OKC ZOO SAFARI LIGHTS, DINO SAFARI free with Zoo admission in December, Winter Hours, Education Programs, School’s Out Day Camps and Holiday Gift Ideas!
NOW THROUGH SUNDAY, JANUARY 9, 2022: OKC ZOO SAFARI LIGHTS SHINES ON! RESERVATIONS OPEN AT OKCZOO.ORG
OKC ZOO SAFARI LIGHTS, the Oklahoma City Zoo and Botanical Garden’s new festive light event, promises holiday nights that will dazzle and delight! Reservations are now open for OKC ZOO SAFARI LIGHTS featuring over 50 larger-than-life themed light sculptures featuring wonderous wildlife (real and mythical) viewable on a driving tour through the Zoo. Discover the wonder and magic nightly now through Sunday, January 9, including holidays, with animated light displays, festive treats, kids’ activities and weekend visits with Santa (Thursdays through Sundays, from 6-10 p.m.). After the driving tour, park and re-enter the Zoo for an additional walking experience complete with interactive light exhibits, musical light performances and lots of festive touches while exploring the Zoo’s entry plaza, Children’s Zoo and DINO SAFARI. Advance online reservations are required for OKC ZOO SAFARI LIGHTS driving tours. No drive-up purchases will be allowed. Tickets are limited to ensure optimal guest experience. Admission for the drive-thru experience is $50/vehicle for ZOOfriends members or $60/vehicle (non-members) this fee includes up to 4 walk-thru admission tickets. Admission for the walk-thru only is $10/guest ages 3 and up for ZOOfriends members or $12/guest ages 3 and up (non-members). OKC ZOO SAFARI LIGHTS is open now through Sunday, January 9 (including Christmas Eve, Christmas Day, New Year’s Eve and New Year’s Day), from 5:30 to 11 p.m. nightly with the last entry no later than 10:30 p.m. Prepare for this holly, jolly time of year and purchase your tickets for OKC ZOO SAFARI LIGHTS today at okczoo.org/safari-lights.
WEDNESDAY, DECEMBER 1 THROUGH SUNDAY, JANUARY 9, 2022: ENTRY TO DINO SAFARI FREE WITH REGULAR ZOO ADMISSION
This December, Oklahoma City Zoo guests will have the opportunity to explore the highly popular DINO SAFARI for free with general Zoo admission. This “dino”mite deal invites fans of all ages to journey back to the age of dinosaurs as they discover DINO SAFARI with life-sized, scientifically accurate animatronic dinosaurs. Admission to DINO SAFARI is free from Wednesday, December 1, through Sunday, January 9, 2022.
FRIDAY, DECEMBER 3: OKC ZOO HOSTS PARENTS NIGHT OUT PROGRAM
The Oklahoma City Zoo’s Parent Night Out program is a win-win for your kiddos and you! Our education team is ready provide your little ones with an engaging experience during our Parents Night Out event on Friday, December 3. Program activities include a Zoo-themed lesson, craft activity, pizza dinner, a nighttime tour on grounds and a movie. Masks are required. This program is for children ages 4-12 years old and 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) today at okczoo.org/overnight-programs.
SATURDAY, DECEMBER 4: OKC ZOO HOSTS SPECIAL CARETAKER CHATS FOR INTERNATIONAL CHEETAH DAY
Be spotted at the Oklahoma City Zoo this International Cheetah Day, Saturday, December 4, to help celebrate cheetah! Cheetahs may be the fastest land animals but their racing against extinction. Listed as vulnerable by the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN), cheetahs are threatened by human-wildlife conflict, the illegal wildlife trade, habitat loss and loss of prey. Come out to see the Zoo’s five-year-old cheetah brothers, Boomer and Pistol Pete, and learn more about them from our expert caretakers and how the Zoo is helping protect this species and its habitat. Special cheetah caretaker chats are set for 10:30 a.m., 11:30 a.m. and 1:30 p.m. at the Zoo’s new Predator Pass. These chats are free with regular Zoo admission and will take place if it’s 45 degrees or warmer.
TUESDAY, DECEMBER 7 THROUGH WEDNESDAY, FEBRUARY 9, 2022: OKC ZOO WINTER HOURS EFFECTIVE
Beginning Tuesday, December 7, the Oklahoma City Zoo and Botanical Garden’s winter hours will be in effect and the Zoo will be closed during the day on Tuesdays and Wednesdays with no public access to the park. The Zoo will continue to be open to the public Thursdays through Mondays from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. daily with the last entry no later than 4 p.m. OKC ZOO SAFARI LIGHTS will remain open nightly from 5:30 to 11 p.m. through Sunday, January 9, 2022 including holidays with the last entry no later than 10:30 p.m.
FRIDAY, DECEMBER 17: OKC ZOO FAMILY OVERNIGHT, SANTA PAWS
Lend a helping “paw” and create special enrichment items for the Oklahoma City Zoo’s animals during this family overnight program. Hosted by the Zoo’s education team, during this family-friendly event, participants will act as Santa’s elves as they make and deliver animal-friendly treats to select Zoo animals. Guests will enjoy an educational program, enrichment creation and meeting animal ambassadors. This program includes an evening snack and light breakfast as well as Zoo admission for the next day. Program runs from 7 p.m. to 9 a.m. and is ideal for ages 4 and older. Children must have an adult enrolled with them. Cost is $35 per person. Program capacity is limited to ensure safe social distancing so register early at okczoo.org/overnight-programs.
JANUARY 2022: OKC ZOO’S SCHOOL’S OUT DAY CAMPS
The Oklahoma City Zoo’s School’s Out Day Camps offer a unique educational experience for students during school breaks and holidays. These daily themed camps include educational activities, in-park exploration, up-close animal ambassador visits and more. School’s Out Day Camps are available for children ages 4 to 12. The cost is $45 per camper (members) and $50 per camper (nonmembers) per day. Camps run from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. at the Zoo’s Rosser Conservation Education Center. Campers must bring their lunch and snacks. Space is limited and advance registration is required. Masks are required. Visit okczoo.org/schools-out to view available camp dates in January and themes and to register.
OKC ZOO’S HOLIDAY GIFT GIVING IDEAS
OKLAHOMA ZOOLOGICAL SOCIETY’S MERRY MEMBERSHIP BUNDLE
Look no further – the Oklahoma Zoological Society (OZS)’s Merry Membership Bundle is the complete gift-giving package! Bundle recipients will enjoy an annual ZOOfriends family membership to the Oklahoma City Zoo providing unlimited Zoo visits for an entire year, life-long memories and wild experiences. The Merry Membership Bundle also includes OKC ZOO SAFARI LIGHTS vouchers, assorted animal plush, wildlife photos and fact sheets. The Merry Membership Bundle is available for $199 and can be purchased online at www.zoofriends.org/merry-membership-bundle or by texting MerryMembership to 41444 to purchase today. Message and data fees may apply.
SHOP THE OKC ZOO’S SAFARI GIFT SHOP, ONLINE STORE
The Oklahoma City Zoo’s Safari Gift Shop is stocked with wild, wonderful gifts for everyone on your list. From stocking stuffers to one-of-a-kind treasures, gifts from the OKC Zoo are available at all price levels. Discover exclusive wildlife plush, DINO SAFARI swag, toys, apparel and more when you shop the Zoo’s digital store or peruse the Safari Gift Shop in-person. Located in the Zoo’s Entry Plaza, the Safari Gift Shop, is open daily from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. and admission is not required to shop. Don’t forget to Round Up for Conservation when you make your purchases. All proceeds benefit the Zoo’s conservation efforts.
OKLAHOMA ZOOLOGICAL SOCIETY’S PREDATOR PASS ANIMAL ADOPTION
The Oklahoma Zoological Society (OZS)’s offering a special Predator Pass Animal Adoption that’s a purrrfect gift option for anyone on your list. Created to commemorate the opening of the Oklahoma City Zoo’s new Predator Pass, state-of-the-art habitat for the Zoo’s cheetahs and African painted dogs, Animal Adoptions are a great way to help the OKC Zoo and its animal family. Your generous donation helps supply the OKC Zoo with important funding for conservation initiatives and programs. Each Predator Pass Adoption includes an African painted dog and cheetah plush set, a personalized adoption certificate, tote bag, postcard, fact sheet, activity pamphlet and name recognition on the ZOOfriends website for one year. Predator Pass Adoptions are $99 each and available for purchase at www.zoofriends.org/animal-adoption.
ART GONE WILD, ART MADE BY THE OKC ZOO’S ANIMALS FOR ANIMALS
Art Gone Wild, the Oklahoma City Zoo’s collection of original animal paintings, make memorable gifts for the wildlife lovers in your life. The Zoo’s talented animal artists have created an array of paintings all on display and available for purchase. With assistance from their caretakers, each animal uses its own technique to express their creative side onto the canvas. 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. Art Gone Wild pieces range from $35 to $300, depending on size. All net proceeds benefit one of the Zoo’s conservation initiatives. Art Gone Wild paintings are on display in the Zoo’s Guest Services office located in the Entry Plaza from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. daily.
OKC ZOO POO AVAILABLE FOR PURCHASE
Bring a holly, jolly smile to someone’s face with a bag of OKC ZOO POO! The Oklahoma City Zoo has a never-ending supply of its premium compost, OKC ZOO POO, ready for you to buy. Sourced from organic plant material and members of the Zoo’s animal family. Stop in the Zoo’s Guest Services office, located in the Entry Plaza, to purchase a bag (or two) of OKC ZOO POO today.
WILDLY FUN STOCKING STUFFERS
· OKC ZOO’S CONSERVATION WRISTBANDS: The Zoo’s one-of-a-kind, animal-themed conservation wristbands are available for $2 each, with all proceeds benefitting the Zoo’s conservation efforts. Conservation wristbands are available to purchase at the Zoo’s stroller window located in the Entry Plaza during regular park hours.
· OKC ZOO KEYS: With Oklahoma City Zoo Keys, sponsored by Oklahoma’s Own News9, guests of all ages can learn fun facts about some of their favorite animals at more than 20 interactive displays throughout the Zoo. Choose from various key options and colors. Cost is $4 per key. Zoo Keys are available for purchase daily at the Guest Services office, stroller window (Entry Plaza) and Explorikeet habitat in the Children’s Zoo.
OKC ZOO’S WILD ENCOUNTER
These ZOO-nique experiences provide an up-close encounter with some of your favorite Zoo animals – bears, elephants, sea lions and more. Wildlife fans will 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.
ONGOING ZOO HAPPENINGS
OKC ZOO IS HIRING FOR FALL/WINTER POSITIONS
The Oklahoma City Zoo is now hiring for fall and winter part-time positions, including tram drivers, cashiers, brand ambassadors and more. Evening hours are available. Starting hourly pay ranges from $10.25 to $10.75. Apply online today at www.okczoo.org/careers.
WINTER HOURS FOR OKC ZOO RIDES, ATTRACTIONS
The Oklahoma City Zoo offers year-round fun with its rides and attractions. With the seasonal change, the Zoo has implemented revised hours for many of its experiences. Capacity is limited for all rides and attractions to maintain adequate social distancing and tickets can be pre-purchased online at http://www.okczoo.org/tickets or in the park. All rides and attractions are operational weather permitting and schedules are subject to change without notice.
· Elephant Express Tram: Take a guided tour of the park! Rides offered daily from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. All day bracelets are $6 per person. Children two and under free.
· Endangered Species Carousel: Carousel rides are available daily from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. Cost is $3 per person.
· Explorikeet Feedings (Children’s Zoo): These feathered favorites are waiting to meet you! Feeding opportunities are available daily from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. Cost is $4 per person. Participants age 3+ must wear a mask during this up-close animal encounter for the protection of guests and staff.
· Flamingo Mingle: Flamingo Mingle feedings occur daily, weather-permitting, in the Children’s Zoo habitat from 11-11:30 a.m. daily and 3:30-4 p.m. on Saturday and Sunday. Cost is $7 per person. Children age 2 and under are not permitted. Participants age 3+ must wear a mask during this up-close animal encounter for the protection of guests and staff.
· Giraffe Feeding Platform: Have you “herd” you can feed our giraffes! Weekend (Sat. and Sun.) feeding opportunities from 2 to 3 p.m. Cost is $5 per person. Children age 2 and under are not permitted. Participants age 3+ must wear a mask during this up-close animal encounter for the protection of guests and staff.
· Rhino Feedings: Discover this memorable experience with one of the most magical residents at the Zoo – an Indian rhino! Feeding opportunities available weekends (Fri., Sat. and Sun.) from 11:30 a.m. to noon. at Sanctuary Asia. Cost is $10 per person. Children age 2 and under are not permitted. Participants age 3+ must wear a mask during this up-close animal encounter for the protection of guests and staff. Additional rules are posted at the habitat.
· Sea Lion Presentations: “Sea” what these engaging presentations featuring the Zoo’s California sea lions and harbor seals are all about! Weekend (Fri., Sat. and Sun.) presentations at 1 p.m. at the Zoo’s Sea Lion Presentation Stadium. Cost is $5 per person. Children two and under are free.
OKC ZOO’S STATEWIDE LIBRARY PROGRAM, READ FOR ADVENTURE, BRINGS OKLAHOMANS TOGETHER THROUGH READING, FREE ZOO TICKETS
The Oklahoma City Zoo and Botanical Garden’s statewide library program, Read For Adventure, connects Oklahoma families to literacy and togetherness in a wild way. Sponsored by OG&E, the program’s feature book, Juniper’s Butterfly Garden, inspires kids to read the story of a child’s discovery of monarch butterflies and why it’s important to protect them. Monarchs migrate annually through Oklahoma on their journey from central Mexico to southern Canada and both the OKC Zoo and OG&E are committed to conserving vital habitats that benefit all pollinators. The Read for Adventure program is aimed at promoting literacy statewide and invites library card holders to check out Juniper’s Butterfly Garden, from any participating public and tribal library location within the state, to receive a voucher redeemable for FREE general admission to the OKC Zoo for up to four people (child, adult or senior). Vouchers expire June 30, 2022. For a list of participating libraries, visit www.okczoo.org/readforadventure.
Make it a ZOOper holiday season! The Oklahoma City Zoo is open from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. daily, except for Christmas Day, Saturday, December 25, with the last entry no later than 4 p.m. OKC ZOO SAFARI LIGHTS is open nightly from 5:30 to 11 p.m. nightly including holidays, Christmas Eve, Christmas Day, New Year’s Eve and New Year’s Day, with the last entry no later than 10:30 p.m. Purchase advance tickets for general admission and OKC ZOO SAFARI LIGHTS at okczoo.org/tickets. 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 $12 for adults and $9 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. Zoo fans can support the OKC Zoo by becoming a ZOOfriends member. Starting at $45, memberships can be purchased at ZOOfriends.org and provide access to the OKC Zoo for an entire year plus, additional benefits and discounts. To learn more about Zoo happenings, call (405) 424-3344 or visit okczoo.org.