NOW THROUGH MARCH 8, 2024: WINTER HOURS FOR OKC ZOO RIDES, ATTRACTIONS
Go wild for the Oklahoma City Zoo’s one-of-a-kind rides and attractions. With the seasonal change, the Zoo has implemented revised hours for many of its experiences. Tickets can be purchased in advance 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.
- Children’s Zoo Barnyard (Children’s Zoo) is open daily from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m.
- Elephant Express Tram: Take the tram for a relaxing, informative tour of the Zoo. Rides offered daily from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. All day bracelets are $6 per person. Children two and under free.
- Elephant Presentations are free to attend and take place at Sanctuary Asia, elephant habitat at 2 p.m. Friday through Sunday.
- 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 under the age of 14 must be accompanied by a paying adult.
- Flamingo Mingle feedings occur 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 $5 per person. Children age 2 and under are not permitted.
- Gorilla Trek VR: Experience the life of gorillas in the jungle with this 360-degree live action virtual reality film with motion platform seating. Open 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. daily. Cost is $8 per person.
- Rhino Feedings: Discover this memorable experience with one of the most magical residents at the Zoo – an Indian rhino! Feeding opportunities available weekends (Thurs.–Sun.) from 11:30 a.m. to noon. at Sanctuary Asia. Cost is $10 per person.
- Stingray Bay: Our stingrays will bring a smile to your face! Stingray Bay is open daily from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. Cost is $4 per person to enter. Stingray feedings occur Saturday and Sunday from 11:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m., while supplies last, for an additional $3 per person.
RESERVATIONS OPEN FOR OKC ZOO SAFARI LIGHTS, SATURDAY, NOVEMBER 11 THROUGH MONDAY, JANUARY 1, 2024
Discover the magic of OKC ZOO SAFARI LIGHTS, the Oklahoma City Zoo’s festive celebration of all new lights and holiday fun, presented by OG&E. Revelers of all ages will enjoy the opportunity to discover larger-than-life illuminated lanterns highlighting wildlife of the world and seasonal scenes while on a driving tour through the OKC Zoo. The estimated drive time to complete the OKC ZOO SAFARI LIGHTS tour is 20 minutes. After the driving tour, guests park and re-enter the Zoo for an additional walking experience that begins in the entry plaza with a musical light presentation. The walking tour continues through the Zoo’s Children’s Zoo and by the Jungle Gym Playground where guests will enjoy interactive light displays and picture-perfect photo ops. Savor the evening with sweet treats such as s’mores and cookies and tasty beverages available for purchase in the Safari Café and Canopy Restaurant. Then pop in the Zoo’s Safari Gift Shop to check out a wide selection of one-of-a-kind toys and gift ideas including the event’s exclusive souvenir Glow Packages featuring light-up wristbands, necklaces, sabers and various zoovenirs. Both small packages, $49.99 each, and large packages, $89.99 each, are available to purchase online in advance with event tickets at www.okczoo.org/safari-lights. OKC ZOO SAFARI LIGHTS begins Saturday, November 11, and runs nightly through New Year’s Day, Monday, January 1, 2024 with drive-thru and walk-thru experiences from 5:30 to 11 p.m. with the last check-in at 10 p.m. OKC ZOO SAFARI LIGHTS will be open on holiday nights including Thanksgiving, Christmas Eve, Christmas Day and New Year’s Eve.
Sensory-Friendly Night for OKC ZOO SAFARI LIGHTS is Wednesday, November 15, from 6 to 10 p.m. with last entry at 9 p.m. This evening is designed for guests with sensory sensitivities and their families. Guests can expect a smaller crowd, limited flashing lights, quieter music and designated quiet area inside the Zoo’s Canopy Restaurant.
Online reservations are required for OKC ZOO SAFARI LIGHTS and can be made at www.okczoo.org/safari-lights. Drive-up purchases will not be accepted. Tickets are limited to ensure optimal guest experience. Admission for the drive-thru experience is $70/vehicle ($60 for ZOOfriends members) and includes up to four walk-thru admission tickets. Admission for the walk-thru only is $16/guest ($14 for ZOOfriends members) ages 3 and older. Supporting OKC ZOO SAFARI LIGHTS sponsors include Devon and MidFirst Bank.
The OKC Zoo is now hiring for part-time positions for evening shifts to help bring OKC ZOO SAFARI LIGHTS to life. Must be 16 or older to apply. Those interested in this festive seasonal opportunity to earn holiday money can apply online at https://www.governmentjobs.com/careers/okczoo/. The Zoo is also in search of volunteers to assist with OKC ZOO SAFARI LIGHTS in various capacities. SAFARI LIGHTS is also an ideal opportunity for group volunteers and individuals. Learn more at www.okczoo.org/volunteer.
BOOK THE OKC ZOO SAFARI LIGHTS LOUNGE FOR YOUR HOLIDAY SOCIAL
As part of this year’s OKC ZOO SAFARI LIGHTS festivities, the OKC Zoo invites you to bring the whole family or your small business together in the unique setting of the Safari Lights Lounge. This is the perfect place to celebrate the season and experience the magic of OKC ZOO SAFARI LIGHTS presented by OG&E with colleagues, family and friends in a private event space, the OKC Zoo’s Treehouse. All package options include up to 15 admission tickets to the walk-thru course of OKC ZOO SAFARI LIGHTS, access to the Zoo through a private entrance, a picture-perfect holiday backdrop, plus setup, breakdown, and cleanup of the event space. Learn more at OKCZOO SAFARI LIGHTS Lounge.
NOVEMBER IS MILITARY APPRECIATION MONTH AT THE OKC ZOO
This November, the Oklahoma City Zoo and Botanical Garden is honoring our military men and women during Military Appreciation Month and throughout the month all active duty, retired, and veteran members of the military, National Guard and Reserves will receive free general Zoo admission, and special discounts while in the park. Military members will also receive 50% off of general Zoo admission for up to four immediate family members on date of visit. Valid military ID is required to receive complimentary general admission. This offer is available Wednesday, November 1 through Thursday, November 30. Qualifying guests can show their military ID at any Zoo ticket window to receive discounts. Reservations are not required. Military members will also enjoy the following discounts while visiting the Zoo during November with proof of valid ID:
- 10% off all available Wild Encounter experiences.
- 10% off merchandise at the Zoo’s Safari Gift Shop.
- 10% off concession purchases in the park.
- $10 off any membership level! Military members must be named on the membership.
For additional information about Military Appreciation Month visit okczoo.org.
SATURDAY, NOVEMBER 4 THROUGH FRIDAY, NOVEMBER 10: OKC ZOO CO-HOSTS COMMUNITY FOOD DRIVE WITH REGIONAL FOOD BANK OF OKLAHOMA
The Oklahoma City Zoo in partnership with the Regional Food Bank of Oklahoma asks you to help end hunger in Oklahoma. Donate a can or box of non-expired/non-perishable food to the OKC Zoo from Saturday, November 4 through Friday, November 10, and receive half off general Zoo admission. One discount per person per food item donated. Suggested food donations include peanut butter, canned tuna, chicken, vegetables and/or fruits, cereal and oatmeal. Food donations can be dropped off at the Zoo’s ticket windows.
THURSDAY, NOVEMBER 9: GAYLA PEEVEY SING-ALONG TO CELEBRATE 70TH ANNIVERSARY OF “I WANT A HIPPOPOTAMUS FOR CHRISTMAS”
Oklahoma City native Gayla Peevey, original singer of “I Want a Hippopotamus for Christmas,” visits the OKC Zoo to celebrate the song’s 70th anniversary with a sing-along and autograph session at the Zoo’s new Love’s Pachyderm building. The classic Christmas tune was used to raise money to purchase a Nile hippopotamus, which was then donated to the Zoo on Christmas Eve 1953. The event is Thursday, November 9, from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m., and is included free with general Zoo admission. Commemorative hippo jubilee shirts and will be available for purchase at this event and in the Zoo’s Safari Gift Shop located in the entry plaza throughout the holiday season.
SATURDAY, NOVEMBER 11: OKC ZOO IS OPEN ON VETERANS DAY, FROM 9 A.M. TO 5 P.M. WITH LAST ENTRY AT 4 P.M., MILITARY APPRECIATION MONTH DISCOUNTS APPLY
SATURDAY, NOVEMBER 11 THROUGH FRIDAY, NOVEMBER 17: OKC ZOO CO-HOSTS COMMUNITY FOOD DRIVE WITH LAST FRONTIER COUNCIL, BOY SCOUTS OF AMERICA
You can make a difference when you donate to the Oklahoma City Zoo and Last Frontier Council, Boy Scouts of America’s community food drive in support of local food pantries. Donate a can or box of non-expired/non-perishable food to the OKC Zoo from Saturday, November 11 through Friday, November 17, and receive half off general Zoo admission. One discount per person per food item donated. Suggested food donations include peanut butter, canned tuna, chicken, vegetables and/or fruits, cereal and oatmeal. Food donations can be dropped off at the Zoo’s ticket windows.
WEDNESDAY, NOVEMBER 15: OKC ZOO HOSTS SENSORY-FRIENDLY NIGHT FOR SAFARI LIGHTS
The OKC Zoo is hosting a Sensory-Friendly Night for OKC ZOO SAFARI LIGHTS on Wednesday, November 15, from 6 to 10 p.m. with last entry at 9 p.m. This evening is designed for guests with sensory sensitivities and their families. Guests can expect a smaller crowd, limited flashing lights, quieter music and designated quiet area inside the Zoo’s Canopy Restaurant. Reservations are required and can be made at okczoo.org/safari-lights.
SATURDAY, NOVEMBER 18: JOIN OKC ZOO’S CONSERVATION CLUB EDUCATION SERIES
Conservation starts with you! The Oklahoma City Zoo’s education team continues its popular Conservation Club for young nature enthusiasts. This monthly series will teach your young conservationists, ages 8 to 13, how to make the planet a place where wildlife and wild places thrive through hands-on activities, chats with experts and expeditions throughout the OKC Zoo. The focus for November’s program is “Leaf It Be” – jump into the world of decomposers to learn how these tiny critters help the world go 'round, set to take place on Saturday, November 18, from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. Pre-registration required. Please visit Conservation Club (okczoo.org) for more information.
THURSDAY, NOVEMBER 23: THANKSGIVING DAY, OKC ZOO IS CLOSED FOR THE DAY BUT OKC ZOO SAFARI LIGHTS IS OPEN
Introduce a new Thanksgiving Day holiday tradition to your crew and make plans to experience OKC ZOO SAFARI LIGHTS! The Zoo’s new popular light event is bigger and better than ever, and will be open on Thanksgiving Day, Thursday, November 23, from 5:30 to 11 p.m. with the last entry at 10 p.m. Reservations are required and can be made at okczoo.org/safari-lights. The Zoo is closed to guests during the day on November 23.
FRIDAY, NOVEMBER 24 THROUGH MONDAY, JANUARY 1, 2024: MAKE A LASTING IMPRESSION WITH OKC ZOO BRICKS AND BENCHES
Leave your mark at the Oklahoma City Zoo with ZOObricks! Located at the OKC Zoo’s entrance, these engraved bricks offer a memorable gift for someone this holiday season. Those wishing to purchase a ZOObrick can add up to 3 lines of inscription on a brick that will be displayed at the Zoo. This is a limited opportunity and orders will be open until January 1, 2024, or until sold out, so get yours before they're gone. ZOObricks are a 4"x8" brick with a total of 20 characters per line to be placed near the OKC Zoo's entrance. All purchased bricks will be ordered on January 2, 2024 with an estimated production and installation time of 4-6 months. ZOObricks are $150 and go on sale November 24 at www.ozsgiving.org/zoobricks.
OKC ZOO BENCHES: Expedition Africa will include specially designed benches that incorporate the grasses found on the savanna. These benches will be sprinkled throughout this expansion inviting guests to relax while taking in the sights and sounds of Africa. Each bench may be reserved for $7,500 and includes a personalized commemorative plaque good for the life of the bench. Commemorative plaques are 6”x3” bronze plaque that will accommodate four lines of text, 25 characters per line. Benches can be purchased at www.ozsgiving.org/benches
DECEMBER 2023: 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 4:30 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. Visit Schools Out Camps (okczoo.org) to view the complete camp schedule and themes for November and December, and to register.
TUESDAY, DECEMBER 5 THROUGH WEDNESDAY, FEBRUARY 7: OKC ZOO IN ITS WINTER HOURS
The Oklahoma City Zoo’s winter hours begin Tuesday, December 5 and continue through Wednesday, February 7 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. with the last entry no later than 10 p.m. through Monday, January 1, 2024 including holidays.
CHRISTMAS DAY, MONDAY, DECEMBER 25: OKC ZOO IS CLOSED FOR THE DAY BUT OKC ZOO SAFARI LIGHTS IS OPEN
The OKC Zoo’s wildly festive light event, OKC ZOO SAFARI LIGHTS presented by OG&E, is bigger and better than ever, and will be open on Christmas Day, Monday, December 25, from 5:30 to 11 p.m. with the last entry at 10 p.m. Reservations are required and can be made at okczoo.org/safari-lights. The Zoo is closed to guests during the day on December 25.
NEW YEARS DAY, MONDAY, JANUARY 1: OKC ZOO IS OPEN AND FINAL NIGHT OF SAFARI LIGHTS
Welcome 2024 in a wild way and plan a day at the Oklahoma City Zoo! The OKC Zoo is open on News Years Day, Monday, January 1 from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. with the last entry at 4 p.m. Monday, January 1 is also the final night to discover OKC ZOO SAFARI LIGHTS presented by OG&E and open from 5:30 to 11 p.m. with the last entry at 10 p.m. Reservations are required and can be made at okczoo.org/safari-lights.
ONGOING OKC ZOO HAPPENINGS
DRIVE THEM WILD WITH A ZOOFRIENDS GIFT MEMBERSHIP
Support the Oklahoma City Zoo’s mission and knock out some gift shopping at the same time with a ZOOfriends membership. Whether it’s for a lone animal lover or a whole herd, a ZOOfriends membership provides holders with access to the OKC Zoo for an entire year, plus discounts on Wild Encounters, VIP tours, special events, gift shop purchases, concessions, summer camps and more. It can even be used for discount admission to hundreds of Association of Zoos and Aquariums (AZA) accredited zoos and aquariums. ZOOfriends Passports start at $60 for one guest and range up to a Passport for ten for $299. To learn more about ZOOfriends or to purchase a passport, visit okczoo.org/membership.
VOLUNTEER ON THE WILD SIDE: GROUP VOLUNTEER OPPORTUNITIES AT THE OKC ZOO
Gather your group and flock to the Oklahoma City Zoo for exciting group volunteer opportunities during the fall season. Corporations, colleagues, school groups, friends or families are invited to come out to the OKC Zoo to assist with special projects such as yardwork, gardening, cleaning, painting, craft/event preparations and more. These are ideal opportunities for groups of 3 to 30 individuals ages 16 and older. All participants will be required to complete a waiver of liability before the projects and school groups must provide contact information for a faculty advisor. To learn more or register a volunteer group, visit www.okczoo.org/groupvolunteers.
OKC ZOO’S STATEWIDE LIBRARY PROGRAM, READ FOR ADVENTURE, CONTINUES FOR ANOTHER SEASON PROVIDING OKLAHOMANS WITH FREE GENERAL ADMISSION TICKETS TO THE ZOO
Read for Adventure, the Oklahoma City Zoo and Botanical Garden’s statewide library program, brings Oklahoma families to together while building an appreciation for reading and nature. Sponsored by OG&E, this popular program connects kids to the Read for Adventure feature book, “Juniper’s Butterfly Garden,” 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, 2024. For a list of participating libraries, visit www.okczoo.org/readforadventure.
OKC ZOO’S WILD ENCOUNTERS 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, Galapagos tortoises 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 $45–$60 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.
- Great apes (Great EscApe), 10:30 a.m.
- Asian elephants (Sanctuary Asia’s Boardwalk), Monday through Thursday, 11:30 a.m.
- Cassowaries (Sanctuary Asia near Lotus Pavilion), 3 p.m.
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. New art pieces are created regularly and available to view in the Zoo’s Guest Services office located in the Entry Plaza, open during regular park hours. Original pieces range from $35 to $300, depending on size. All net proceeds benefit one of the Zoo’s conservation initiatives.
Celebrate the holiday season in wild style! 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. The Zoo will be closed to the public during the daytime on Thanksgiving, Christmas and Tuesdays and Wednesdays between December 5 and February 7, 2024. 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 daytime 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. Membership has its perks! As a ZOOfriends member of the Oklahoma City Zoo, enjoy free admission all year-long, plus many additional benefits and discounts. You will also be supporting the Zoo’s animal family, education programming and conservation initiatives both locally and globally. Join or renew today at www.okczoo.org/membership.