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Social Events


Pre-Conference Tour - Cincinnati Zoo and Newport Aquarium

Friday, September 8, 8:00 am - 6:00 pm
Not included with registration.  $75 per person.

Rated by peer zoological parks as one of the best zoos in the nation, the Cincinnati Zoo continues to set the standard for conservation, education and preservation of wild animals and wild spaces. More than 1.5 million people visit the Zoo annually. The Zoo features more than 500 animal and 3,000 plant species, making it one of the largest Zoo collections in the country.  Newport Aquarium showcases thousands of animals from around the world in a million gallons of water. You'll be amazed at all there is to see and do, including fun and interactive activities, like touching a shark or meeting a penguin.

Guests will enjoy a great day of interacting with Cincinnati Zoo keeper staff with special animal appearances and behind the scenes opportunities.  You’ll see some of the most popular exhibits, such as Giraffe Ridge and Africa including a talk with staff regarding the Hippo Cove filtration system as well as the special care provided to our premature hippo, Fiona.  Get a sneak peak at the new Gorilla World expansion and then end your time at the Zoo with a great bird flyover experience and a special chat with Thane Maynard, Executive Director.  Then take a short 15 minute drive to the Newport Aquarium, visiting their amazing underwater exhibits. A full day experience awaits you!

Transportation and lunch are included.


Icebreaker at the Indiana State Museum
Hosted by the Indianapolis Zoo

Sunday, September 10, 6:30 pm - 9:30 pm
One ticket is included in a full registration.  Daily registration DOES NOT include a ticket.  Additional tickets are available for $40 each.  $10 discount for children ages 3-11.  No ticket needed for children under 3.

Join us for the 2017 AZA Annual Conference Icebreaker at the state-of-the-art Indiana State Museum.  Within easy walking distance from the Convention Center and conference hotels, mingle and catch-up with friends and create new memories at the social sharing kiosk. Browse the museum galleries exploring Indiana’s past, present and future. Relax inside the six-story tall IMAX theater known as Indiana’s largest movie theater. Or, sit out under the stars on the canal level balcony as you listen to music from a local musician.

Located in the White River State Park, the Indiana State Museum has stunning views of downtown Indianapolis, the canal walk and Military Park. The museum, which was constructed from Indiana limestone, sandstone, steel, brick and glass, includes three floors that tell the history of Indiana with hands-on experiences.  

Looking for something to do before the Icebreaker starts? Stop by the NCAA Hall of Champions Museum for free admission with your conference badge. The Hall of Champions will stay open until 6:30 pm for AZA attendees.

The State Museum is within walking distance of the hotels, but shuttles buses will begin departing from the Convention Center starting at 5:30 pm.  The last shuttle bus will leave the Indiana State Museum at 10:30 pm.

A very special thank you to the Zoo's community partner Indianapolis Power & Light Company (IPL) for providing carbon offsets to balance carbon emissions associated with the Icebreaker.


Zoo Day at the Indianapolis Zoo

Wednesday, September 13, 12:00 pm - 9:00 pm
One ticket is included in a full registration.  Daily registration DOES NOT include a ticket.  Additional tickets are available for $50 each.  $10 discount for children ages 3-11.  No ticket needed for children under 3.

The city of Indianapolis and the Indianapolis Zoo have under gone dramatic changes to become a top tourist destination since AZA was lasted hosted here in 1990. Located in the White River State Park, the Indianapolis Zoo is an easy walk from the Convention Center and the downtown conference hotels.  Conference attendees are welcome to park their vehicles at the Zoo for the duration of the conference at no charge.

What will your Indianapolis Zoo Day include? Enjoy lunch in the new Bicentennial Pavilion located near the Zoo’s entry plaza. Stop by several behind-the-scenes and open house areas such as walrus, oceans, veterinary hospital and elephant.  Be sure to catch our brand-new macaw presentation, dolphin presentation, cheetah chat or an orangutan learning demonstration in the Simon Skjodt International Orangutan Center, winner of AZA’s 2015 Exhibit Award for Innovation. Don’t forget to take a ride on the roller coaster, skyline, train, 4-D Theater and carousel. The Zoo gift shop, operated by Event Network, will offer a 30% discount on Zoo Day to help you with your shopping needs.  Plus, stop by the White River Gardens for Happy Hour from 3-5 pm for snacks, music, and games. Our private AZA conference party starts at 5 pm in the Zoo’s entry plaza complete with a special conference cocktail (until 7 pm), dinner in the Bicentennial Pavilion, a live band, bar, and plenty of dancing.

Conference attendees can park at the Zoo for free or catch a shuttle bus to the Zoo from the Convention Center.  Complimentary luggage storage will be available for those who wish to depart directly from the Zoo.   Shuttle buses start at 11:30 am with the last bus departing from the Indianapolis Zoo at 10:00 pm.

A very special thank you to the Zoo's community partner Indianapolis Power & Light Company (IPL) for providing carbon offsets to balance carbon emissions associated with Zoo Day.

See what's in store for Zoo Day!

Post-Conference Tour - Louisville Zoo

Thursday, September 14, 7:30 am - 6:00 pm
Not included with registration.  $55 per person.

The Louisville Zoological Gardens is dedicated to its mission to “Better the Bond Between People and Our Planet” and currently exhibits more than 1,500 animals on 134 acres of natural settings representing zoogeographical areas, specific habitat types or special education areas including: Glacier Run, Africa, Islands, New World Exhibits (North, Central and South America), Australian Outback, and the HerpAquarium. Enjoy tours of the AZA award winning Islands and Glacier Run Exhibits, lunch, keeper presentations, and a closing reception before your return to Indianapolis. 

Transportation, lunch, and a closing reception are included.


Post-Conference Tour - Fort Wayne Children's Zoo

Thursday, September 14, 9:00 am - 6:30 pm
Not included with registration.  $45 per person.

Come explore the Fort Wayne Children’s Zoo.  We’re not just for kids!  See why Parent’s magazine named Fort Wayne as the 5th best zoo for kids, and TripAdvisor named us as the 7th best zoo in the US.  Major exhibit areas include the African Journey, Indonesian Rain Forest, and the Australian Adventure.  With more than 1,000 animals across 40 acres, the Fort Wayne Children’s Zoo remains a fan favorite because of our small, intimate feel.  Come up to visit and while you’re here feed a giraffe, a stingray, or take a ride on our iconic train.  

Transportation, lunch, and snacks are included.




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