March 13 2013 12:00 AM

Wine & Stein offers cold drinks, hors d'oeuvres

Thursday, May 17 —  While taking rambunctious kids to gaze in wonderment at Potter Park Zoo’s animals is always a memorable experience, leaving them at home for an evening isn’t such a bad idea either.

Wine & Stein, a 21-and-over “after-hours bash,” allows beer and wine lovers to stroll throughout Potter Park Zoo during the evening of Thursday, May 17.

“It’s pretty much happy hour at the zoo,” explained Jake Pechtel, director of communications at Potter Park Zoo in Lansing. “A lot of people show up directly from work, so we get as diverse of a mix of attendees as you would see at any downtown bar.”

The one-day event celebrates the beginning of summer with tastings of beer and wine in a complimentary souvenir glass, along with hors d'oeuvres from local restaurants, live music – and of course, all the animal residents will be on hand for the shindig.

“We always make sure to have some live music present, along with some of our education animals that guests can meet up close,” Pechtel said. “But we try and keep this event nice and casual, with no program to the evening. It’s just an opportunity to taste some great beer and wine while strolling the zoo grounds after hours. At its core, it’s just a cool event with the great backdrop of the zoo.”

Some of the beverage vendors include Kent Beverage, Imperial Beverage, Michigan Brewing Co, Dan Henry Dist., Fox Sales and Burgdorf Winery.

“Several food vendors will also be around to provide some traveling bites to eat while our guests check everything out,” Pechtel said. “We try and keep the food as diverse as the beer and wine selection.”

As for the food, attendees can expect dishes from Mitchell's Fish Market, Pizza House, Bake N Cakes, University Club, Grumpy’s Diner and King of the Grill, to name a few.

Wine & Stein kicked off in 2009. “For the younger parents, or those without kids, Wine & Stein has quickly become their favored zoo event,” Pechtel said. “We get a great mix of people ranging from the Capitol crowd to the Great American Fierce Beard Organization guys. Each year, the event has seen great growth in attendance, and I'm hoping for more than 500 this year. We'll be running the event rain or shine, so in case of bad weather, we'll have a backup plan ready to roll.”

Wine & Stein
Potter Park Zoo
1301 South Pennsylvania Ave, Lansing
Thursday, May 17
6–9 p.m.
21 and over
$30 regular, $25 members