Renovated OKC Zoo Picnic Grounds Now Open for Summer Fun

When guests at the Oklahoma City Zoo round the corner at the flamingo habitat near Island Life, they arrive at the newly renovated picnic area alongside Zoo Lake. This spacious outdoor oasis with stunning lake views is suitable for guests of all ages and features space ideal for picnics, corporate gatherings, special occasions, weddings and events as well as groups of daily guests.

The grounds feature two covered areas, the Roughneck and Wildcat Pavilions, that can accommodate 250-500 guests for private events. All-new eco-friendly LED lighting was added throughout the grounds adding safety and ambiance for after-hour events. The restrooms were also updated with new, modern amenities and fixtures during the renovation project.

The most immediately visible new addition to the picnic grounds is an elevated deck area west of the Wildcat Pavilion. The wooden deck serves multiple purposes: in addition to adding 16,000 square feet of event space, it was specifically designed to encompasses a mature Post Oak grove that’s part of the Zoo’s historical Cross Timber ecosystem, protecting the ground below from becoming compacted and damaged by foot traffic. Some of the trees in this grove are estimated to be between 70-100 years old.

The deck area overlooks a new art feature, a 2.5-ton sculpture, Fish Story, donated by the Susan and Allen Coles Collection.

Perfect for keeping warm during early spring or late fall evening events, a towering new outdoor fireplace serves as a centerpiece for the renovated picnic area. The 26-footer is covered in stone chosen to blend seamlessly with materials used in the existing structures.

New gardens weave through the spaces enriching the landscape with ornamental trees, shrubs, perennials and bulbs adapted to Oklahoma City and its region. Plant delight and inspire, augmenting the botanical garden functions of the Zoo throughout the year and enhancing the experience for Zoo guests. Each garden area has a distinct design theme, color scheme, and plant palette.

To book an event at the newly renovated picnic grounds, call (405) 425-0289 or e-mail

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