Boasting the city’s best restaurants, one-of-a-kind animal demonstrations and inspiring conservation stories, ZooFari: Bite Night, a benefit for wildlife sponsored by GEICO, returns to the Smithsonian’s National Zoo on May 16 from 6:30 to 9:30 p.m.
Hosted by Friends of the National Zoo, this year’s event promises to be a glamorous night of dining, drinking, bidding and dancing—all to support the Zoo’s important mission to save species.
“We love hosting ZooFari every year,” said Lynn Mento, executive director of FONZ. “What makes it so special and popular is not just that the food and drink are amazing, but that you’re enjoying the restaurant tastings in this beautiful setting where you have the chance to see animals, and meet some of the world’s leading conservation scientists. It’s a unique combination of great food, great drink and helping to save the planet … that’s a pretty good night!”
Most animal houses will be open, and the VIP Lounge, hosted by Charles Schwab & Co., will be at Great Cats Circle, where there also will be exclusive animal demonstrations. The only DJ to spin beats and cook at the same time, DJ Chef, will entertain all attendees, as will electric violinist Ben Hoyt, Bobby McKey’s Dueling Piano Bar and a food sculptor.
In addition to providing a unique dining and entertainment experience, the event will celebrate conservation work around the globe. Smithsonian scientists will be on hand to share stories with guests about how they’re saving endangered animals. Special stations will showcase five wildlife projects supported by Conservation Nation, an initiative of Friends of the National Zoo.
A silent auction is open to the public before and during the event. The auction features conservation-themed prizes, including animal paintings, behind-the-scenes tours at the Zoo and even the opportunity to name a wild tapir.
General admission tickets include access to the general event area, as well as complimentary food tastings, beer, wine, soft drinks and water, plus live entertainment and animal experiences. Four extravagant VIP packages include access to an exclusive VIP Lounge with the finest food and cocktails, as well as special parking opportunities, express check-in and more.