Atlantic Porkfish

Atlantic Porkfish

Porkfish, like all grunts, produce grunt-like sounds by rubbing their teeth together. These sounds seem to be particularly associated with situations of duress. They are the only type of fish to do so in the Atlantic Ocean.

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Roars n Snores

Don't miss the unique opportunity to experience first hand what happens at the Rosamond Gifford Zoo after hours! When the last visitor leaves for the day and the sun goes down, you can hear the Roars and Snores of the animals as they get ready for the nighttime. So grab your pajamas and sleeping bag, and get ready for a "wild" night! Any youth group or organization can schedule an overnight, including scouts, religious organizations, school groups and more. 

Private Overnights

For a printable overnight FAQ sheet, please click here.

Who are private overnights for?

Private overnights are for any youth group looking to learn and have fun at the zoo! We cater to girl scouts, boy scouts, church groups, and other community youth organizations. We have a minimum requirement of 24 paying participants (adults and/or children) and a maximum of 35 participants (adults and/or children). Participants must be six (6) years old or older at the time of the event. Please, no babies or children under 5!

What does the zoo provide?

Overnights include personalized tours of the zoo including an after dark tour of the Wild Life Trail, a visit from some of our outreach animals, late night snack and movie, a light breakfast, and of course, a unique nocturnal experience at the zoo! The overnight also includes a unique Roars and Snores patch to commemorate your experience! The event may also include keeper interactions, a badge or patch component, and other activities based on your group's needs. Please let us know if you would like to complete a patch or badge component during your stay. Every effort will be made to provide allergy neutral foods; please note that dairy and wheat products may be served. If you or members of your group have special dietary needs, please alert zoo staff before the event.

What about dinner?

Dinner is not included in the price of the overnight, but may be purchased at an additional cost of $4.00 per person. Dinner includes pizzas, salad, snacks such as pretzels and goldfish crackers, and drinks. Please let the Education Coordinator know if your group would like to purchase dinner when you book your overnight.

What should we bring?

Overnight participants should bring a sleeping bag (it does get chilly in the classrooms at night), pillow, toiletries (including a hand towel), and PJs. Please remember to dress for the weather; tours will go outside! Please do not bring electronics (including games), food (unless you have a special dietary need), flashlights (unless you'd like to read before bed), or air mattresses larger than twin sized (we have very limited space!).

  • Each participant under the age of 18 without a parent or legal guardian on zoo grounds during the overnight must have a signed Consent and Waiver form on file. To view or download this form, click here.

Where do we sleep?

Overnights take place in the education classrooms, which are climate controlled. There are bathroom facilities but no showers. Participants sleep on the floor, which is carpeted. We do not provide mats or cots. Sleeping mats and air mattresses are welcome, but keep in mind that you may be sharing sleeping space with up to 34 other people, so please limit the size of your mattresses/sleeping pads to twin. This rule will be strictly enforced.

When do overnights take place?

Overnights typically take place on Friday or Saturday nights depending on staff and facility availability. Overnights take place year round, from January to June and September to December. Overnights are not scheduled during July and August, as Summer Zoo Camp utilizes the education facilities. Due to the popularity of the zoo's banquet facilities, another event may be scheduled during the same time as your overnight. Every effort will be made to keep event and overnight groups separate.

Request Information

We are now registering for fall 2012 and spring 2013!

What is the cost?

Overnights cost $40.00 per participant. We require one (1) adult chaperone for every seven (7) children, and that adult is free (program fee only; if your group orders dinner, that cost will be added for free adults). Additional adults are welcome for $40.00 each. A minimum fee of $960.00 (equivalent to 24 paying participants, children and/or adults) is required to run an overnight program. If your troop or group is unable to meet the minimum requirement, you may combine with another troop on your own or we will try to combine for you. If your group is smaller than 15 people (children and adults), you must combine with another group. Please indicate if you need to combine when you book your date. If you do not wish to combine with another troop or group, the minimum payment of $960.00 is required even if you do not bring 24 people. A signed contract and $200.00 deposit is required within two weeks of reserving your date.

Please note: If you have indicated your group must combine with another to meet the minimum, every effort will be made to combine your group, but we cannot guarantee that a group will be combined. Groups may be rescheduled by zoo staff based on availability if the minimum is not met. Zoo staff reserve the right to cancel an overnight that does not meet the minimum participant requirement.

Winter Weather Policy

All education programs, including Edventure Academy, camps, and overnights will run as scheduled unless the zoo has been closed by order of Onondaga County administration. Sorry, but no refunds or rain checks will be given for 'no-shows' for any reason.


Call Liz Schmidt at (315) 435-8511 x205 or e-mail for further information, to check availability, or to reserve a date.