New Exclusive Wine Event Planned! Wine in the Wilderness Returns 2022

If 2020 was the year we at the Utica Zoo had to close our gates and postpone events, this year is our chance to create even more opportunities for outdoor fun and entertainment! We’re excited to announce that we’re adding Spirits on Safari, an after-hours, adult-only wine, brew, and spirits event to kick off Spooktacular Harvest Festival weekend on Friday, October 22. More details to come as we plan this exclusive party!

Earlier this summer we were also thrilled to announce the return of our signature events beginning with Brewfest in August and our 22nd annual Wine in the Wilderness, slated for September 25, after being forced to cancel in June due to COVID-19 concerns.

However, due to a lack of availability and staffing from our many participating wineries and market stands, we have made the difficult decision to once again postpone Wine in the Wilderness until 2022. We at the Zoo want to provide the best experience for our visitors and host events that are second to none. Since Wine in the Wilderness catered to a larger crowd, we feel that having an exclusive event with a limited attendance, like Spirits on Safari, will still ensure the best time at the Utica Zoo!

We appreciate the excitement and anticipation surrounding this event and the support of our sponsors Bank of Utica and BME – Hummel’s Office Plus. We look forward to hosting Spirits on Safari, a spectacular Spooktacular on October 23 and 24, and the return of Bright Nights at the Utica Zoo, beginning on Friday, November 26 and running Thursdays through Sunday evenings until Thursday, December 23!

Wine in the Wilderness is one of the Zoo’s largest fundraisers with proceeds benefitting the 200+ animals who call the Utica Zoo home. To continue to support the Zoo’s mission of exceptional animal care, recreation, education and conservation, please make a general operations fund donation at

For the latest on Spirits on Safari and all things Utica Zoo, visit and follow the Zoo on Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter.

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The Utica Zoo will be closed at 1:00pm on 6/1 for wine in the wilderness and will reopen with normal hours on 6/2!