Hi everyone, we’re back with another fun review of a new event in Los Angeles: Roaring Nights at the Los Angeles Zoo! I was really excited when I first heard about this event, after all it has some of my favorite things: animals, drinks, food and music! Sounds like a great night! Steven and I went to the first night on July 11th. We noticed quite a low turnout for the first night. This could be because it is a new event, but I do think there are some important issues that need to be addressed. We did have a good time, but we noticed that while the event was a great idea in theory, in execution there were several problems that need to be improved upon to ensure that more people attend in the future.
First of all, Roaring Nights at the Zoo only happens during a very limited time frame: 7pm to 10pm. So one only has three hours to see all the animals, the reptile house, eat food from the food trucks, have some drinks, play games and dance to music. Normally that would not be enough time, but there is also another complication: after 8pm it is too dark to see most of the exhibits, so many of them close early.
Roaring Nights was my first time at the Los Angeles Zoo, and I was excited to see all of the animals. Unfortunately, we arrived a bit late, and decided to eat and drink soon after arriving so when we walked around looking at the animals, many of the exhibits were already closed. We did get to see the elephants, the reptile house, the meerkats and seals, but not much else. I’d advise that if you are going to Roaring Nights to see the animals, get there early and save eating/enjoying music for later. There is simply not enough time to do everything at Roaring Nights in one night. We only got to see a bit of one band (So Many Wizards) and missed the comedy show completely.
With that in mind, one of the biggest issues of Roaring Nights is the price. The event cost $18 just to get in. The price of a admission to the Los Angeles Zoo during regular hours is $17. My question is,why does it cost more to attend Roaring Nights when many of the exhibits are closed and you can only see a few animals? Sure there’s live music and a comedy show, but I believe that the event would be much more popular if it followed events like First Fridays at the Natural History Museum and Nightlife at the California Academy of Sciences in San Francisco. Nightlife is $12, while regular admission price is around $35. First Fridays is $12, the same price as regular admission. If these other popular venues can wrangle such prices, the Los Angeles Zoo should do the same if it expects to become a popular event. I propose an admission range of $10-$15, especially since it also costs money to purchase food and drinks. With drinks at $5-8, food truck concessions at $10-$20, it is very easy to spend over $40 at Roaring Nights…not quite a budget event. In addition, food at the Los Angeles Zoo itself is quite expensive – you can get two churros and two sodas for a grand total of $15!
I don’t want to be too negative, so I will close with some positive aspects of Roaring Nights. I loved exploring the reptile house; there are some really unique creatures there that I haven’t seen elsewhere, such as the dragon-like lizard above. The few animals I did see were pretty spectacular, especially the elephants and seals. I also really enjoyed the game section – you can play board games like Taboo, Apples to Apples, cards and much more. I feel as if most of the problems with Roaring Nights would be solved if the price were lower, and perhaps a few extra hours were added so that one has more time to see everything.
Roaring Nights still has one night left, July 25. I do hope the event continues in the future, but with a lower price and more animals if possible! Parking is not an issue for once as the zoo has plenty of free parking. Hope you do have a great time at the zoo if you decide to attend! Stay tuned for future posts on Free Shakespeare in Griffith Park and Movies at the Natural History Museum Don’t forget to follow @SurvivingLA for all the latest events in Los Angeles and check out our Facebook page for more pictures from the event. 3D photos are available on our Phero page here. Finally, enjoy a few videos we took of the animals below.