Take a break and spring into fun with these unique OKC Zoo happenings plus, tickets on sale for the Zoo’s new family-friendly Eggstravaganza and Sip and Stroll 21+ event series.
MONDAY, FEBRUARY 28: OKC ZOO SUMMER CAMP ENROLLMENT OPENS, 12 FULL WEEKS OF CAMP, MAY 23-AUGUST 12, 2022
Enrollment for the Oklahoma City Zoo’s summer day camps opens Monday, February 28, 2022. Your young nature and animal lover will go wild for the OKC Zoo’s weekly themed camps. Our camp program aims to provide opportunities for children to embrace their passions for and curiosity about wildlife and wild places at the perfect place in Oklahoma City to do so, the OKC Zoo. The OKC Zoo’s unique, week-long summer camps offer individually themed programs that include a variety of educational and hands-on S.T.E.A.M. activities designed to foster child’s interests in nature, conservation, science and, of course, animals! Campers will also enjoy in-park exploration, engaging activities, up-close encounters with animal ambassadors and unforgettable experiences. With a myriad of summer camp options to choose from, your kiddo is sure to find a program they are wild about. OKC Zoo summer camps are available for kids 4–15 and run for ten weeks, Monday, May 23, through Friday, August 12, 2022. The cost is $275 per camper (ZOOfriends members) and $300 per camper (nonmembers) per week. Camps run from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. Campers must bring their own lunch and snacks. All Zoo camps will operate with enhanced safety and sanitation measures in place per CDC, city and state guidelines. Camp capacity is limited and advance registration is required. To learn more or to register on Monday February 28, visit https://www.okczoo.org/summer-camps or call (405) 425-0218.
Do you know someone who is passionate about inspiring young minds and facilitating fun camp experiences? They may be a perfect fit for a summer camp position here at the OKC Zoo. Candidates must be 18 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 THURSDAY, 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 will continue to honor all healthcare workers and emergency responders with free general admission through Thursday, March 31. The OKC Zoo is also offering 50% off of general admission for up to four immediate family members of qualifying individuals on date of visit. 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. While at the Zoo, healthcare workers and emergency responders will also enjoy additional discounts, with proof of a valid work ID or badge, including 10% off concessions and merchandise at the Zoo’s Safari Gift Shop and $10 off any ZOOfriends membership level, new or renewal. Memberships must be purchased in-person at the ZOOfriends membership office located in the Zoo’s entry plaza. Learn more at OKC Zoo’s Healthcare Workers & Emergency Responders Appreciation Month.
NOW THROUGH SATURDAY, APRIL 30: APPLICATIONS BEING ACCEPTED FOR OKC ZOO’S LIVING CLASSROOM GRANT PROGRAM
The Oklahoma City Zoo and Botanical Garden, in partnership with Oklahoma Monarch and Pollinator Collaborative and National Wildlife Federation, welcomes Oklahoma City metro area schools, K-12, to apply for the OKC Living Classroom Grant Program and help 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 Saturday, April 30, 2022, 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 Wednesday, June 1, 2022. Recipient schools will receive amounts up to $1,500 to purchase garden supplies.
MONDAY, FEBRUARY 28 THROUGH FRIDAY, APRIL 16, 2022: OKC ZOO’S ANNUAL PEPSI VENDING MACHINE ART CONTEST
Imagine a litter free Oklahoma. 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 Friday, April 16, 2022. 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. Contest details and entry forms will be available on March 8 on the Zoo’s website, www.okczoo.org/pepsicontest.
FRIDAY, MARCH 11: TICKETS AVAILABLE FOR THE OKC ZOO’S NEW EGGSTRAVAGANZA PRESENTED BY KINDER JOY
Celebrate spring at the Oklahoma City Zoo’s new Eggstravaganza presented by Kinder Joy! Hop to the Zoo on Saturday, April 16 and Sunday, April 17, for this family-friendly experience complete with early entry to the Zoo starting at 7:30 a.m., a grab-and-go breakfast, meet and greet plus photos with the Easter Bunny, special activities and an exclusive egg scramble for kids 2-12 years old with prizes such as Kinder Joy treats, Zoo souvenirs, and dairy free candies – all before the Zoo opens! Your EGGscellent morning also includes a private sea lion presentation at 10 a.m. That’s not all. Eggstravaganza participants can help us dye eggs for our animal family to enjoy. Eggs will be decorated with animal safe food dye and distributed to select animals as enrichment from approximately 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. All Zoo guests are encouraged to participate in the Eggsplorer Quest presented by Kinder Joy. Explore the park as you embark on this special scavenger search activity to find 8 different clues. Cards can be redeemed at the Zoo’s main exit near the entry plaza for a special prize. This activity will be available from Friday, April 1 through Sunday, April 17. Online reservations are required for Eggstravaganza presented by Kinder Joy. Admission is $35/adult and $32/child, senior for ZOOfriends members and $44/adult and $41/child, senior for non-members. Children 2 years and younger are free. Advance reservations are required. Make your reservations and purchase admission tickets at www.okczoo.org.
FRIDAY, MARCH 11: TICKETS ON SALE FOR OKC ZOO’S ANNUAL SIP AND STROLL 21+ EVENT SERIES HAPPENING EVERY THIRD THURSDAY, APRIL-SEPTEMBER
Plan your Thursday nights around spectacular sunsets, cool cocktails and wondrous wildlife with Oklahoma City Zoo’s third annual, 21 and up event series, Sip and Stroll. Presented by COOP Ale Works, Sip and Stroll occurs every third Thursday, April through September, from 6-10 p.m. Patrons 21 and older are invited to explore the majority of the Zoo to discover amazing animals, exclusive experiences–animal feedings and sea lion presentations–while sipping on delicious drinks along the way. Discover six themed “watering holes” featuring custom cocktails inspired by our planet’s wildlife and wild places while highlighting what the Zoo is doing to protect the natural world through global conservation partnerships. With Sip and Stroll admission, $32/person, enjoy access to the sea lion presentation, elephant presentation, Stingray Bay, the Endangered Species Carousel and more. Sip and Stroll Drink Passports will be available for purchase for an additional $27 per person, allowing pass holders to enjoy a sample of all 6 specialty drinks. Drinks will also be available a la carte. Additional beverages and food will be available for purchase during Sip and Stroll from Zoo restaurants and local food trucks. Tickets are non-refundable and non-transferable. This event will occur rain or shine. 2022 Sip and Stroll event dates include: April 21, May 19, June 16 (PRIDE Sip and Stroll), July 21, August 18 and September 15. Event tickets go on sale Friday, March 11 at www.okczoo.org/sipandstroll.
OKC ZOO SPRING ATTRACTION SCHEDULE
There’s more to see and do at the OKC Zoo. The following schedule begins Saturday, March 5, and is subject to change without notice. Attractions times during spring break, Saturday, March 12 through Sunday, March 20, are also included below. Guests can pre-purchase tickets for these experiences when they purchase their admission tickets online at www.okczoo.org/tickets. By purchasing advance online admission tickets, you can bypass the Zoo’s ticket lines for faster entry into the park. All rides and attractions are operational weather permitting.
- Camel Rides Return! Take your Zoo visit to new heights with a ride on a dromedary camel. This seasonal attraction returns to the Zoo Friday, March 11. Cost is $8 per person and rides will take place from 9 a.m. until 3:30 p.m. daily. Children under 6 must be accompanied by a paying adult. Other rules are posted at the habitat.
- SPRING BREAK HOURS/Mar. 12-Mar. 20: 9 a.m. to 4: 30 p.m. daily.
- Children’s Zoo Barnyard: Meet our goats and sheep up close and in-person. Open daily from 9:30 a.m. to 4 p.m.
- SPRING BREAK HOURS/Mar. 12-Mar. 20: 9:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. daily.
- Endangered Species Carousel: Carousel rides are available daily from 9:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. Cost is $3 per person.
- SPRING BREAK HOURS/Mar. 12-Mar. 20: 9:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. daily.
- Elephant Presentation (Sanctuary Asia): These “ele”fantastic presentations are free to attend and occur Fridays, Saturdays and Sundays at 2 p.m.
- 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.
- SPRING BREAK HOURS/Mar. 12-Mar. 20: 9 a.m. to noon, 1 to 4:30 p.m. daily. The habitat will be closed from noon to 1 p.m. for a bird break!
- Flamingo Mingle: Flamingo Mingle feedings occur daily in the Children’s Zoo habitat from 9:30-10 a.m. daily and 3:30-4 p.m. on Saturdays and Sundays. Cost is $5 per person. Children age 2 and under are not permitted.
- SPRING BREAK HOURS/Mar. 12-Mar. 20: 9:30 to 10 a.m. and 3:30 to 4:30 p.m. daily.
- Giraffe Feeding Platform: Greet the Zoo’s gentle giants! Daily feeding opportunities from 2 to 3 p.m. on Saturdays and Sundays. Cost is $5 per person.
- SPRING BREAK HOURS/Mar. 12-Mar. 20: 11 a.m. to noon, 2 to 3 p.m. daily.
- 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 are offered daily from 9:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. All day bracelets are $6 per person. Children two and under free.
- SPRING BREAK HOURS/Mar. 12-Mar. 20: 9:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. daily.
- Rhino Feedings: Our Indian rhinos are ready to meet you! Feedings occur at 11:30 a.m. Friday, Saturday and Sunday at Sanctuary Asia. Cost is $10 per person. Children age 2 and under are not permitted.
- SPRING BREAK HOURS/Mar. 12-Mar. 20: 11:30 a.m. to noon daily.
- Sea Lion Presentations: Don’t miss these educational and engaging presentations featuring the Zoo’s California sea lions and harbor seals! Daily presentation at 1 p.m. at the Zoo’s Sea Lion Presentation Stadium. Cost is $5 per person. Children two and under are free.
- SPRING BREAK HOURS/Mar. 12-Mar. 20: Presentations at 10 a.m. and 1 p.m. daily.
- 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. Daily hours 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. with feeding opportunities available from 11:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m., while supplies last, for an additional $3 per person.
- SPRING BREAK HOURS/Mar. 12-Mar. 20: Open from 10 to 11:30 a.m., 12:30 to 4:30 p.m. Stingray Bay is closed from 11:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. Feeding opportunities available from 10 to 11:30 a.m., 12:30 to 4:30 p.m., while supplies last, for an additional $3 per person.
OKC ZOO’S WILD ENCOUNTERS PREMIERE BEHIND THE SCENES EXPERIENCES
The Oklahoma City Zoo’s Wild Encounters are a wild way to connect with some of your favorite Zoo animals. These ZOO-nique experiences offer wildlife fans an up-close encounter with Asian elephants, bears, sea lions and more. 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 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 daily chats are free with regular Zoo admission and include:
- Carnivores (Lion Overlook), 10 a.m.
- Asian elephants (Sanctuary Asia’s Boardwalk), Monday through Thursday, 11:30 a.m.
- Great apes (Great EscApe), 1:30 p.m.
- Cassowaries (Sanctuary Asia, near Lotus Pavilion), 3 p.m.
OKC ZOO HIRING FOR PART-TIME POSITIONS FOR 2022 SPRING/SUMMER SEASON
Working at the OKC Zoo you’ll connect with people, wildlife and wild places. The Oklahoma City Zoo and Botanical Garden is now hiring for dozens of spring and summer, part-time positions throughout the Zoo for its 2021 season. The OKC Zoo is hiring for four different groups and each have their own application process. Positions include OKC Zoo brand ambassadors, ride operators, tram drivers, zipline guides, cooks, and ZOOfriends membership and retail associates. 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 $10.25 per hour and up with great benefits. To learn more about these employment opportunities or to apply, visit https://www.okczoo.org/jobs.
ONGOING: OKC ZOO INVITES OKLAHOMA SCHOOLS TO PARTICIPATE IN SCHOOL MASCOT CHALLENGE
Calling all Oklahoma schools, the Oklahoma City Zoo has a special offer for you. According to the Chinese Zodiac 2022 is the Year of the Tiger and to honor this occasion the OKC Zoo is hosting a School Mascot Challenge, encouraging Oklahoma schools to permanently change their school mascot to any animal or insect. Any Oklahoma school, elementary to high school, that permanently changes their school mascot to represent any wildlife species will receive free general Zoo admission for everyone at the school. The tiger is the most popular school mascot in Oklahoma but unfortunately, this iconic animal is critically endangered with populations continuing to decline in the wild. We hope this challenge will inspire students and their communities to think about the state of wildlife here in Oklahoma and around the world by choosing a new school mascot that can have a deeper connection to conservation. This challenge continues through May 1, 2023 and does not apply to schools who already have an animal or insect as their mascot. Learn more at www.okczoo.org/mascot.
ONGOING: GORILLAS ON THE LINE CELLPHONE CHALLENGE
The smallest action can have a big impact and that’s true when you donate a cellphone 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 Cell Phone Challenge now through Saturday, April 30, 2022. 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.
ONGOING: 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.
ONGOING: ART GONE WILD, ART MADE BY THE OKC ZOO’S ANIMALS FOR ANIMALS
Art Gone Wild, the Oklahoma City Zoo’s selection of animal paintings, are one-of-a-kind gifts for any occasion. 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 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, open during regular park hours.
March into an adventure packed spring at the OKC Zoo! Consider becoming a ZOOfriends member or renewing your membership before spring break. 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. The Oklahoma City Zoo is open from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. daily with the last entry no later than 4 p.m. Purchase advance tickets for general admission at www.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. To learn more about Zoo happenings, call (405) 424-3344 or visit okczoo.org.