NOW THROUGH LABOR DAY, MONDAY, SEPTEMBER 4: OKC ZOO OFFERS EARLY PARK ACCESS FOR MEMBERS ONLY
There’s still time for Oklahoma City Zoo’s ZOOfriends members to enjoy morning safaris with early park access at 8:30 a.m. now through Labor Day, Monday, September 4. This special perk is for ZOOfriends members only with proof of a current membership passport. The Zoo closes daily at 5 p.m. with last entry at 4 p.m. Discover the benefits of a ZOOfriends Membership Passport offering general admission for 12 months plus exclusive offers to the OKC Zoo, and exploring the park year-round. Plus, you will be supporting the Zoo’s ongoing animal care and conservation programs, too. Memberships can be purchased at okczoo.org/membership.
TICKETS ON SALE FOR 40TH ANNUAL HAUNT THE ZOO FOR HALLOWEEN PRESENTED BY OKLAHOMA’S OWN NEWS 9
Ready to boo it all this fall at the Oklahoma City Zoo’s 40th annual Haunt the Zoo for Halloween, Oklahoma’s largest and longest-running Halloween tradition! Presented by Oklahoma’s Own News 9, Haunt the Zoo, provides a festive setting for fans to enjoy a unique, safe trick-or-treating experience surrounded by the Zoo’s wondrous wildlife! Trick-or-treaters will discover originally themed photo booths with elaborate decorations and props along the Haunt the Zoo trail as they collect treats from friendly volunteers. Show off your festive best and wear your Halloween costume to Haunt the Zoo. Adults are encouraged to dress up, too, but nothing scary. Haunt the Zoo occurs Saturdays and Sundays, October 7 through 29. Trick-or-treating is available each day from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m., with a morning reservation block from 9 a.m. to noon and an afternoon block from noon to 4 p.m. General Zoo admission or ZOOfriends memberships plus, official Haunt the Zoo treat bags are required to trick-or-treat and must be purchased in advance. Official trick-or-treat bags are $8/bag or $7/bag (ZOOfriends members). To purchase and view all ticket options, visit www.okczoo.org/htz. While experiencing Haunt the Zoo, attendees can enjoy a Hay Maze and special 40th anniversary activities at no additional cost. Haunt the Zoo goers can also experience other Zoo attractions including giraffe, rhino and lorikeet feedings, a ride on the tram or carousel and more while at the Zoo. Tickets for these attractions may be limited and can be purchased in advance or on-site. To learn more about Haunt the Zoo, visit www.okczoo.org.
HAUNT THE ZOO FOR HALLOWEEN VOLUNTEER SIGN UP OPEN!
- Volunteering so fun, it’s scary! The Oklahoma City Zoo is needing volunteers to help with this year’s spooktacular celebration, Haunt the Zoo occurring Saturdays and Sundays, October 7 through 29. Volunteers must 14 or older and any volunteer under 16 must be accompanied by an adult. This volunteer opportunity is ideal for individuals and families plus, civic, school and corporate groups. To learn more about volunteering or to register, click here.
SEPTEMBER: OKC ZOO PARTNERS WITH CURBSIDE CHRONICLE TO OFFER FREE ZOO ADMISSION TICKET
Hey OKC, the Curbside Chronicle’s popular Zoo issue returns! The Oklahoma City Zoo and Botanical Garden has partnered with The Curbside Chronicle to offer a free Zoo general admission ticket in the magazine’s September issue. This special “Zoo” issue will be available the month of September for a $2 suggested donation from Curbside vendors throughout the metro area. Pick up this latest issue for a wild read about all things happening at the OKC Zoo plus an official park map and a free admission voucher. To redeem your Curbside Chronicle voucher for admission to the OKC Zoo present it at the Zoo’s ticket window upon arrival. Vouchers valid through December 31, 2023.
REGISTRATION OPEN FOR OKC ZOO’S SCHOOLS OUT DAY CAMPS FOR FALL SEASON
School’s back in session and that means the kiddos will be out for school breaks and holidays. Enrollment is now open for the Oklahoma City Zoo’s Schools Out Day Camps for October and November. These interactive and educational day camps provide young wildlife enthusiasts with fun-filled days with in-park exploration, animal ambassador visits, crafts and more. Camps are themed and ideal for students ages 4 to 12. Drop off is 8 to 8:30 a.m. and pick up is 4 to 4:30 p.m. Campers must bring their own lunch and snacks. Cost per camper is $50 for nonmembers and $45 for ZOOfriends. For camp details or to register visit www.okczoo.org/schools-out.
SATURDAY, SEPTEMBER 9: OKC ZOO HOSTS OBI BLOOD DRIVE
Got guts? The Oklahoma City Zoo is calling on the community to come out in support of Our Blood Institute (OBI’s) fall blood drive happening at the Zoo on Saturday, September 9, from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. This blood drive aligns with OBI’s annual Vein Drain campaign and is a public call to help boost blood supply for the fall season. Donors that participate in the drive on September 9 will receive an exclusive, glow-in-the-dark Vein Drain shirt and an admission voucher to the OKC Zoo. To make this drive even more “boo”rific, all donors will be entered to win a ZOOfriends membership passport for four. Zoo vouchers may be used throughout the remainder of the year. The Zoo will be hosting this blood drive at its Education Center located at the east end of the parking lot. To make an appointment visit www.obi.org.
SATURDAY, SEPTEMBER 9: AMERICAN SIGN LANGUAGE (ASL) INTERPRETERS AT THE OKC ZOO
On Saturday, September 9, the Oklahoma City Zoo and Botanical Garden will be providing American Sign Language (ASL) interpreters in the park to create an enhanced OKC Zoo experience for guests who are deaf and hard of hearing. ASL interpreters are available at the Zoo on the second Saturday of every month and present at elephant presentations and scheduled Wild Encounter experiences. Zoo guests are not charged a fee for the use of an ASL interpreter. Elephant presentations are free to attend and occur weekends at 2 p.m. in the elephant pavilion at Sanctuary Asia. For a complete listing of available Wild Encounters visit okczoo.org.
SATURDAY, SEPTEMBER 16: OKC ZOO AND BOB MOORE SUBARU HOST MONARCH AWARENESS DAY ACTIVITIES
In celebration of monarch butterflies, the Oklahoma City Zoo and Botanical Garden and Bob Moore Subaru are putting their wings together to provide a unique opportunity to learn about, raise awareness for and conserve monarch butterflies and other pollinators, and their natural habitat. Monarch Awareness Day activities will be held at the Zoo’s carousel and Devon picnic areas on Saturday, September 16, from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. Visitors will have the opportunity to talk with Zoo experts about the importance of monarch butterflies while experiencing a variety of event activities. Get free milkweed plants and pollinator seed packs while supplies last, discover tips for creating a pollinator garden, participate in Monarch Watch’s community science monarch tagging project, assist with planting a pollinator garden in the Zoo plus, story time, photo opportunities hosted by Bob Moore, Facebook Lives and more. Monarch butterflies are essential pollinators which have now been classified as an endangered species whose population has decreased dramatically in the last 20 years due to habitat loss and use of pesticides. Now more than ever, we need to act to ensure monarch butterflies and all pollinators thrive. Monarch Awareness Day activities are free with regular Zoo admission. Learn more at www.okczoo.org.
FRIDAY, SEPTEMBER 22: TICKETS ON SALE FOR HAUNT THE ZOO ALL GROWN UP
The strange and spooky continues to grow with OKC’s biggest adult-only Halloween party, Haunt the Zoo All Grown Up! Returning to the Oklahoma City Zoo on Friday, October 27, from 7 to 11 p.m., Haunt the Zoo All Grown Up is a festive night for Halloween fans 21 and older to creep out at the Zoo after-hours. Revelers will enjoy unique experiences, custom photo ops, multiple bars featuring specialty cocktails, a themed haunt zone, the scareousel, and dancing to music provided by DJ Kora Waves and DJ Limitless! Guests will also go wild to know that $2 from every event ticket will benefit the Zoo’s Asian Elephant conservation programs. Embrace the vibe of the event and come in costume. Real or fake weapons or full coverage masks are prohibited. General admission tickets for Haunt the Zoo All Grown Up launch Friday, September 22 and are $42/person and $37/person for ZOOfriends. Drink ticket packages will be available for purchase in advance and during the event. Event attendance is limited so purchase your tickets early. This event is rain or shine and tickets are non-refundable. For event information or to purchase tickets beginning September 22, visit www.okczoo.org.
SUNDAY, SEPTEMBER 24: OKC ZOO AND BOB MOORE SUBARU CELEBRATE WORLD GORILLA DAY
The Oklahoma City Zoo and Bob Moore Subaru want to inspire you to take action for gorilla conservation. Sunday, September 24 is World Gorilla Day, an annual, global event created by The Dian Fossey Gorilla Fund (DFGF) to connect people to gorillas while raising awareness for the conservation of these great apes and their habitat. DFGF is one of the OKC Zoo’s legacy conservation partners and funds provided by the Zoo are used to support operations at the Karisoke Research Center. Celebrate World Gorilla Day at the Zoo complete with special activities planned from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. at the Great EscApe habitat including a scavenger safari with prizes, conservation information station, photo opportunities presented by Bob Moore Subaru, Facebook live videos and more. All activities are free with Zoo admission. Go above and beyond to help gorillas by donating old or used cell phones to Gorillas on the Line and receive a free Zoo admission ticket! Small electronics frequently contain coltan and mining for this substance threatens the habitats of gorillas and other endangered species. When individuals donate used phones or other electronics, the coltan from those devices is re-used and reduces the need to mine for the compound in gorilla habitats. Gorilla fans that donate a cellphone throughout September will receive a free general admission ticket to the Zoo. These items can be dropped off for recycling in the Zoo’s guest experience office in the Entry Plaza.
FRIDAY, SEPTEMBER 29: ONLINE RESERVATIONS OPEN FOR OKC ZOO SAFARI LIGHTS PRESENTED BY OG&E
‘Tis the season to brighten the OKC skyline with the glow of OKC ZOO SAFARI LIGHTS! The Oklahoma City Zoo is excited to announce the return of OKC ZOO SAFARI LIGHTS with all new lanterns! Presented by OG&E, OKC ZOO SAFARI LIGHTS is a festive light display offering guests of all ages the opportunity to discover all brand-new, larger-than-life light sculptures on a driving tour through the OKC Zoo. The fun continues as guests park and re-enter the Zoo for a separate walking experience complete with immersive and interactive light displays, themed photo ops and more. Tasty treats and eats plus wild souvenirs will also be available for purchase. The OKC Zoo will be hosting a Sensory-Friendly Night for SAFARI LIGHTS on Wednesday, November 15, from 6 to 9 p.m. Attendees will discover a less sensory stimulating environment with lower crowd attendance, limited flashing lights and reduced sounds while experiencing SAFARI LIGHTS. OKC ZOO SAFARI LIGHTS begins Saturday, November 11, and runs nightly through New Year’s Day, Monday, January 1, 2024 with drive-through and walk-through 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 and Christmas Day. Supporting sponsor for OKC ZOO SAFARI LIGHTS includes MidFirst Bank. Advance online reservations are required for OKC ZOO SAFARI LIGHTS driving tours. Online reservations and ticket sales open Friday, September 29 at www.okczoo.org and are limited so purchase early.
FRIDAY, SEPTEMBER 29: OKC ZOO HOSTS 15TH ANNUAL ZOOBREW, OKLAHOMA’S MOST POPULAR BEER-TASTING FESTIVAL FOR 21+, PRESENTED BY BYRON’S LIQUOR WAREHOUSE AT THE OKC ZOO
There’s still time to purchase tickets to ZOObrew, Oklahoma’s largest outdoor beer-tasting festival! Marking its 15th anniversary, ZOObrew returns to the Oklahoma City Zoo on Friday, September 29, from 6 to 9 p.m. Presented by Byron’s Liquor Warehouse, ZOObrew sets the scene for craft beer and wildlife fans, 21 and older, to enjoy an epic evening of tastings from breweries located in Oklahoma and neighboring states plus, other libations including wine, cocktails and non-alcoholic beverages will be available. Revelers will also relish tasty bites from local food trucks, unique Zoo experiences, lawn games and more while raising important funds for the OKC Zoo. ZOObrew guests will also get an exclusive look at the OKC Zoo’s newest habitat expansion, Expedition Africa. The Zoo’s most ambitious and immersive experience ever, Expedition Africa features views of iconic African species including giraffe, zebra, lemurs, honey badger, lions and cheetah. ZOObrew general admission tickets are $70/person including event access, unlimited beer samplings and carousel rides. A ZOObrew Designated Driver admission ticket is $20/person and does not include unlimited beer sampling. The Zoo will close at 1 p.m., last entry at noon, on Friday, September 29 in preparation for ZOObrew. To purchase ZOObrew tickets and additional event details, visit www.okczoo.org/zoobrew.
ZOOBREW VOLUNTEER OPPORTUNITIES
- Cheers for volunteers! The OKC Zoo appreciates its dedicated volunteers who give their time and talents to help in a variety of roles including special event support throughout the year. The OKC Zoo is needing volunteers, must be 21 or older, to lend a hand with ZOObrew on Friday, September 29. Enjoy wild perks such as an event shirt and pizza! Register to volunteer at www.okczoo.org/zoobrew.
Protecting the planet starts with you and the Oklahoma City Zoo’s Conservation Club! This program engages young conservationists, 8 to 13 years old, to take action to help make the planet a place where wildlife and wild places thrive. Programs include hands-on activities, opportunities to meet with our everyday conservationists, and expeditions through the Zoo. Save the date for the next Club session on Saturday, September 30, from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. The theme is Marvelous Migrations–around the world, animals are on the move! Learn how to blast the barriers standing in their way. Cost is $15/child (ZOOfriends) or $20/ child (nonmember). Preregistration required. Visit Conservation Club (okczoo.org) for more information.
ONGOING OKC ZOO HAPPENINGS
2023 THE ZOO AMPHITHEATRE CONCERT EVENTS
The Zoo Amphitheatre rocks on! Oklahoma City’s treasured and fan-favorite outdoor concert venue, the Zoo Amphitheatre showcases an array of live events throughout the summer and fall seasons. For the remainder of the 2023 concert season, Zoo Amp guests are welcome to bring one (1) empty plastic or reusable bottle into the venue for water refills. Glass or metal bottles/cans, CamelBak® hydration packs and empty IV bags will not be allowed inside the Zoo Amphitheatre. Managed by 3HORSE Productions, LLC, the Zoo Amphitheatre is adjacent to the Oklahoma City Zoo and remains one of Oklahoma City’s most enduring and unique attractions. For venue and ticket information, visit www.thezooamphitheatre.com.
- Sunday, September 10: Darius Rucker with special guest Jameson Rodgers
- Saturday, October 14: The All-American Rejects with guests New Found Glory, Motion City Soundtrack, The Get Up Kids
- Sunday, October 22: Freakfest OKC 2023 with Luh Tyler, NLE Choppa, DeeBaby and more!
CHECK OUT OKC ZOO’S STATEWIDE LIBRARY PROGRAM, READ FOR ADVENTURE, OKLAHOMANS WITH FREE GENERAL ADMISSION TICKETS TO THE ZOO
Check out Read for Adventure, the Oklahoma City Zoo and Botanical Garden’s unique statewide library program. Sponsored by OG&E, Read for Adventure brings Oklahoma families to together while building an appreciation for reading and nature. 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, 2023. For a list of participating libraries, visit www.okczoo.org/readforadventure.
OKC ZOO’S HIGHLIGHTS WILDLIFE OF THE WEEK
Follow the Oklahoma City Zoo on social and let us connect you to our Wildlife of the Week. Learn new and exciting facts about the OKC Zoo’s animal family with its Wildlife of the Week program. The Zoo will focus on a new animal species each week 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 FALL ATTRACTION SCHEDULE
The Oklahoma City Zoo’s fall attraction schedule begins Tuesday, September 5 and continues through Sunday, October 29. Pre-purchase tickets for these wild experiences and attractions as well as Zoo admission 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. This schedule is subject to change without notice. All rides and attractions are operational weather permitting.
- Camel Rides: Camel rides are available daily through Sunday, October 29, from 9 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. and the cost is $8 per person. Children under 6 must be accompanied by a paying adult. Other rules are posted at the habitat.
- Children’s Zoo Barnyard: This fun encounter connects guests of all ages with our goats and sheep. Weekday hours are 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. and 9 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. on Saturdays and Sundays.
- Elephant Presentation (Sanctuary Asia): These engaging presentations are a BIG hit and free to attend. Presentations occur Fridays, Saturdays and Sundays at 2 p.m.
- Endangered Species Carousel: Round out your day with a spin on the Zoo’s one-of-a-kind carousel. Rides are available daily from 9:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. Cost is $3 per person.
- Explorikeet Feedings (Children’s Zoo): Fly by the Children’s Zoo to see and feed the lorikeets. Open daily from 9 a.m. to noon and 1 to 4 p.m. Cost is $4 per person.
- Flamingo Mingle: Flamingo Mingle feedings occur daily in the Children’s Zoo habitat from 9:30-10 a.m. and an additional opportunity on Saturdays and Sundays from 3:30-4 p.m. Cost is $5 per person. Children age 2 and under are not permitted.
- Gorilla Trek VR Experience: View gorillas in the wild with the OKC Zoo’s all-new Gorilla Trek Virtual Reality (VR) experience featuring a 360-degree live action film with motion platform seating. Weekday hours from 9:30 a.m. to 3 p.m. and 9:30 to 4 p.m. on Saturdays and Sundays. Cost is $8 per person. Age and height requirements apply.
- OKC Zoo Tram: View the Zoo in comfort while learning about its animal and 100+ year history. Tram travels from the Entry Plaza to Sanctuary Asia and rides are offered daily from 9:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. Cost is $6 per person. Children two and under free.
- Rhino Feedings: Our Indian rhinos are ready to meet you! Feedings occur at 11:30 a.m. Thursdays, Fridays, Saturdays and Sundays at Sanctuary Asia. Cost is $10 per person.
- 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. Open daily from 9 to 11:30 a.m. and 12:30 to 4 p.m. Feeding opportunities available weekdays from 10:30 to 11 a.m. and 1:30 to 2 p.m. on Saturdays and Sundays, while supplies last, for an additional $3 per person.
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, 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.
- 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.
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.
Let those autumn adventures begin at the OKC Zoo! The Oklahoma City Zoo and Botanical Garden is open from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. daily with the last entry at 4 p.m. 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 admission is $16 for adults and $13 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, X, Instagram, Threads, Linktree and TikTok, and by visiting our blog stories. Looking for a year of Zoo adventures? Consider a 12-month, ZOOfriends Membership Passport to the OKC Zoo providing general admission year-round and exclusive offers while supporting the Zoo’s ongoing animal care and conservation programs. Memberships can be purchased at okczoo.org/membership.