Have a cocktail party with a cockatoo, and dance the night away with a dingo.

The Cheyenne Mountain Zoo’s annual Tails, Tunes and Tastes event returns July 25 and Aug. 29, bringing people and animals together over delicious international cuisine. Live musicians perform through the night, as do the zoo animals.

“This is an opportunity for us to invite people up to the zoo and have a different experience with that 21 and older crowd. We’re always looking for ways to invite the community to the zoo and to provide a different perspective of the zoo,” says zoo spokeswoman Rachel Wright.

The animal shows start every 15 minutes with expert keepers. Watch the African elephant’s natural behavior, learn about the personality of the red river hog, and catch a glimpse of the zoo’s newest mother, Chalupa the sloth, and her 2-month-old baby.

“It’s a pretty amazing place to have a date night and watch the sunset, have some food and some drinks, listen to some live music, see some of those animal demonstrations, and just get a different perspective of the zoo than the normal daily hours will allow,” says Wright.

This event is all inclusive, so you can eat and drink all you like. Proceeds benefit the zoo animals.

“It is a really fun event that’s a fundraiser for the zoo. We’re a non-profit and one of the few accredited zoos that doesn’t receive tax support. We really depend on these fundraising events to help fund care for our animals, improvement to the zoo and conservation efforts throughout the world,” Wright says.

Feeling adventurous? Fly through the air on the Sky Ride for only $5 more, and enjoy an aerial view of the animal habitats, the beautiful lights and shows.

Wright says, “If you’ve never been to an evening event at the zoo, you gotta check it out at least once over the summer. It’s a really special place, and we’re excited to invite everyone up to Tails, Tunes and Tastes.”

Kate Powell is a recent graduate from the University of Denver, having studied Journalism and Socio-Legal Studies. She self identifies as a writer and a pet mom, and joined the Gazette Features staff in 2019.

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