Wine in the Wilderness
June 3, 2023 | 6-9 PM | Utica Zoo

Wine in the Wilderness is the Utica Zoo’s annual 21+ wine tasting event that takes place right here on zoo grounds annually in June.

The 23rd Annual Utica Zoo Wine in the Wilderness is Saturday, June 3rd, 2023 from 6pm-9pm at the Utica Zoo! Sample New York State wines from wineries all over New York State. LIVE music from SimpleProps, food trucks, and a wide variety of vendors. Wine in the Wilderness is rain or shine and strictly 21+ with valid ID. See below for a list of everything that will be included at this year’s event!

Sponsorship opportunities are available. E-mail to inquire.

Interested in being a winery or vendor at this event? Email for more details! 

*Please Note: the Utica Zoo will close at 1pm on the day of the event for setup. We will reopen at 6pm for the event!*


  • Member Admission - Pre-Sale $45
  • General Admission - Pre-Sale $50
  • Member Admission - At the Door $50
  • General Admission - At the Door $55
  • Designated Driver $25

    Designated driver tickets do not get a wine glass and will not be served alcohol at the event.

Where to Buy Pre-Sale Tickets

Online Tickets:

*To get your Zoo Member discount for digital tickets, enter the email address associated with your zoo membership in the “promotional code” area of ticket checkout! For new members, it may take a few days for the code to register! If that still doesn’t work, you may not have entered an email when you made your membership. Reach out to to verify your membership and enter an email.*

Online ticket sales will close on June 3 at 5 pm.


Free first come first served parking at the Utica Zoo with free overflow parking at MVCC Payne Hall parking lot and the Parkway Rec Center. Shuttle buses will take you to and from the zoo at no cost from 5:30 to 10:00 pm. Attendees may be dropped off and picked up at the zoo. Uber, Lyft, and local taxi companies are highly suggested.

Frequently Asked Questions:

Wine in the Wilderness 2023 runs from 6pm to 9pm on June 3rd!

Everyone – regardless of age – will need to pass through our ID check when entering the zoo. Please make sure you keep you ID on you at all times! 

Wine in the Wilderness is a Wine tasting event, and your ticket (unless you are a Designated Driver) will get you a wine glass and FREE tastings at ALL of the 13 featured wineries. You will also be able to purchase bottles and other merchandise from these wineries should you want event more from them specifically. 

We will have a number of featured market vendors at Wine in the Wilderness all selling a variety of different things. From decorative tumblers to art and crafts to a farm stand to wine gummies to specialty maple products to smoking accessories, there will be something here for everyone! 

This year there will be plenty of choices for food while here at the event through our featured Food Trucks. While we won’t have small snacks around the event for free, you will have the option to buy Pizza, Mediterranean Food, Gourmet Tater Tots, Burgers, Ice Cream, Iceys, Fried Dough, Crepes, Waffles, Sweets, and more from our Food Trucks and other Vendors (see a full list down below).

The main change this year will be the layout of the event as a whole! Due to prior years having crowd issues, we have opted to utilize more of the zoo this year to help spread the event out and let it breathe a little easier. Due to this, the event has been spread to our Backyards & Barnyards section, our Zebra View Pavilion, Our Eagle View Pavilion, and even closer to our Overlook (in addition to all the normal places i.e. the Rotary Pavilion, Plaza, and Watering Can Garden).

First things first, we WILL have FREE soda and water available to ALL visitors. In this heat, it is important to stay hydrated (especially while drinking). 

As for food/snacks, while in prior years the zoo has offered free finger foods for visitors to partake in, we have shifted away from this for a variety of reasons: 

  1. Food waste ended up being an issue after the event.
  2. Due to the side-effects of COVID, many places that used to be able to donate large amounts of food are no longer able to.
  3. We have had issues in the past of visitors throwing food at our animals, and so we want to prevent that as much as possible.
  4. Due to having a variety of featured vendors and food trucks who also sell food, we didn’t want to take away from their business or compete with them.

Smoking will be permitted at the event IN THE DESIGNATED SMOKING AREA. This area will be located between out Concession Stand and Rotary Pavilion. There will be signs clearly marking its location. 

While we will have SOME space available to visitors to park at the zoo, we will have OVERFLOW parking at the Parkway Rec Center AND MVCC’s Payne Hall lot. These overflow areas WILL have shuttle buses running to and from them from 5pm until 10pm. 

We also strongly encourage everyone to look into hiring Uber, Lyft, or local taxi companies to get to and from the event (especially if you have been drinking and don’t have a designated driver with you).  

Tickets will be purchasable at their Pre-Sale rate up until 5pm on June 3rd! 

Tickets are available digitally through the links on this page OR through one of the many ticket selling locations around the area (see above). 

While cash is NOT required to enjoy the event, some food trucks and vendors MAY require it. If you don’t bring cash with you, there will be and ATM located in our Visitor Center’s Gift Shop! 

Due to needing a few hours to setup for the event, the zoo will close down at 1pm on June 3rd. So if you are planning to visit the zoo during normal hours keep that in mind! 

We will then reopen our doors at 6pm for the event. In the meantime, our ticket window and gift shop will still be open for anyone who wants to shop OR purchase event tickets!

Wineries Attending Wine in the Wilderness 2023

Middleburgh Winery

Live Music by:

*To get your Zoo Member discount, enter the email address associated with your zoo membership in the “promotional code” area of ticket checkout! For new members, it may take a few days for the code to register!*

Online ticket sales will close at June 3 at 5 pm.


Also Including: Martin's Menagerie

Check back on this page and on our social media pages for future updates!

Wine in the Wilderness is Sponsored By:

Photos from Previous Years:

The Utica Zoo is closed for Thanksgiving (11/23)! Happy Thanksgiving from all of our staff and animals!

The Zoo will re-open on 11/24 at 10 am.