Rolling Hills Zoo transformed into a haven of dreams for children with chronic or terminal illnesses and disabilities during this year’s special Dream Night. The event was held at the end of September.
According to the zoo, as the sun began to set over the picturesque landscapes, children and their parents were welcomed by a dedicated team of Dream Night volunteers. Each child received a special Rolling Hills Zoo keepsake bag, complete with a plush animal, water bottle, sunglasses and a variety of delightful surprises.
After savoring a heartwarming supper at the Overlook Restaurant, the young VIP guests embarked on an unforgettable journey through the zoo.
This year’s Dream Night at Rolling Hills Zoo was graced by the presence of sixty-five remarkable children and their parents.
Amidst the captivating animal exhibits, the children reveled in live animal encounters, explored the zoo’s bio-fact touch carts, and marveled at the wonders of the Wildlife Museum. Smiles and laughter echoed throughout the evening as the children posed for photos with the zoo’s beloved mascots, George the Giraffe, Betty the Bat, and Rowdy Rhino.
The zoo’s trams toured the young guests around the park, ensuring that they could enjoy every moment of this magical experience.
VIP children who were unable to attend Dream Night on September 23rd, received a special Golden Ticket which granted them and two parents or guardians free admission to the zoo. Additionally, they were presented with their VIP keepsake bag and a $20 gift card that could be redeemed at the Overlook Restaurant or Elephant’s Trunk Gift Shop. This gesture allowed another nine VIP children to enjoy this special time set aside just for them.
The heartwarming tradition of Dream Night at the Zoo has a rich history beginning in 1996 at the Rotterdam Zoo. That year, children from the Sophia Children’s Hospital, especially cancer patients, were treated to a memorable evening. Over the years, this tradition has continued to grow, expanding the event to include more children and various hospitals and institutions.
In 2007, Rolling Hills Zoo joined this heartwarming initiative as an official partner, dedicating a special night exclusively to children with terminal or chronic illnesses and disabilities, along with their parents.
Each year the Zoo is committed to providing an environment where children facing unique mental and physical health challenges can feel at ease and enjoy the company of animals while engaging in special activities at their own pace, all in a safe and enjoyable setting.
Photos via Rolling Hills Zoo