Fill your April days with fun and ZOOventure with these family-friendly events, education programs, Gorilla Trek VR and more!
EXPERIENCE GORILLA TREK VIRTUAL REALITY, OKC ZOO’S NEWEST INTERACTIVE ATTRACTION
Discover the Oklahoma City Zoo’s newest attraction, Gorilla Trek Virtual Reality (VR), to get closer than ever to gorillas in the jungle! The Zoo’s Gorilla Trek VR takes guests on a virtual journey as they enjoy a 360-degree live action film with motion platform seating for an unprecedented look at endangered mountain gorillas in their natural habitat in Rwanda. Narrating the film is world-renowned primatologist and Executive Director/CEO of Dian Fossey Gorilla Fund, Dr. Tara Stoinski, who takes viewers through the dense Volcanoes National Park, documenting the family dynamics of these critically endangered gorillas. Gorilla Trek VR is located inside the Zoo’s Great EscApe Building and open daily from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. The cost is $8 per person plus Zoo admission and guests must be taller than 36” and able to wear a headset to experience Gorilla Trek VR.
OKC ZOO SUMMER CAMP ENROLLMENT IS OPEN, 11 WEEKS OF CAMP, MAY 30-AUGUST 9, 2023
Enroll your young explorers in the Oklahoma City Zoo and Botanical Garden’s summer day camps. These wild week-long summer camps provide engaging experiences for children ages 4 to 17 to embrace their passion for wildlife and wild places and the Zoo is the best place in Oklahoma City to inspire these connections and more! The OKC Zoo’s educational, week-long summer camps offer unique, individually themed programs that include a variety of hands-on S.T.E.A.M. activities that are sure to spark your child’s curiosity while building a scientific understanding of the world. Campers will also enjoy in-park exploration, one-of-a-kind activities, up-close encounters with animal ambassadors and unforgettable experiences that will foster their love for nature and animals! With an exciting selection of camp options such as Beastly Feasts, Guardians of the Globe, Wild Inspirations and Zoo-rassic Park, and many others to choose from, your kiddo is sure to find a program they are wild about. These adventure-filled Zoo camps for kids ages 4 through 17 and scheduled to run from May 30 to August 9, 2023. The cost is $270 per camper (ZOOfriends members) and $300 per camper (nonmembers) per week. Camps run from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. and full and half day options are available. Campers must bring their own lunch and snacks. Camp capacity is limited and advance registration is required. To learn more or to register, visit okczoo.org or call (405) 425-0218. The OKC Zoo is looking for passionate individuals interested in inspiring young minds and fostering a fun camp experience to join their camp team this summer. Candidates must be 16 years old and have experience working with children. College coursework in education or science preferred but not necessary. Contact firstname.lastname@example.org for more information.
CONTINUING THROUGH FRIDAY, MARCH 31: OKC ZOO HONORS HEALTHCARE WORKERS AND EMERGENCY RESPONDERS WITH FREE GENERAL ADMISSION
For all you do, the OKC Zoo thanks you. The Oklahoma City Zoo is honoring all healthcare workers and emergency responders with free general Zoo admission and 50% off general admission for up to four guests (on date of visit) in recognition of Healthcare Workers and Emergency Responders Appreciation Months continuing through Friday, March 31, 2023. Healthcare workers and emergency responders must present a valid work ID or badge at the Zoo’s ticket window upon arrival to receive complimentary admission for themselves and discounts for up to four accompanying guests. Advance reservations are not required. Throughout February and March, healthcare workers and emergency responders will enjoy additional discounts while in the park, with proof of a valid work ID or badge, including 10% off concessions at Zoo restaurants and cafés, 10% off merchandise at the Zoo’s Safari Gift Shop.
FRIDAY, MARCH 31: TICKETS ON SALE FOR OKC ZOO’S OSTRICH EGG BREAKFASTS OCCURRING SATURDAYS IN MAY
Rise and shine to get your tickets for the Oklahoma City Zoo’s exclusive Ostrich Egg Breakfasts (OEB) happening Saturdays in May. Guests will enjoy memorable mornings full of delicious food, fun and togetherness with family and friends as the Zoo wakes up around them! The Zoo is hosting these breakfast events every Saturday in May (6th, 13th, 20th and 27th) with two available sessions, 8 to 9 a.m. and 9:30 to 10:30 a.m. Make the most of May and get a jump start the holidays weekends, Mother’s Day and Memorial Day, with brunch on the wild side. OEB attendees will delight in a delicious breakfast buffet complete made to order omelettes or scrambled eggs, a pancake bar and all your favorite breakfast classics plus, beverages. Mimosas and Bloody Mary’s will be available for purchase during the event. Ostrich Egg Breakfast tickets include admission into the OKC Zoo, the breakfast buffet, tram and carousel access, lorikeet feeding opportunity and entry into Stingray Bay. Pricing for ZOOfriends members is $40 per adult 12 and older and $30 per child 3-11, and for nonmembers $56 per adult 12 and older and $45 per child 3-11. Children 2 and under are free. Celebrate your “egg”stra special breakfast with a custom Ostrich Egg Breakfast T-shirt on sale in April. Stay tuned to the Zoo’s socials to learn more. Ostrich Egg Breakfasts attendance is limited so purchase advance tickets beginning March 31 at www.okczoo.org.
NOW THROUGH APRIL 30: OKC ZOO ACCEPTING APPLICATIONS FOR JUNIOR CURATOR PROGRAM
The Oklahoma City Zoo is accepting applications for the 2023-2024 Junior Curator Program through Sunday, April 30. As part of this experiential learning program, teens develop life skills and gain an understanding of zoo-related careers and conservation by working with our dedicated team members. Junior Curators assist our animal caretakers and horticulturists with their daily routines, help with guest interpretation, and assist with special events. To learn more about the program and for an official applications visit, https://www.okczoo.org/teen-volunteers.
NOW THROUGH SUNDAY, APRIL 30: GORILLAS ON THE LINE CELLPHONE CHALLENGE
Answer the call to help save gorillas. Support the Oklahoma City Zoo in its efforts to protect wild gorillas and their habitat by donating old or used cellphones to the Gorillas on the Line Cellphone Challenge now through Sunday, April 30, 2023. Donate a cellphone or small electronic and receive a free general Zoo admission ticket! Recycling old cellphones and electronics raises funds to directly support gorilla conservation initiatives through the Association of Zoos and Aquariums Gorilla SAFE: Saving Animals from Extinction programs. Answer the call for gorillas and donate a device now through April 30. Schools, organizations, businesses and individuals are encouraged to collect as many cell phones and electronics as they can in support of gorilla conservation. Donated items can be dropped off for recycling in the Zoo’s Guest Services office located in the entry plaza during regular park hours.
NOW THROUGH SUNDAY, APRIL 30: APPLICATIONS BEING ACCEPTED FOR OKC ZOO’S LIVING CLASSROOM GRANT PROGRAM
We’re growing a passion and appreciation for conservation among Oklahoma City’s youth one garden at a time! Applications are now being accepted for the Oklahoma City Zoo and Botanical Garden’s Living Classroom Grant program, providing opportunities for Oklahoma City’s youth to care about wildlife and habitat conservation through their own inspiring actions. Together with Oklahoma Monarch and Pollinator Collaborative and the National Wildlife Federation, the OKC Zoo invites Oklahoma City metro area schools, K-12, to apply for the OKC Living Classroom Grant Program and take action to increase habitat for monarchs and other pollinators by creating gardens at their schools. In the last 20 years, monarch populations have dropped by over 80 percent. The main problem afflicting monarchs is habitat loss throughout their migration and breeding range. Migrating monarchs travel through Oklahoma in the spring and fall as they make their way between central Mexico and southern Canada. Thus, creating and protecting monarch habitat in Oklahoma is critical for this iconic butterfly’s survival. Now through Sunday, April 30, 2023, all public, private and charter K-12 schools in Oklahoma City metro areas, are eligible to apply for the OKC Living Classroom Grant Program. A maximum of five grants will be awarded by Thursday, June 1, 2023. Recipient schools will receive amounts up to $1,500 to purchase garden supplies. Funding to support the Living Classrooms grant program comes from the sale of Art Gone Wild, art made by the OKC Zoo’s animals for animals.
CONTINUING THROUGH SATURDAY, APRIL 22, 2023: OKC ZOO’S ANNUAL PEPSI VENDING MACHINE ART CONTEST
The Oklahoma City Zoo, Pepsi and Aquafina are inviting all Oklahoma’s students, K-12, to participate in this year’s Pepsi Vending Machine Art Contest for an opportunity to win prizes and have their original art design displayed on a Pepsi vending machine at the Zoo. Incorporating the contest theme, Make Oklahoma Litter Free for Wildlife, students are asked to use their artistic talents to express their ideas for eliminating litter through art and awareness. Litter has a direct impact on all living things and waterways, and by disposing of trash and recycling properly you are contributing to the conservation of Oklahoma’s wildlife and wild places. Contest entries become property of the OKC Zoo and must be postmarked by Saturday, April 22, 2023. Each of the contest’s grand prize winners (K-5 and 6-12) will have their design replicated on the cover of a Pepsi machine at the Zoo to be admired by guests for a year and receive a $300 gift card to a select OKC Outlets store! Winners from all award categories will receive a certificate and have their designs on display at the OKC Zoo. Find official contest details and entry forms at www.okczoo.org/pepsicontest.
WEDNESDAY, APRIL 5: OKC ZOO IS CLOSING EARLY AT 3 P.M. FOR AN EMPLOYEE APPRECIATION EVENT
We’re celebrating the people at the heart of the Zoo, our employees. The Oklahoma City Zoo will be closing early to the public on Wednesday, April 5, at 3 p.m. with the last entry at 2 p.m. to recognize its employees with a special appreciation event. For their enduring passion, dedication and commitment to the Zoo’s mission, we want to acknowledge and thank our incredible employees for all they do. The Zoo will resume regular hours of operation, 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. with the last at 4 p.m., on Thursday, April 6.
FRIDAY, APRIL 7: TICKETS ON SALE FOR OKC ZOO’S SIP AND STROLL, 21+ EVENT SERIES, PRESENTED BY COOP ALE WORKS
Cheers! The Oklahoma City Zoo’s 4th annual Sip and Stroll, presented by COOP ALE WORKS returns bigger and better. Event goers 21 and older are invited to these evening social happenings occurring on Thursday, May 11, Thursday, May 18, Thursday, June 8 and our PRIDE celebration on Thursday, June 15, from 6 to 10 p.m. each night. Sip and Stroll connects guests to the Zoo’s wondrous wildlife while enjoy time strolling through the park. Along the way, guests can quench their thirst at numerous conservation-themed bars and grab bites from some of OKC’s most popular food trucks! With a brand-new experience, The Continental Club, libation station, features a different conservation project or partner that the Zoo supports each event date with its own specialty cocktail. Sip and Stroll is an event with a purpose with $2 from every ticket going to support the Zoo’s conservation efforts. Thursday, June 15 is our PRIDE Sip and Stroll celebration complete with a drag show performance and fun PRIDE cocktails plus, information stations hosted by queer community organizations. General admission for Sip and Stroll is $22 per person for nonmembers and $17 per person for ZOOfriends members, and tickets go on sale Friday, April 7 at okczoo.org.
SATURDAY, APRIL 8: OKLAHOMA ZOOLOGICAL SOCIETY AND SKELETONS: MUSEUM OF OSTEOLOGY HOST 21+ CONSERVATION FUNDRAISER WITH STONECLOUD BREWING IN SUPPORT OF THE OKC ZOO, WILDLIFE CONSERVATION
Raise a glass to help endangered species! Join the Oklahoma Zoological Society for a special fundraising event on Saturday, April 8, from 6:30 to 9:30 p.m. at SKELETONS: Museum of Osteology for a fun-filled evening of exploration and beer tasting. The event will feature Stonecloud Brewing Company’s exclusive Endangered as Helles Lager, specially made to raise awareness for wildlife conservation. Proceeds from the event will benefit the Oklahoma City Zoo’s conservation efforts. Local food trucks YumPig OKC and Cutie Pies Concession will be on site for the event. Tickets for this 21 and older event are $35 and available online at www.skeletonmuseum.com.
TUESDAY, APRIL 11: ANNUAL READ ACROSS OKLAHOMA, LITERACY CELEBRATION, HOSTED AT THE OKC ZOO
Read Across Oklahoma, the state’s premier literacy event aimed at early childhood learners, returns to the Oklahoma City Zoo on Tuesday, April 11 from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. This popular celebration of reading, learning and wildlife discovery provides a unique opportunity for youngsters to participate in a variety of interactive learning stations while exploring the Zoo. Plus, the first 1,500 children with paid Zoo admission will receive a free book. This year’s event theme, “hats off to reading,” is inspired by the event’s feature book, That is a Hat by Oklahoma author, Betty Selakovich Casey. Event fans can also participate virtually by visiting the Oklahoma Department of Libraries website at libraries.ok.gov to enjoy a special video highlighting Read Across Oklahoma activities and featured author. Read Across Oklahoma is part of the statewide My First Library program coordinated by ODL, an early literacy initiative that helps develop literacy skills and promotes family reading. During a regular school year, the program distributes 1,900 books each month to early learning classrooms. All Read Across Oklahoma activities are free with Zoo admission. To learn more about Read Across Oklahoma, visit libraries.ok.gov.
THURSDAY, APRIL 13: ZOO-THEMED TRIVIA NIGHT AT COOP ALE WORKS HOSTED BY ZOOTROOP
Join the OKC ZOOtroop for a zoo-themed trivia night on Thursday, April 13, at 6:30 p.m. at COOP ALE WORKS (4745 Council Heights Rd, Oklahoma City, OK 73179). No RSVP or tickets are required, just bring your friends, and test your animal knowledge! ZOOtroop members will receive their first drink free, and there will be prizes for 1st, 2nd, and 3r event winners. Learn more about ZOOtroop, the young professionals’ organization supporting the OKC Zoo, by visiting www.ozsgiving.org/zootroop.
FRIDAY, APRIL 14: OKC ZOO’S EDUCATION TEAM HOSTS PARENTS NIGHT OUT
Spring Break kicks off early for parents with the Oklahoma City Zoo’s Parents Night Out happening on Friday, April 14. The Zoo’s education team is ready to give you a break and provide your little ones with an engaging program focused around the theme, Aussie Adventure. Activities include a nature-inspired lesson, craft activity, pizza dinner, a nighttime tour on grounds and a movie. Program capacity is limited to 15 kids and ideal for ages 4 to 12. The program starts at 6 p.m. with pick up as late as 10 p.m. Prices are $30/child, $25/additional child (members) and $40/child, $35/additional child (nonmembers). Enroll your kiddo(s) at Parents Night Out (okczoo.org).
SATURDAY, APRIL 15: OKC ZOO’S CONSERVATION CLUB EDUCATION SERIES
The Oklahoma City Zoo aims to connect Oklahoma’s youth to wildlife and wild places through its educational programs. The OKC Zoo’s education team has created an engaging Conservation Club series for young nature enthusiasts. This monthly series creates unique opportunities for young conservationists to embrace their passion for helping protect the planet through hands-on activities, chats with experts and expeditions throughout the OKC Zoo. The focus for April’s program is APE-ril Celebration happening on Saturday, April 15, from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. Pre-registration required. Please visit Conservation Club (okczoo.org) for more information.
WEDNESDAY, APRIL 26: OKC ZOO AND BOB MOORE SUBARU PRESENT INTERNATIONAL FLAMINGO DAY ACTIVITIES
Gather your flock and make plans to join the Oklahoma City Zoo and Bob Moore Subaru in raising awareness for our world’s feathered flamingo friends this International Flamingo Day, Wednesday, April 26. Hosted locally by Bob Moore Subaru, International Flamingo Day is a global celebration that brings attention to our planet’s iconic pink birds and the importance of protecting their native habitat. The Zoo’s animal family includes two of the six species of flamingos, American and Chilean, which guests have an opportunity to connect with daily during Flamingo Mingle feeding opportunities. International Flamingo Day activities will take place in the Children’s Zoo near the flamingo habitat and include interactive activities for kids with prizes, photo opportunities and special Facebook live events with the Zoo’s bird caretakers. Zoo guests are encouraged wear pink on International Flamingo Day to show their love flamingos! All event activities are free with Zoo admission and set to take place from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. Learn more at www.okczoo.org.
ONGOING OKC ZOO HAPPENINGS
OKC ZOO ATTRACTION SCHEDULE
Wild meets fun with these popular OKC Zoo attractions and experiences. All rides and attractions are operational weather permitting.
- Camel Rides: Camel rides are available daily from 9 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. and the cost is $8 per person. Children under 6 must be accompanied by a paying adult. Other rules are posted at the habitat.
- Children’s Zoo Barnyard: This fun encounter connects guests of all ages with our goats and sheep. Open daily from 9:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.
- Elephant Presentation (Sanctuary Asia): These engaging presentations are a BIG hit and free to attend. Presentations occur Fridays, Saturdays and Sundays at 2 p.m.
- Endangered Species Carousel: Round out your day with a spin on the Zoo’s one-of-a-kind carousel. Rides are available daily from 9:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. Cost is $3 per person.
- Explorikeet Feedings (Children’s Zoo): Fly by the Children’s Zoo to see and feed the lorikeets. Open daily from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. Cost is $4 per person.
- Flamingo Mingle: Flamingo Mingle feedings occur daily in the Children’s Zoo habitat from 9:30-10 a.m. and 3:30-4 p.m. on Saturdays and Sundays. Cost is $5 per person. Children age 2 and under are not permitted.
- Giraffe Feeding Platform: Greet the Zoo’s gentle giants! Feeding opportunities from 2 to 3 p.m. on Saturdays and Sundays. Cost is $5 per person.
- Gorilla Trek VR Experience: View gorillas in the wild with the OKC Zoo’s all-new Gorilla Trek Virtual Reality (VR) experience featuring a 360-degree live action film with motion platform seating. Open daily from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. Cost is $8 per person. Age and height requirements apply.
- OKC Zoo Tram: Tour the Zoo in comfort while learning about its animal and 100+ year history. Tram travels from the Entry Plaza to Sanctuary Asia and rides are offered daily from 9:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. Cost is $6 per person. Children two and under free.
- Rhino Feedings: Our Indian rhinos are ready to meet you! Feedings occur at 11:30 a.m. Thursday, Friday, Saturday and Sunday at Sanctuary Asia. Cost is $10 per person. Children age 2 and under are not permitted.
- Stingray Bay: Stingray Bay provides up-close encounters and feeding opportunities with one of the most majestic creatures of the sea, stingrays! Cost is $4 per person to enter. Open daily from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. Feeding opportunities are available Saturday and Sunday from 11:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m., while supplies last, for an additional $3 per person.
OKC ZOO’S EXCLUSIVE BEHIND THE SCENES EXPERIENCES, WILD ENCOUNTERS
Discover the Oklahoma City Zoo’s Wild Encounters and connect with some of your favorite Zoo animals like never before. These ZOO-nique experiences offer wildlife fans an up-close encounter with Asian elephants, bears, bison, Galapagos tortoises, Indian rhinos and Komodo dragons! Meet the OKC Zoo’s expert caretakers while learning about the animals they care for and how the Zoo is working to protect their wild counterparts. The Zoo’s Wild Encounters are available daily and each experience comes with a souvenir lanyard. Groups are limited to 10 people of any age. Prices range from $40–$50 per person depending on the encounter. ZOOfriends’ members receive discount per encounter. For additional information about Wild Encounters or to make a reservation, contact Guest Services at (405) 425-0262.
OKC ZOO’S FREE, DAILY CARETAKER CHATS
Take advantage of this opportunity to learn more about the Oklahoma City Zoo’s animal family from the expert themselves, our caretakers. Hear from these dedicated and passionate individuals as they share about the amazing wildlife, they care for each and every day. These chats are free with regular Zoo admission and include:
- Carnivores (Lion Overlook), 10 a.m. daily
- Galapagos tortoises (Children’s Zoo), 10:30 a.m. daily
- Great apes (Great EscApe), 1:30 p.m. daily
- Asian elephants (Sanctuary Asia’s Boardwalk), Mon. – Thurs., 11:30 a.m.
- Cassowaries (Sanctuary Asia, near Lotus Pavilion), 3 p.m. daily
OKC ZOO HIRING FOR PART-TIME POSITIONS
Give your career some adventure! The Oklahoma City Zoo and Botanical Garden is now hiring for spring and summer part-time positions throughout the Zoo for its 2023 season. Positions include OKC Zoo brand ambassadors, ride operators, tram drivers and more. Team members must be quick-thinking, organized, courteous, knowledgeable, able to follow clear directions, outgoing and friendly. The ability to speak with guests, answer guest questions and provide solutions to problems is essential. Pay ranges from $11.17 per hour and up with great benefits. To learn more about these employment opportunities or to apply, visit https://www.okczoo.org/jobs.
SHOP OKC ZOO’S SAFARI GIFT SHOP, ONLINE STORE
Find the perfect gift for the animal lover in your life at the Oklahoma City Zoo’s Safari Gift Shop. Discover a variety of nature-inspired gifts, apparel, wildlife plush, toys and more when you shop the Zoo’s digital store or stop by the Safari Gift Shop in-person. Located in the Zoo’s Entry Plaza, the Safari Gift Shop, is during regular Zoo hours and admission is not required to shop. Show your love for wildlife and wild places and Round Up for Conservation when you make your purchases. All proceeds benefit the Zoo’s conservation efforts.
ONGOING: ART GONE WILD – ART MADE BY THE OKC ZOO’S ANIMALS FOR ANIMALS
The Oklahoma City Zoo’s, Art Gone Wild program is an exclusive selection of art created by animals for animals. These one-of-a-kind paintings are ideal for any gift giving occasion with new pieces created seasonally. With assistance from their caretakers, the Zoo’s talented animal artists have created an array of paintings available for purchase. Art Gone Wild is part of the Zoo’s enrichment program and the paints are safe for the animals to use as they are non-toxic and washable. Original pieces range from $35 to $300, depending on size. All net proceeds are used to support the Living Classrooms grant program which provides funding to OKC metro area school to plant pollinator gardens. Art Gone Wild paintings are on display in the Zoo’s Guest Services office located in the Entry Plaza, open during regular park hours.
The Oklahoma City Zoo and Botanical Garden is open from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. daily with the last entry at 4 p.m. Purchase advance Zoo admission tickets at okczoo.org/tickets and avoid the entry lines. Located at the crossroads of I-44 and I-35, the OKC Zoo is a proud member of the Association of Zoos and Aquariums, the American Alliance of Museums, Oklahoma City’s Adventure District and an Adventure Road partner. Regular admission is $16 for adults and $13 for children ages 3-11 and seniors ages 65 and over. Children two and under are admitted free.
Stay connected with the Zoo on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Linktree and TikTok, and by visiting our blog stories. Support your love and passion for wildlife and wild places with a ZOOfriends Membership Passport to the OKC Zoo. There’s a membership level for every kind of explorer with amazing benefits plus, you are supporting the OKC Zoo, its animals, programs and conservation efforts. Memberships can be purchased at okczoo.org/membership.