Summer Safari

Aug 02

7 - 10 p.m.

Spend an adventurous evening at the Akron Zoo filled with fun entertainment, remarkable animals and good company! Summer Safari logo

Enjoy live music and entertainment, drinks and a tasting trail throughout the park while surrounded by wildlife. In addition, take part in an online auction for your chance to win exclusive zoo experiences, exciting area events and fantastic items provided by local supporters. 

Proceeds from the event benefit Akron Zoo's Animal Fund, which directly supports wildlife conservation projects, ensures the highest standards of animal wellbeing, and increases education programs and accessibility throughout our communities. Summer Safari is a driving force that makes these initiatives possible, and, with your support, we can continue to foster a better world for wildlife together.

Summer Safari is Presented by: 

lehner family foundation

Honorary Chairs:

Patrick Bravo & Michael Wilson

At Summer Safari you will enjoy:

  • Keeper-led trainings and up-close meet & greets with amazing animals throughout the zoo
  • Heavy hors d'oeuvres from 15 local restaurants and caterers
  • Open bar serving Towpath Distillery Spirits, Great Lakes Brewing Company beer, Dark Horse Wine and High Noon seltzer
  • Live music, entertainment and artist demonstrations by the Michael Vincent Jazz Trio, Felicity Baxter, Joshua Swanzy, The DJ Crew, RW Magic and Kimmy Henderson/Makiksart
  •  Online auction featuring exclusive zoo experiences, exciting area events, and fantastic items provided by local supporters


  • General admission: $100
  • Patron: $250*

Purchase Tickets

Adults 21 & older only 

*Patron ticket holders will receive invitation to the Patron party from 6 - 7 p.m. The patron party allows you to enter the event an hour early for an intimate cocktail hour with heavy hors d'oeuvres, exclusive animal experiences, additional entertainment, and the opportunity to talk with zoo keepers and animal care professionals about your favorite animal residents and their remarkable stories.

Online Auction

Open Friday, July 26 at 5 p.m. - Friday, Aug. 2 at 9:30 p.m.

Unable to make it to Summer Safari, but interested in winning some cool prizes? You can bid on different items on our mobile site. You do not need to be present at the event to win!

Auction Items include:

  • Exclusive zoo experiences
  • One of a kind animal art
  • A ride on the Goodyear Blimp
  • Gas for a year from Circle K
  • Kent State University Aeronautics flight simulator experience
  • Overnight getaways
  • Sporting event and theater tickets
  • And so much more!

You can bid on items starting Friday, July 26 at 5 p.m. through Friday, August 2 at 9:30 p.m.

Online Raffle Now Open

Old Rip Van Winkle, 10-year Kentucky Straight Bourbon

Sip in style on the highly coveted Old Rip Van Winkle Kentucky straight bourbon. As only a limited number of bottles are released each year, Old Rip Van Winkle is one of the most sought after bourbons on the market. Don’t miss your chance to experience the hype and add a legendary bottle of bourbon to your collection!

Raffle tickets are $75 each - only 100 total tickets available!

Old Rip Van Winkle provided by our friends at Vivid Impact


Summer Safari is presented by:

lehner family foundation

If you would like to participate in Summer Safari as a donor, sponsor or guest, please contact Caroline Lutz at 330-375-2550 ext. 7231 or

Guests in the zoo gardens during Summer Safari