Remember in the children's book Goodnight Gorilla when all the animals sneak out of the zoo after closing time? Well, the tables are turned this summer when the Nashville Zoo invites families to a monthly series of after-hours picnics with an all-you-can-eat buffet, free carousel rides and play time on the jungle gym. Pull up a plate under the new covered pavilion or cop a squat on Festival Field. Footballs, Frisbees and other games are encouraged. This month's buffet is a Southern-style barbecue, Aug. 9 is an all-American supper, and Sept. 6 is a fish fry. The picnics take place 6 to 8 p.m. and cost $29 for adults and $20 for children ages 2 to 12 ($15 for adult members and $10 for child members). Price includes all-day admission to the Zoo. Reservations required at nashvillezoo.org.
Sun., July 12, 6-8 p.m.; Sun., Aug. 9, 6-8 p.m.; Sun., Sept. 6, 6-8 p.m., 2009