after the program.

Rides are available during daytime, summer operations at the Zoo. Ride tickets can be purchased at the front gate upon arrival. Please call 311 (outside of Edmonton: 780-442-5311) or see Plan Your Visit for more information about prices and hours of operation for rides.

In lieu of gifts, can we collect donations to Adopt-An-Animal through the Valley Zoo Development Society or to buy an elephant or seal painting?

Certainly! Please contact the Valley Zoo Development Society by phone (780-496-6924) for more information. You can also
visit their website to view the Adopt-An-Animal packages available and other donation opportunities.

Elephant and seal paintings are available for sale in the Zoo Store. Please call 311 (outside of Edmonton: 780-442-5311) or see Guest Services for more information about the Zoo Store and its hours of operation.

If you are interested in arranging a viewing of additional elephant paintings, or commissioning a unique elephant painting, call (780) 442-0240 or email us at shopatthevalleyzoo@gmail.com.

Do you offer any birthday programs for infants/toddlers (children under the age of 4)?

Our current birthday programs and the program activities we offer are designed for children aged 4 years and up. Some families choose to book combined family birthdays, where the majority of children are 4 years and up. Younger children (siblings) are welcome to attend these birthdays with additional adult supervision, but they may not be able to or interested in participating in many of the activities. Please call our birthday program bookings office if you are interested in booking a mixed-age birthday party, and would like more information.
Can I tip my interpreter if they did a great job?

No, City of Edmonton employees cannot accept money. Once the program is over, you can thank them verbally. You are welcome to offer them a piece of cake or leftover food to express your appreciation.

Is it possible to book a traveling zoo program for a birthday?

Yes, it is possible. However, please be aware that for safety reasons, the Edmonton Valley Zoo cannot deliver traveling zoo programs at private residences or block/street parties. You are welcome to rent a community centre or other public business location to host your traveling zoo program.

For information about traveling zoo programs for groups, please refer to the current In the City guide from the Program Guides page, or check out our available traveling zoo programs for schools and groups. To book a traveling zoo program, call the school program bookings office (780-442-1442) or email cmsschoolbookings@edmonton.ca. Our traveling zoo programs are popular and space is limited. We recommend booking early to avoid disappointment.

Some of the birthday guests are elderly or have limited mobility. Is there a way to accommodate this at your facility?

At the time of booking, please let the booking agent know about any special requests, so that these can be passed along to the interpreter. Modifications to the program may be possible, if needed. These can be discussed with your interpreter when s/he calls you prior to the program. Additionally, our Guest Services webpage has information about wheelchair and scooter rentals at the zoo, should any of your guests require this service.

Book Your Party

Birthday parties are a snap at City of Edmonton attractions and recreation centres.

For More Information

Edmonton Valley Zoo

13315 Buena Vista Road (87th Avenue)
PO Box 2359
Edmonton, Alberta T5J 2R7

Telephone In Edmonton: 311
Outside Edmonton: 780-442-5311
Email attractions@edmonton.ca

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