ADDRESS: Frome Road, Adelaide, 5000 South Australia
WEB SITE: www.adelaidezoo.com.au
TOOTH & CLAW: Located outside Adelaide, this animal refuge sits on the Torrens River. More than 3,400 animals live at the 20-acre zoo; the Animal Experience is a program that lets guests get cozy with Australian mammals.
EVENT AREAS: The zoo comprises four distinct event spaces. The Jewel of Asia Garden has a 50-guest capacity, while the Sir Thomas Elder Rotunda offers room for 250 standing guests. A central lawn and Elm Plaza are available for large groups.
CREATURE COMFORTS: The Southeast Asian Rain Forest longhouse sits between the tiger, orangutan and gibbon exhibits; functions become more memorable with monkey calls in the background and tigers swimming nearby.
GO WILD: Events at the zoo have used the surrounding environments as themes, including “wild Africa,” “zoo masquerade” and “animal fancy dress.” Motifs such as “Crocodile Dundee” embrace the Aussie spirit.
AQUARIUM OF THE PACIFIC
ADDRESS: 100 Aquarium Way, Long Beach, CA 90802
WEB SITE: www.aquariumofpacific.org
TOOTH & CLAW: The museum sits on five acres at Rainbow Harbor and celebrates the Pacific Ocean with 12,500 ocean animals and 350,000-gallon exhibits.
EVENT AREAS: The 15,000-square-foot Great Hall can hold 500 seated guests; the Scuba Cafe measures 1,500 square feet.
CREATURE COMFORTS: A life-size blue whale model, bright fish, seals and sea lions entertain guests in the Great Hall. Plus, a three-story tank holds sea life from the California coast.
GO WILD: Corporate events, weddings and fashion shows have taken advantage of the oceanfront spaces.
RIPLEY'S AQUARIUM OF THE SMOKIES
ADDRESS: 88 River Road, Gatlinburg, TN 37738
WEB SITE: www.ripleysaquariumofthesmokies.com
TOOTH & CLAW: Situated in Tennessee's Smoky Mountains, the 1.4 million-gallon aquarium holds 10,000 exotic sea creatures. A 340-foot underwater tunnel takes guests face to face with sea turtles, 12-foot sharks and other sea life.
EVENT AREAS: The veranda restaurant measures 2,200 square feet; the Jules Verne room can accommodate 50 guests. A covered veranda patio has a capacity of 90 guests.
CREATURE COMFORTS: Stingray Bay has space for a private wedding ceremony; a full-service catering menu is available for all events at the aquarium.
GO WILD: Rent the entire aquarium for large events.
ADDRESS: 6500 Magazine St., New Orleans, LA 70118
WEB SITE: www.auduboninstitute.org
TOOTH & CLAW: One of the country's top zoos, the Audubon Zoo offers the chance to enjoy cocktails with a view of its resident elephants.
EVENT AREAS: For events with a bayou theme, the Louisiana swamp exhibit and ballroom can accommodate between 75 and 500 guests and up to 750 by adding the white alligator exhibit area. Large outdoor spaces include the Capital One field with a capacity of 2,500 guests and the corporate picnic pavilion.
CREATURE COMFORTS: The Audubon Tea Room measures 10,000 square feet and features cathedral ceilings, French doors, private gardens and free parking. Guests enter the free-standing structure via the flamingo exhibit or a separate entrance.
GO WILD: The zoo train takes guests to events in the Cajun Ballroom, while the Dominion Learning Center has stadium-style seating for education sessions.