Add a little wild to your winter days with this month’s Zoo happenings – ZOOfriends Membership Sale, Healthcare Workers and Emergency Responders Appreciation Months, Groundhog/Bear Awareness Day celebration, heartfelt gift ideas and more!
OKC ZOO’S WINTER HOURS CONTINUE THROUGH WEDNESDAY, FEBRUARY 8
The Oklahoma City Zoo remains in its winter hours through Wednesday, February 8, 2023 and the park will be open Thursdays through Mondays from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. with the last entry no later than 4 p.m. The Zoo is closed to the public on Tuesdays and Wednesdays. Guests are encouraged to purchase advance admission tickets at okczoo.org/tickets to bypass entry lines.
JOIN ZOOFRIENDS NOW, SAVE BEFORE PRICES INCREASE THURSDAY, FEBRUARY 9, 2023
Don’t wait, start your year-long zoofari today! If you have been considering joining ZOOfriends and becoming a member of the Oklahoma City Zoo now is the time. Beginning Thursday, February 9, OKC Zoo membership prices will be increasing so we are encouraging Zoo fans to purchase memberships now at our current prices. All ZOOfriends memberships are still good for one year from date of purchase with the same incredible benefits including unlimited Zoo visits for a year and additional discounts. You also supporting the OKC Zoo, its growing animal family, conservation efforts and expansion including the awaited opening of Expedition Africa this summer! Save money and purchase your ZOOfriends membership now at okczoo.org/membership.
ENROLLMENT OPEN FOR OKC ZOO’S SCHOOLS OUT DAY CAMP FOR SPRING BREAK 2023: CARETAKER CAMP, SPOTS ARE FILLING UP FAST!
Campers will enjoy learning about what it takes to care for the OKC Zoo’s entire animal family during the Zoo’s Spring Break Camp 2023. Enrollment is now open for this week-long camp experience. The OKC Zoo’s education department offers daily activities that correspond with the camp’s theme, Caretaker Camp, that include educational activities, in-park exploration, up-close animal ambassador visits and more. Spring break camps are set for Monday, March 13, through Friday, March 17, from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. (pick up goes to 4:30 p.m.) each day at the Rosser Conservation Education Center. Single days of camp are unavailable. Spring Break camp is for children ages 4–12. The cost is $275 per camper (members) and $300 per camper (non-members). Campers must bring their lunch and snacks. Space is limited and advance registration is required. To register, visit okczoo.org/spring-break or call (405) 425-0218.
NOW THROUGH SUNDAY, APRIL 30, 2023: APPLICATIONS OPEN FOR OKC ZOO LIVING CLASSROOM GRANT PROGRAM
The Oklahoma City Zoo and Botanical Garden is proud to grow its 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.
NOW THROUGH APRIL 30: GORILLAS ON THE LINE CELLPHONE CHALLENGE
Donate a cellphone, make a difference for 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 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.
THURSDAY, FEBRUARY 2 THROUGH FRIDAY, MARCH 31: HEALTHCARE WORKERS & EMERGENCY RESPONDERS APPRECIATION MONTHS AT THE OKC ZOO
With wild thanks, 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 from February 2 through 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.
THURSDAY, FEBRUARY 2: BOB MOORE SUBARU AND OKC ZOO HOST GROUNDHOG DAY & BEAR AWARENESS CELEBRATION
At the Oklahoma City Zoo, Groundhog Day is a wildly fun tradition that’s dedicated to our bears! Join the OKC Zoo and Bob Moore Subaru for this year’s annual Groundhog Day and Bear Awareness Celebration highlighting the Zoo’s grizzly and black bears, on Thursday, February 2, from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. The Zoo’s two grizzly bear brothers, Will and Wiley, and black bears, Maynard and Woody, will be waking from torpor (a winter sleep!) in time to make their annual weather prediction since the Zoo is not home to groundhogs. As guests watch on, the Zoo’s bears will enjoy Groundhog Day-themed enrichment items created for them by their caretakers to help determine if spring is on its way or winter is here to stay! Event activities will take place in the Zoo’s Big Rivers building at Oklahoma Trails and include interactive activities, a conservation education station, children’s story time, photo opportunities, Facebook live chats and free hot chocolate while supplies last. Little ones are encouraged to bring their plush teddy bears to the event and even have a chance for their plush bears to get a checkup from our veterinary care team at the Teddy Bear Checkup station. All activities are free with regular Zoo admission.
THURSDAY, FEBRUARY 16: OKLAHOMA ZOOLOGICAL SOCIETY’S ZOOTROOP HOSTS SINGO EVENT IN SUPPORT OF THE OKC ZOO
Wildlife fans 21 and older are invited to join the Oklahoma Zoological Society’s ZOOtroop, the young professional’s organization in support of the Oklahoma City Zoo, for an animal-themed SINGO event at Rad Bar, 1715 NW 16th St., Oklahoma City. Come out on Thursday, February 16, at 6 p.m. for a night of fun and tunes as you help support the OKC Zoo’s animal enrichment program as 10% of all sales from the event back to the Zoo. Reservations or RSVPs are not required, just bring your friends, and rock out for a wild cause! Prizes included. Learn more about this event here.
SATURDAY, FEBRUARY 18: CONSERVATION CLUB, BACKYARD BIRD COUNT
Show your love for our feathered friends as part of this month’s Conservation Club hosted by the Oklahoma City Zoo’s education team. This monthly series will teach your young environmentalist 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. February’s program focuses on the Great Backyard Bird Count, a citizen-science project that surveys native birds, promotes the importance of protecting these populations and their habitats. Join us on Saturday, February 18, from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. Pre-registration required. Please visit Conservation Club for more information.
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 2023 season. Positions include OKC Zoo brand ambassadors, ride operators, tram drivers, zipline guides 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.
SHOW YOUR LOVE WITH ZOO-THEMED VALENTINE’S DAY GIFTS
Give your Valentine a year of adventure with a ZOOfriends membership and allow them to experience the Oklahoma City Zoo as only a member can! ZOOfriends members enjoy unlimited visits to the OKC Zoo for an entire year, additional benefits and discounts plus, life-time memories and wild experiences! Purchase gift memberships now at okczoo.org/membership before prices increase on Thursday, February 8.
ART GONE WILD – ART MADE BY THE OKC ZOO’S ANIMALS FOR ANIMALS
Art Gone Wild, the Oklahoma City Zoo’s selection of animal artwork, is available year-round and ideal for special occasions and holidays. Shop our LOVEly selection of paintings featuring festive colors and created by some of your favorite animal artists! 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. Art Gone Wild pieces are available to view and purchase 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 are used to support the Living Classrooms grant program which provides funding to OKC metro area school to plant pollinator gardens.
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.
OKC ZOO’S WILD ENCOUNTER
These ZOO-nique experiences offer wildlife fans an up-close encounter with some of their favorite Zoo animals–Asian elephants, bears, bison, rhinos, Galapagos tortoises and now 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.
ONGOING OKC ZOO HAPPENINGS
WINTER ATTRACTION HOURS FOR OKC ZOO FAVORITES
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 in advance online at 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.
- Flamingo Mingle feedings occur daily, weather-permitting, in the Children’s Zoo habitat from 11-11:30 a.m. and 3:30-4 p.m. on Saturday and Sunday. Cost is $7 per person. Children age 2 and under are not permitted.
- Giraffe Feeding Platform: Connect with our giraffe herd on a new level! Weekend (Sat. and Sun.) feeding opportunities offered from 2 to 3 p.m. Cost is $5 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.
VOLUNTEER ON THE WILD SIDE: GROUP VOLUNTEER OPPORTUNITIES AT THE OKC ZOO
The Oklahoma City Zoo offers exciting group volunteer opportunities throughout the year. 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, 2023. For a list of participating libraries, visit www.okczoo.org/readforadventure.
OKC ZOO’S HIGHLIGHTS WILDLIFE OF THE WEEK
The Oklahoma City Zoo’s Wildlife of the Week presented by Bob Moore features bring the wow! Each week, the OKC Zoo shares exciting and educational facts about its animal family with its Wildlife of the Week program. The Zoo will focus on a new animal species weekly on its Facebook page, @okczoo. Guests can also discover the Wildlife of the Week by scanning a QR code on the back of the Zoo’s park map or by visiting www.okczoo.org/wow.
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.
- Galapagos tortoises (Children’s Zoo), 10:30 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.
The Oklahoma City Zoo is in its winter hours and open Thursday through Sunday from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. with the last entry at 4 p.m., and closed to the public on Tuesdays and Wednesdays through February 8, 2023. 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.
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 www.okczoo.org/membership 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.