If you’re looking for a fun way to spend a relaxing summer evening, look no further than the Zoo Music series at the ABQ BioPark Zoo. I recently attended the opening night of Zoo Music, and it was a great experience.

Grupo Bella performs at the amphitheater in the ABQ BioPark Zoo for a Zoo Music concert.

Before heading to the zoo, make sure you have a blanket or a chair to bring with you. Consider picking up some food to bring in too. Picnic baskets, coolers, food and nonalcoholic beverages are allowed inside, but glass is not allowed. The nearby 505 Central Food Hall or JC’s New York Pizza Department are great spots to grab some food on the drive over. 

Gates open for Zoo Music at 6 p.m. Upon entering, guests are greeted by a local band performing in front of the flamingo exhibit. The main musical act doesn’t begin performing until 7 p.m., so once you stake out a spot on the lawn in front of the amphitheater, wander around the zoo and check out some exhibits. Since it’s a little later in the day and less crowded, some animals are more likely to be active. All the animal exhibits are open except for Penguin Chill.

A male Asian elephant in his enclosure at the ABQ BioPark Zoo

Be sure to check out the new Asia exhibit that opened in 2023. When I walked around, we had a great view of one of the Asian elephants taking a dirt bath and the Steller’s sea eagles surveying the landscape.

A vanilla soft serve ice cream cone covered in rainbow sprinkles from the ABQ BioPark Zoo

As the music began, I had to treat myself to a soft serve ice cream cone, my go-to for any zoo visit. For a savory snack, try the hot elote in a cup - roasted corn topped with cotija, lime and Hot Cheetos.

Someone holds a cup of hot elote covered in Hot Cheetos with a lime wedge.

There is plenty of shade on the lawn under the cottonwood trees. As the sun goes down and the music heats up, young children and older adults alike will find it hard to resist dancing along to the beat.

Guests listen to Grupo Bella perform at a Zoo Music concert at the ABQ BioPark Zoo

Make plans to attend an upcoming Zoo Music concert:

If you prefer plants to animals, check out Garden Music at the Botanic Garden on Thursday evenings this summer, featuring local bands.