ZOOcson (Photo courtesy of Reid Park Zoo)

ZOOcson 2023: 25+ Restaurants Are Goin’ Wild at Reid Park Zoo


September 28, 2023
By Matt Sterner

ZOOcson, Tucson’s exotic fundraiser, is from 6 – 9 p.m. on Friday, October 6 at Reid Park Zoo.

This year’s event will feature loads of food, libations, and auctions on a wild night to benefit wildlife. The soiree, presented by Southern Arizona Veterinary Specialists and Emergency Center, is extra special as it marks the 30th year of the event.  

a group of people standing in front of an elephant
ZOOcson (Photo courtesy of Reid Park Zoo)

ZOOcson will have food and drink samples from more than 25 restaurants, including two of the restaurants featured at Iron Chef Tucson — Dante’s Fire and Zio Peppe — and beautiful lights illuminating the grounds at Reid Park Zoo.

There will be two auctions: guests can size up items in the silent auction in person and then bid on items online through the end of the weekend. Then, at the live auction, guests can bid on incredible one-of-a-kind experiences at the Zoo and beyond. KOLD-TV Chief Meteorologist Erin Christiansen will emcee.

a close up of a sandwich sitting on top of a table
ZOOcson (Photo courtesy of Reid Park Zoo)

Live music on the main stage will be performed by Baja Caravan, which has a unique musical style blending folk surf reggae rock with Latin rhythms.

Tickets, which are $175 each ($150 if you’re a zoo member), include food at all restaurant stations and two drink tickets. There are specialty cocktails, an ice bar by Arizona Ice Art, and animal encounters where guests get up close to some of the Zoo’s animal ambassadors.

Funds raised from ZOOcson will benefit the Zoo’s educational programs, conservation efforts, care of the animals, and improvements to the Zoo.

ZOOcson (Photo courtesy of Reid Park Zoo)

Participating Restaurants & Food Vendors

  • Adis Aguas
  • August Rhodes Bakery
  • Balay
  • Beyond Bread
  • BJ’s Restaurants
  • Café Con Leche
  • Cakes for Causes
  • Canyon’s Crown
  • Commoner & Co.
  • Craft Culinary Concepts
  • Dante’s Fire
  • Flora’s Market Run 
  • Gourmet Girls Gluten Free Bakery/Bistro        
  • HUB Restaurant & Ice Creamery
  • Kitchen 86
  • La Posada
  • Locale
  • Monsoon’s Tap & Grill
  • PF Chang’s
  • Portillo’s 
  • Prep & Pastry
  • Sauce Pizza & Wine
  • Teaspoon
  • Texas Roadhouse
  • Walter’s Pizzeria
  • Zio Peppe

Beverage Partners

  • Finley Distributing 
  • Coca Cola
  • Southern Glazer’s Wine and Spirits
  • Tito’s Handmade Vodka
a person standing in front of a building
ZOOcson (Photo courtesy of Reid Park Zoo)

Reid Park Zoo is located at 3400 Zoo Court. For more information and to purchase tickets, visit reidparkzoo.org.

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