Enjoy heart-felt gift ideas, education programs/day camps, animal conservation activities and more; plus, February is Healthcare Workers & Emergency Responders Appreciation Month
FEBRUARY: OKC ZOO’S WINTER HOURS
The Oklahoma City Zoo and Botanical Garden’s winter hours continue through February and the park is open Thursday through Monday from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. with no public access on Tuesdays and Wednesdays. Advance tickets are required for all guests and ZOOfriends members and can be purchased at okczoo.org/tickets.
FEBRUARY: HEALTHCARE WORKERS & EMERGENCY RESPONDERS APPRECIATION MONTH AT THE OKC ZOO
February is Healthcare Workers & Emergency Responders Appreciation Month at the Oklahoma City Zoo and, to show our gratitude to these frontline heroes, the Zoo is honoring all healthcare workers and emergency responders with free general admission for the entire month. The 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.
Throughout February, 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 and merchandise at the Zoo’s Safari Gift Shop and $10 off all available Wild Encounter behind-the-scenes experiences. Plus, they will save $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. To learn more, visit okczoo.org or call (405) 425-0262.
NOW THROUGH SUNDAY, FEBRUARY 14: ZOOFRIENDS “LOVE BIRD” BOX SET ON SALE
The Oklahoma Zoological Society, ZOOfriends, is releasing an exclusive animal adoption package just in time for Valentine’s Day. The “Lovebirds” box sets are the perfect gift for any Zoo lover who wants to spend a night in with their “love bird,” drinking delicious wine and eating chocolate, all in support of the Oklahoma City Zoo and Botanical Garden. This adults-only adoption box is a select addition to the year-round, symbolic animal adoptions, which are available through ZOOfriends and are a great way to help the OKC Zoo and its animal family. Support from the adoption program helps supply the Zoo with important funding for the health, enrichment and the nutritional needs for its animal family. Plus, every adoption level includes recognition on the ZOOfriends website for up to one year. The “Lovebirds Adoption Box” includes: two plush macaws, a pre-curated bottle of wine, two custom wine tumblers, a limited-edition blanket, a box of chocolates, a personalized elephant painting from the OKC Zoo’s elephant herd, a conservation fact card, and two vouchers for $10 off a behind-the-scenes Wild Encounters experience. In addition, each gift set comes equipped with a unique Valentine’s Day card and decorated box.
“Lovebirds” boxes are limited to 175 sets and will be sold to adults 21+ for $120/box for ZOOfriends members, in-person or at zoofriends.org/love-birds. Box sets will be available for pick up only at the ZOOfriends membership office located in the Zoo’s Entry Plaza from Monday, February 8 through Sunday, February 14, during Zoo operating hours. To learn more or to order your “Lovebirds” box, visit zoofriends.org/love-birds.
ENROLLMENT NOW OPEN FOR OKC ZOO’S SCHOOLS OUT DAY CAMP FOR SPRING BREAK 2021: ZOOLOGY IN ACTION
Your kiddos will go wild for a week of fun and adventure with Zoo camp! Enrollment is now open for the Oklahoma City Zoo and Botanical Garden’s Schools Out Day Camp for Spring Break 2021. The OKC Zoo’s education department offers daily activities that correspond with the camp’s week-long theme, Zoology In Action, that include educational activities, in-park exploration, up-close animal ambassador visits and more. Spring break camps are set for Monday, March 15, through Friday, March 19.
- About this year’s camp theme, Zoology In Action: From testing the waters to examining animal behaviors and rearing exotic plants, zoos move full S.T.E.A.M. ahead while caring for wildlife and wild places. Campers will explore all facets of zoology as they take part in hands-on S.T.E.A.M. activities, explore the Zoo, and meet animal ambassadors up close!
Schools Out Day Camps are available for children ages 4–11. 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. with after-care provided from 4:30-5:30 p.m. for $10/day. at the OKC Zoo’s Rosser Conservation Education Center. Campers must bring their lunch and snacks. Space is limited and advance registration is required. To register, visit https://www.okczoo.org/spring-break or call (405) 425-0218.
NOW THROUGH SEPTEMBER 24: 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. Join the Oklahoma City Zoo and Botanical Garden 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 Friday, September 24, 2021. Small electronics frequently contain a substance called coltan and 80 percent of the world's coltan supply is in the Democratic Republic of the Congo, also home to many gorillas. Mining for coltan threatens the habitats of gorillas, chimpanzees, okapi and other endangered species. The coltan from these donated devices is re-used and reduces the need to mine for the compound in gorilla habitats. Go above and beyond for gorillas by donating cellphones or small electronics now through Friday, September 24, and receive a free general Zoo admission ticket! 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 in the entry plaza. Masks are required for all guests 11 and older upon entry into Guest Services.
FRIDAY, FEBRUARY 12 AND SATURDAY, FEBRUARY 13: OKC ZOO HOSTS PARENTS NIGHT OUT PROGRAM
Need a little help with your Valentine’s Day plans? The Oklahoma City Zoo’s Parents Night Out Program is here for you. Hosted by the OKC Zoo’s education team, kiddos will enjoy program activities including a Zoo-themed lesson, craft activity, pizza dinner, a nighttime tour on grounds and a movie. Program capacity is limited to 15 kids to ensure safe social distancing. Ages: 4-11 years old. 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) today at https://www.okczoo.org/after-hours.
SATURDAY, FEBRUARY 13: OKC ZOO HOSTS GREAT BACKYARD BIRD COUNT, GUIDED BIRD COUNT TOUR
Let’s come together for the love of birds. The Oklahoma City Zoo invites you to participate in the Great Backyard Bird Count and contribute to this year’s annual bird count. Join experts from the Oklahoma City Zoo and Oklahoma Department of Wildlife Conservation on Saturday, February 13, for a walking tour through the Zoo to count and identify as many birds as possible. This is a safe, socially-distant activity for families and individuals. The bird tour will begin in the Zoo’s entry plaza at 10 a.m. and is free with admission. The Great Backyard Bird Count uses eBird, one of the world’s largest nature-databases with more than 100 million bird sightings contributed annually and used by professionals for science and conservation.
The OKC Zoo is doing its part to protect native birds and the spaces they need to thrive through other initiatives. In addition to supporting the Great Backyard Bird Count, the Zoo is a member of the Association of Zoos and Aquariums SAFE: Saving Animals From Extinction program for North American Songbirds. Additionally, the Zoo has partnered with the George Miksch Sutton Avian Research Center to help produce Volume II of the Oklahoma Breeding Bird Atlas with funds provided by the Zoo’s Round Up for Conservation program.
ONGOING: OKC ZOO HIRING FOR PART-TIME POSITIONS
Give your career some adventure! 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: ART GONE WILD, ART MADE BY THE OKC ZOO’S ANIMALS FOR ANIMALS
This Valentine’s Day, gift your sweetheart with art made by the OKC Zoo’s animals! Art Gone Wild, the Oklahoma City Zoo’s collection of original animal paintings, are available for purchase at the Zoo. As part of the Zoo’s enrichment program, many animals including elephants, sea lions, tigers and more paint during enrichment sessions with assistance from their caregivers. Peruse the Zoo’s newest selection of animal paintings on display in the Zoo’s Guest Services office located in the entry plaza during regular hours. Painting prices range from $35 to $300, depending on size. All net proceeds benefit one of the Zoo’s local conservation initiatives. Masks are required for all guests 11 and older upon entry into Guest Services. To learn more, call (405) 425-0262.
ONGOING: SEASONAL HOURS FOR OKC ZOO RIDES, ATTRACTIONS
Oklahoma City Zoo guests can experience a variety of unique attractions while exploring the Zoo. Capacity is limited for all rides and attractions to maintain adequate social distancing among guests. Guests can pre-purchase tickets for these experiences when they make their online reservation at http://www.okczoo.org/tickets or purchase them in the park. All rides and attractions are operational weather permitting and schedules are subject to change without notice.
- Centennial Choo Choo: Choo Choo rides are available weekends (Fri., Sat. and Sun.) from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. Cost is $3 per person. Children two and under free.
- Elephant Express Tram: Embark on a guided Zoo tour as you travel from the Entry Plaza to Sanctuary Asia. Rides offered Thursday through Monday from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. All day bracelets are $6 per person. Children two and under free.
- Endangered Species Carousel: Carousel rides are available Thursday through Monday from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. Cost is $3 per person.
- Explorikeet Feedings (Children’s Zoo): Discover the hands-on fun of feeding our lorikeets! Opportunities available Thursday through Monday from 10 a.m. to 3 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: Have you met our flamingo flock? Flamingo Mingle feedings occur Thursday through Monday, weather-permitting, in the Children’s Zoo habitat from 10-11 a.m. and 3:30-4:30 p.m. 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: Be spotted feeding our gentle giants! Weekend (Fri., 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: For one of the most magical experiences in the OKC Zoo, make plans to feed one of the Zoo’s Indian rhinos! Feeding opportunities available weekends (Fri., Sat. and Sun.) at 11:30 a.m. 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: Go wild for these educational and engaging presentations featuring the Zoo’s California sea lions and harbor seals! 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.
- Stingray Bay: Waves of fun await at Stingray Bay with up-close encounters and feeding opportunities with these majestic creatures. Cost is $4 per person to enter. Stingray feedings are 10:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m., while supplies last, for an additional $3 per person. Participants age 3+ must wear a mask during this up-close animal encounter for the protection of guests and staff. Stingray Bay is open Thursday through Monday from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m.
ONGOING: OKC ZOO’S STATEWIDE LIBRARY PROGRAM, READ FOR ADVENTURE, BRINGS OKLAHOMANS TOGETHER THROUGH READING, FREE ZOO TICKETS
Read for Adventure, the Oklahoma City Zoo and Botanical Garden’s statewide library program, inspires Oklahoma families to connect through reading and caring about wildlife and wild places. Sponsored by OG&E, this year’s program features an original children’s book, Juniper’s Butterfly Garden, encourages kids to read with the story of a child’s journey as she learns about monarch butterflies. 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 are redeemable through June 30, 2021. For a list of participating libraries, visit www.okczoo.org/readforadventure.
ONGOING: OKC ZOO’S WILD ENCOUNTERS
The Oklahoma City Zoo’s Wild Encounters provide you with a memorable experience as you enjoy an exclusive look behind the Zoo scene! See some of your favorite animals up-close like never before. Meet our expert caretakers and learn about the animals they care for and the Zoo’s efforts to conserve their wild counterparts. Wild Encounters are available Thursday through Monday and include a souvenir lanyard. There is a maximum of ten people per encounter and participants must wear masks. Prices range from $40–$50 per person depending on the encounter. 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. ZOOfriends’ members receive discount per encounter. For additional information about Wild Encounters or to make a reservation, contact Guest Services at (405) 425-0262.
Love all there is to see and do at the Zoo! The Oklahoma City Zoo and Botanical Garden is open Thursday through Monday from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. with no public access on Tuesdays and Wednesdays through February. Advance tickets are required for all guests and ZOOfriends members and can be purchased at www.okczoo.org/tickets. Zoo tickets are limited each day to maintain social distancing among guests.
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 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.