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The Peoria Zoo

Peoria , IL

LOCATION

2320 N. Prospect Road
Peoria, IL 61603 US (map)

PHONE

309-686-3365

WEBSITE

View website
Please let this vendor know that you found them on the WeddingWire Network.

ABOUT US

We have a new building within The Peoria Zoo called The Zambezi River Lodge, that can accomodate 200 guests seated indoors. Just outside of this building is a courtyard with a covered... Read more
We have a new building within The Peoria Zoo called The Zambezi River Lodge, that can accomodate 200 guests seated indoors. Just outside of this building is a courtyard with a covered rondavel that is ideal for outdoor weddings.

The Lodge, the courtyard or the entire zoo are available for your events. We supply the tables and chairs, and work directly with each bride or event planner to insure a successful event. Read less

PHOTOS

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INFO FOR WEDDING VENUE

What is the minimum number of guests required to book your venue?
25
How many event spaces or rooms does your venue offer?
2
Describe your venue:
Banquet Hall, Park / Zoo
Describe the style of your venue
Eclectic
What kind of settings are available?
Covered Outdoor, Indoor, Uncovered Outdoor
Which of the following wedding events does your venue service?
Ceremony, Reception
What is the maximum capacity of your venue?
215
What event services do you offer?
Catering / Bar, Lighting / Sound, Outside Vendors OK
What bar services do you provide?
Bartender(s), Cash Bar, House Liquor, Liquor License, Open Bar, Premium Liquor, Specialty Beer, Specialty Wine

INFO FOR REHEARSAL DINNER

What is the minimum number of guests required to book your venue?
25
What kind of settings are available?
Covered Outdoor, Indoor, Uncovered Outdoor
What catering services do you provide?
Outside Cake OK, Plated
What types of spaces are available for a rehearsal dinner?
Exclusive Venue Use
What kind of menus do you offer for rehearsal dinners?
Private Events

REVIEWS

4.9
out of 5.0
4.9/5.0
4.8/5.0
4.9/5.0
4.9/5.0
4.8/5.0
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Default vendor profile pic
Anonymous
Wedding:
1+ year ago
4.0/5.0
Enjoyable.. nice.. classy fun.................................................................................................................................
Enjoyable.. nice.. classy Read more...
Enjoyable.. nice.. classy fun................................................................................................................................. Read less
Services Used: Rehearsal Dinner, Wedding Venue
Default vendor profile pic
Amanda
Wedding:
6/14/2014
5.0/5.0
I had my wedding reception at the Peoria Zoo in June, 2014. Overall, it was great! Below are some things you should know:

*The majority, if not all, of the reviews below concern Preston. However, Preston left the zoo at the end of 2013 and there is a new coordinator in place. Carol was great at responding to emails, helping us finish things up the last few months, and keeping things going the day-of.

*I found the rental price for the lodge to be very fair. If you want to have the animals left out for guests to view, it is $400 an hour.

*The zoo is very much a do-it-yourself sort of venue. You will need to rent your own linens (we bought them online) and find your own caterer, etc. We used Hickory River and they were amazing--tons and tons of food for everyone, and they even packed up the leftovers. We did appetizers through them and rented the china from them as well. Super responsive and easy to work with.

*There is no sales tax on the rental, drinks, alcohol, etc., which helped save a good amount of money.

*One important thing to be aware of involves set-up. The lodge is a concession stand by day and doesn't close down until 3:00. There is no where to store all the linens, decorations, etc, so you either need to bring them that morning (which wouldn't work, because all the family and friends were at the wedding ceremony) or have a van or suv loaded with them and park it at the zoo overnight. We ended up renting a small moving truck, parking it at the zoo friday night, and leaving the keys with them. The zoo has a staff to help set up, but it is probably a good idea to have a wedding coordinator or hire a few people (as we did) especially if you are doing anything more elaborate, like a candy table, etc.

Overall, it's a really unique venue and we absolutely loved it!
I had my wedding reception at the Peoria Zoo in June, 2014. Overall, it was great! Below are some things you should Read more...
I had my wedding reception at the Peoria Zoo in June, 2014. Overall, it was great! Below are some things you should know:

*The majority, if not all, of the reviews below concern Preston. However, Preston left the zoo at the end of 2013 and there is a new coordinator in place. Carol was great at responding to emails, helping us finish things up the last few months, and keeping things going the day-of.

*I found the rental price for the lodge to be very fair. If you want to have the animals left out for guests to view, it is $400 an hour.

*The zoo is very much a do-it-yourself sort of venue. You will need to rent your own linens (we bought them online) and find your own caterer, etc. We used Hickory River and they were amazing--tons and tons of food for everyone, and they even packed up the leftovers. We did appetizers through them and rented the china from them as well. Super responsive and easy to work with.

*There is no sales tax on the rental, drinks, alcohol, etc., which helped save a good amount of money.

*One important thing to be aware of involves set-up. The lodge is a concession stand by day and doesn't close down until 3:00. There is no where to store all the linens, decorations, etc, so you either need to bring them that morning (which wouldn't work, because all the family and friends were at the wedding ceremony) or have a van or suv loaded with them and park it at the zoo overnight. We ended up renting a small moving truck, parking it at the zoo friday night, and leaving the keys with them. The zoo has a staff to help set up, but it is probably a good idea to have a wedding coordinator or hire a few people (as we did) especially if you are doing anything more elaborate, like a candy table, etc.

Overall, it's a really unique venue and we absolutely loved it! Read less
Services Used: Wedding Venue
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Anonymous
Wedding:
1+ year ago
4.7/5.0
We had a wedding here recently and the ceremony turned out wonderful! About two weeks before the ceremony the zoo lost the events coordinator who had been working with us on planning our wedding. Despite this hiccup the ceremony and day turned out great. The director of the zoo started working with us to make sure the day turned out great right after we were notified that the coordinator had left.
We had a wedding here recently and the ceremony turned out wonderful! About two weeks before the ceremony the zoo lost the Read more...
We had a wedding here recently and the ceremony turned out wonderful! About two weeks before the ceremony the zoo lost the events coordinator who had been working with us on planning our wedding. Despite this hiccup the ceremony and day turned out great. The director of the zoo started working with us to make sure the day turned out great right after we were notified that the coordinator had left. Read less
Services Used: Wedding Venue
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Bethany
Wedding:
7/20/2013
4.9/5.0
We initially toured the Peoria zoo wihile looking for a venue, although we were not seriously considering it. My fiancee and I quickly chose the Peoria Zoo for our ceremony and reception after meeting Preston Waters. As soon as we walked in the door, Preston provided us with a list of caterers, DJs, cake designers, and flower shops that he has worked with in the past along with his opinions. Throughout the planning process, Preston was available almost immediately by phone or email for anything at all that we needed. It was like having a wedding planner, and made our planning so much easier! The ceremony site was gorgeous, and Preston worked with our DJ to arrange the sound system outside. You can see several of the animals from the site, and the lion roared at the end of our ceremony which made a very unique experience! Our only somewhat negative comment was that it was difficult to set up our decorations, etc in the amount of time we had between the time the concession stand closed in our reception area and the time our ceremony began. However, if my family had been better organized, this would have been much easier so plan accordingly. Preston's staff did a wonderful job setting up, and pitching in to help anywhere they were needed. My only other note is to make sure you rent the shuttle to the parking lot, as it is difficult for older guests to find close parking, and make sure that you ask the DJ to make several announcements about the times for the shuttle. We didn't do this, and had guests confused about parking- which was completely our fault and not the Peoria Zoo's! When we told people we wree getting married at the zoo, they barely managed to hide their surprise or skepticism. After attending the wedding, we got so many compliments about what a wonderful venue it was. We would recommend the Peoria Zoo to anyone looking for a ceremony or reception venue.
Matt and Bethany
We initially toured the Peoria zoo wihile looking for a venue, although we were not seriously considering it. My fiancee Read more...
We initially toured the Peoria zoo wihile looking for a venue, although we were not seriously considering it. My fiancee and I quickly chose the Peoria Zoo for our ceremony and reception after meeting Preston Waters. As soon as we walked in the door, Preston provided us with a list of caterers, DJs, cake designers, and flower shops that he has worked with in the past along with his opinions. Throughout the planning process, Preston was available almost immediately by phone or email for anything at all that we needed. It was like having a wedding planner, and made our planning so much easier! The ceremony site was gorgeous, and Preston worked with our DJ to arrange the sound system outside. You can see several of the animals from the site, and the lion roared at the end of our ceremony which made a very unique experience! Our only somewhat negative comment was that it was difficult to set up our decorations, etc in the amount of time we had between the time the concession stand closed in our reception area and the time our ceremony began. However, if my family had been better organized, this would have been much easier so plan accordingly. Preston's staff did a wonderful job setting up, and pitching in to help anywhere they were needed. My only other note is to make sure you rent the shuttle to the parking lot, as it is difficult for older guests to find close parking, and make sure that you ask the DJ to make several announcements about the times for the shuttle. We didn't do this, and had guests confused about parking- which was completely our fault and not the Peoria Zoo's! When we told people we wree getting married at the zoo, they barely managed to hide their surprise or skepticism. After attending the wedding, we got so many compliments about what a wonderful venue it was. We would recommend the Peoria Zoo to anyone looking for a ceremony or reception venue.
Matt and Bethany Read less
Services Used: Wedding Venue
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Michelle
Wedding:
5/18/2013
5.0/5.0
I cannot say enough good things about Preston and The Peoria Zoo. Everyone there was absolutely amazing to work with and helped with everything and anything they could. The lodge is the most beautiful reception location I have ever seen and Preston is the most helpful and amazing person to work with. The staff went above and beyond to accommodate us and make our reception perfect. AND Preston even offered us the Zoo's Lodge as an alternate location for our ceremony in case of rain! The limited time frame available for setting up the event sounded concerning but worked out perfectly!! We couldn't have asked for anything more and we got many wonderful compliments from our guests about the establishment. We will definitely be spreading the word and keeping Preston and his team in mind for future events!
I cannot say enough good things about Preston and The Peoria Zoo. Everyone there was absolutely amazing to work with and Read more...
I cannot say enough good things about Preston and The Peoria Zoo. Everyone there was absolutely amazing to work with and helped with everything and anything they could. The lodge is the most beautiful reception location I have ever seen and Preston is the most helpful and amazing person to work with. The staff went above and beyond to accommodate us and make our reception perfect. AND Preston even offered us the Zoo's Lodge as an alternate location for our ceremony in case of rain! The limited time frame available for setting up the event sounded concerning but worked out perfectly!! We couldn't have asked for anything more and we got many wonderful compliments from our guests about the establishment. We will definitely be spreading the word and keeping Preston and his team in mind for future events! Read less
Services Used: Wedding Venue
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Retha
Wedding:
4/7/2013
5.0/5.0
Our daughter and son-in-law's wedding at the Peoria Zoo/Zambezi River Lodge was a wonderful experience all the way through from start to finish. We are from out of town and are not familiar with vendors in the area or companies to rent items from for the wedding. Preston Waters (guest services manager) with the Peoria Zoo was wonderful! He went above and beyond to make the event an evening the couple will always remember. Preston asked what kind of budget we had and the kind of evening the couple wanted. He gave suggestions on caterers, rental vendors and even linens for the night to keep us on budget. The event went off like clockwork. Everyone was friendly and knew exactly what to do and when. Preston was even on site for the entire event in case anything had to be addressed. We had numerous compliments from family members for the great staff.
Our daughter and son-in-law's wedding at the Peoria Zoo/Zambezi River Lodge was a wonderful experience all the way through Read more...
Our daughter and son-in-law's wedding at the Peoria Zoo/Zambezi River Lodge was a wonderful experience all the way through from start to finish. We are from out of town and are not familiar with vendors in the area or companies to rent items from for the wedding. Preston Waters (guest services manager) with the Peoria Zoo was wonderful! He went above and beyond to make the event an evening the couple will always remember. Preston asked what kind of budget we had and the kind of evening the couple wanted. He gave suggestions on caterers, rental vendors and even linens for the night to keep us on budget. The event went off like clockwork. Everyone was friendly and knew exactly what to do and when. Preston was even on site for the entire event in case anything had to be addressed. We had numerous compliments from family members for the great staff. Read less
Services Used: Wedding Venue
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Jaime
Wedding:
10/11/2012
5.0/5.0
The Peoria Zoo is the best place to have a wedding ceremony and reception!!! Preston Waters was a fabulous person to work with. He was very quick to respond to my calls and emails.....even when I had crazy bride freak out moments. He made sure our day was perfect!!! I have already recommended the zoo to other brides.
The Peoria Zoo is the best place to have a wedding ceremony and reception!!! Preston Waters was a fabulous person to work Read more...
The Peoria Zoo is the best place to have a wedding ceremony and reception!!! Preston Waters was a fabulous person to work with. He was very quick to respond to my calls and emails.....even when I had crazy bride freak out moments. He made sure our day was perfect!!! I have already recommended the zoo to other brides. Read less
Services Used: Wedding Venue
The Peoria Zoo responded with the following comments:

Thank you, Jaime. I could not wish for a better job than the one I have. I get to be a part of your biggest day, and this brings great pride.

Good Luck,

Preston
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Kodi
Wedding:
9/29/2012
5.0/5.0
I loved our wedding at the zoo!!!! Everyone had an amazing time and having the animals out for our guests to enjoy while we took pictures was fantastic!!!! Thanks so much to Preston and all the staff at Peoria Zoo. You've made our special day one that we'll remember FOREVER!!!
I loved our wedding at the zoo!!!! Everyone had an amazing time and having the animals out for our guests to enjoy while Read more...
I loved our wedding at the zoo!!!! Everyone had an amazing time and having the animals out for our guests to enjoy while we took pictures was fantastic!!!! Thanks so much to Preston and all the staff at Peoria Zoo. You've made our special day one that we'll remember FOREVER!!! Read less
Services Used: Wedding Venue
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Virginia
Wedding:
9/22/2012
5.0/5.0
The Peoria Zoo was an awesome venue to hold our wedding reception! The Peoria Zoo is very unique and not just your traditional banquet hall. The Peoria Zoo staff was wonderful to work with and very accommodating to our wishes and large 300+ guests. The Peoria Zoo offers both indoor and outdoor facilities with the option to have the animals stay out in their habitats for guest to walk around and enjoy. I am very pleased with the entire staff and could not have asked for a better, more unique location to hold our wedding reception. I would recommend the Peoria Zoo to any bride and groom planning their big day.
The Peoria Zoo was an awesome venue to hold our wedding reception! The Peoria Zoo is very unique and not just your Read more...
The Peoria Zoo was an awesome venue to hold our wedding reception! The Peoria Zoo is very unique and not just your traditional banquet hall. The Peoria Zoo staff was wonderful to work with and very accommodating to our wishes and large 300+ guests. The Peoria Zoo offers both indoor and outdoor facilities with the option to have the animals stay out in their habitats for guest to walk around and enjoy. I am very pleased with the entire staff and could not have asked for a better, more unique location to hold our wedding reception. I would recommend the Peoria Zoo to any bride and groom planning their big day. Read less
Services Used: Wedding Venue
The Peoria Zoo responded with the following comments:

Thank you for the kind words. We are very proud of our facility and of our staff. It is a privilege to be a part of your special day, and we wish you the best of luck in the future.
Default vendor profile pic
Anonymous
Wedding:
2+ years ago
4.6/5.0
We had such an awesome experience working with the Peoria Zoo! Our ceremony was outside under a large gazebo with curtains all around. During the cocktail hour guests walked around the African Animal exhibit while enjoying their cocktails and appetizers. We chose to have dinner inside (large round building with tall ceilings and lots of windows), and our DJ/dancing was back outside under the gazebo. We absolutely LOVED the indoor/outdoor aspect of our wedding! Preston is a great person to work with- he makes sure all of the details come together. It's like having your own wedding day coordinator. He even provided a list of approved vendors (caterers, dj's, chair rentals, musicians, etc.) and we were very pleased with everyone that we chose from that list. You can tell that he is happy with his job and tries to make the experience wonderful for everyone. We are very happy with our decision to go with the Peoria Zoo. (A lot of friends and family giggled at the thought of a wedding at a zoo, but they were all very impressed as well!)
We had such an awesome experience working with the Peoria Zoo! Our ceremony was outside under a large gazebo with curtains Read more...
We had such an awesome experience working with the Peoria Zoo! Our ceremony was outside under a large gazebo with curtains all around. During the cocktail hour guests walked around the African Animal exhibit while enjoying their cocktails and appetizers. We chose to have dinner inside (large round building with tall ceilings and lots of windows), and our DJ/dancing was back outside under the gazebo. We absolutely LOVED the indoor/outdoor aspect of our wedding! Preston is a great person to work with- he makes sure all of the details come together. It's like having your own wedding day coordinator. He even provided a list of approved vendors (caterers, dj's, chair rentals, musicians, etc.) and we were very pleased with everyone that we chose from that list. You can tell that he is happy with his job and tries to make the experience wonderful for everyone. We are very happy with our decision to go with the Peoria Zoo. (A lot of friends and family giggled at the thought of a wedding at a zoo, but they were all very impressed as well!) Read less
Services Used: Wedding Venue

DEALS

Rental Discount
Get Deal
Promo Code: enter promo code   $1,660 Value
We offer a discount on the rental of The Village when it is used in conjunction with renting The Lodge. Most of our on-site wedding ceremonies take place in The Village.The two spaces, together, can accomodate up to 1000 guests. The rental rate is based on the day of the week. Please, call us to get a quote.
Deal #WW838709f32e3af07b
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MAP

 
2320 N. Prospect Road, Peoria, IL 61603 See On Map
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