APRIL HAPPENINGS AT THE OKC ZOO
April 02, 2019
NOW–MONDAY, APRIL 22: VOTE TO MAKE OKC ZOO’S SANCTUARY ASIA AMERICA'S BEST
The Oklahoma City Zoo and Botanical Garden’s new habitat expansion, Sanctuary Asia, has been nominated in USA Today’s 10Best Readers' Choice travel awards for Best Zoo Exhibit! Vote for Sanctuary Asia, the OKC Zoo's vast oasis where wondrous wildlife from the Asian continent thrive. Home to Asian elephants, Indian rhinos, Red pandas, Komodo dragons and more, a major feature of the habitat is Lotus Pavilion, a two-story building providing the Zoo’s highest vantage point with soaring views into multiple animal habitats. Fans can vote daily through Monday, April 22. To cast your vote for Sanctuary Asia, click here. Vote today, vote every day!
NOW: OSTRICH EGG BREAKFAST TICKETS ON SALE
Hatch a plan to attend ZOOfriends’ 33rd annual Ostrich Egg Breakfast at the Oklahoma City Zoo on Saturday, May 11 from 8 a.m. to 11 a.m.! Tickets for this unique family event, which includes an all-you-can-eat smorgasbord of pancakes, sausage, bacon, scrambled hens’ eggs, waffles and of course omelets, go on sale Monday, April 1, online at ZOOfriends.org or by phone at (405) 425-0618.
TUESDAY, APRIL 9: OKC ZOO HOSTS READ ACROSS OKLAHOMA
Book it to the Oklahoma City Zoo for Read Across Oklahoma and celebrate literacy with live music, free books, storytelling and more! On Tuesday, April 9, from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m., little ones will have the opportunity to participate in a variety of literacy-based activities and hear Oklahoma author and illustrator Hannah Harrison read from her book, “Friends Stick Together”, telling the story of Rupert, a rhinoceros who finds friendship in unexpected and unlikely places. Guests will also enjoy performances by local children’s music duo Spaghetti Eddie. Event maps and itineraries will be available in the entry plaza. Activities are free with Zoo admission thanks to financial and volunteer support from the event’s partners. Read Across Oklahoma is part of the statewide Ready to Learn initiative coordinated by the Oklahoma Department of Libraries. This program promotes literacy and helps build the foundation for a lifetime of learning, specifically targeting preschool children who may be at risk for low literacy. For additional information, contact Candice Rennels at (405) 425-0298.
THURSDAY, APRIL 11: BRAINY BEASTS TRIVIA NIGHT
Put on your thinking cap for a fun night at Brainy Beasts Trivia Night, a new 21-and-up event, hosted by Friends of ZOOtroop at the Oklahoma City Zoo on Thursday, April 11. Grab a group of friends to test your trivia knowledge on all things animal related from 6:30 p.m. to 10 p.m. at the Zoo’s new Sanctuary Asia. Enjoy the chance to win more than just bragging rights – local gifts and treats will be raffled off, too! Tables for Brainy Beasts Trivia Night are $400 per table for eight people, $200 per table for four people. Individual tickets are not available. Included in the price is an event T-shirt, food from local restaurants, beer and wine plus, a night of wild team trivia. Proceeds from this event support the operation and continued growth of the Oklahoma City Zoo and its conservation initiatives.
FRIDAY, APRIL 12: OKC ZOO'S EASTER-THEMED ANIMAL ENRICHMENT DAY
Spring is here and the Oklahoma City Zoo is buzzing with “egg”citing fun! Join us on Friday, April 12 as the OKC Zoo hosts an Easter-themed enrichment event for select Zoo animals. Zoo caretakers have been busy creating “egg”stra special treats that will be given to the animals during the event from 10 a.m. to 2:30 p.m.! These animal-approved items encourage natural behaviors while providing enriching experiences for our animals to enjoy. This event is free with Zoo admission. For more information, call Guest Services at (405) 425-0262. The enrichment schedule is as follows:
10 a.m.: Spider and Squirrel Monkeys (Children’s Zoo)
10:30 a.m.: Galapagos Tortoises (Island Life)
11 a.m.: African Lions (Cat Forest)
11:30 a.m.: Asian Elephants (Sanctuary Asia)
1 p.m.: Stingrays (Stingray Bay)
1:30 p.m.: Western lowland gorillas (Great EscApe)
2 p.m.: Mountain Lion Cubs (Oklahoma Trails)
2:30 p.m.: Bison (Oklahoma Trails)
SATURDAY, APRIL 13: AMERICAN RED CROSS HOSTS BLOOD DRIVE AT THE OKC ZOO
The American Red Cross of Oklahoma and the Oklahoma City Zoo are coming together for Oklahomans, and supporting ongoing opportunities for blood donors to give. The Red Cross will host a blood drive at the OKC Zoo’s Rosser Conservation Education Center on Saturday, April 13 from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. Exciting news for donors and Game of Thrones fans, the Red Cross and HBO are extending their “Bleed for the Throne” promotion through the month of April and all presenting donors will automatically be entered for a chance to win a full-size “Iron Throne” from HBO’s Game of Thrones! Donors attending the blood drive at the Zoo will also receive a commemorative “Bleed for the Throne” poster (while supplies last) and two vouchers good for admission to the OKC Zoo! Each voucher is good for one free admission ticket (adult, child or senior) to the Zoo. As an added bonus, enjoy free donuts from Shipley Do-Nuts as a thank you! For additional information about donating blood and the requirements to give, visit www.redcrossblood.org.
SATURDAY, APRIL 20: PARTY FOR THE PLANET™/EARTH DAY CELEBRATION
The Oklahoma City Zoo invites you to lend a hand for conservation this Earth Day. Celebrate with us at Party for the Planet™, the OKC Zoo’s annual Earth Day tradition, on Saturday, April 20, and learn how you can help protect on our planet, its wildlife and wild places. Activities are planned from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. and include information stations, an interactive scavenger safari with prizes for kids 11 and under, the grand opening of a new monarch exhibit at the ZooZeum, and more. Event goers of all ages will also have the opportunity to assist with planting a pollinator garden on Zoo grounds and the first 300 guests who help will receive a free milkweed plant! The fun “grows” on with the Zoo’s horticulture team who will be hosting garden tours and a plant sale where guests can purchase the Zoo’s new premium compost, ZOO POO! The Zoo and Dr Pepper also will announce the winners of this year’s Dr Pepper Vending Machine Art Contest at 2 p.m. in the Zoo’s education center. The event is free with paid Zoo admission. For more information, call (405) 425-0262 or visit okczoo.org.
FRIDAY, APRIL 26: NATIONAL ARBOR DAY AT THE OKC ZOO
We speak for the trees! In honor of National Arbor Day, Friday, April 26, 2019, the Oklahoma City Zoo and Botanical Garden is hosting a variety of activities that focus on the importance of caring for and planting trees. Join the Zoo’s horticulture team as they host these happenings from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m.:
Tree Sale (9 a.m. to 2 p.m.): Guests can purchase tree saplings and packages of ZOO POO, the OKC Zoo’s new organic compost, in the entry plaza.
Garden Tour (10 a.m.): Participants should meet at the Zoo’s guest services office.
Tree Planting Demonstration (11 a.m.): Participants should meet in the Zoo’s entry plaza.
For more information, call (405) 425-0262 or visit okczoo.org.
FRIDAY, APRIL 26: OZS ZOOFRIENDS' SAFARI SOIREE AT THE OKC ZOO
The Oklahoma City Zoo comes alive at night with the Oklahoma Zoological Society/ZOOfriends’ third annual Safari Soirée on Friday, April 26, 2019 from 7 p.m. to 11 p.m. Begin your evening in the Zoo’s new Sanctuary Asia, indulging in exclusive cocktails, a silent auction, and live entertainment by local favorite “My So Called Band.” The fun continues as you “star graze” throughout the entire zoo, enjoying complimentary food stations from many of Oklahoma City’s finest restaurants. Along the path you’ll experience music and entertainment, as well as the opportunity to participate in behind-the-scenes experiences to spark a deeper understanding of the OKC Zoo’s conservation programs. Tickets are on sale now at ZOOfriends.org by phone at (405) 425-0618 or in the ZOOfriends’ membership office. Must be 21 or older.
OKC ZOO’S APRIL EDUCATION PROGRAMS/EVENTS
To learn about these and other programs, call Education at (405) 425-0218 or visit okczoo.org.
THURSDAY, APRIL 4 AND FRIDAY, APRIL 5: HOMESCHOOL PROGRAMS
Expand your child’s learning environment with our living classroom. The Oklahoma City Zoo offers monthly classes that focus on various animals and plants and include animal encounters, zoo tours and hands on activities. April is all about plants! Animals aren’t the only ones that get sorted…plants do too. Your budding botanist will enjoy a plant scavenger hunt and learn how important plants are to animals, including us. Enroll today for Thursday, April 4 from 1-2:30 p.m. or Friday, April 5 from 1-2:30 p.m. or 3-4:30 p.m. Cost per student: $10 for ZOOfriends members, $12 for non-members. For additional information or to register, click here.
SATURDAY, APRIL 6: NATURE EXPLORERS PRESCHOOL OPEN HOUSE
Nature Explorers Preschool will begin open enrollment for the 2019-2020 school year on Friday, April 19, 2019 at 8 a.m. To learn more about this unique program for children ages 3-5 that focuses on developing the “whole child”, attend our open house on Saturday, April 6, from noon to 3 p.m., at the education center. More information about Nature Explorers Preschool is online at okczoo.org/preschool.
THURSDAY, APRIL 11 AND THURSDAY, APRIL 18: Cub Club Toddler Program
Flock to the OKC Zoo for April’s Cub Club program, Fantastic Flamingos. These monthly programs will connect you and your little one to the Zoo’s animals through lessons, crafts, discovery stations and/or guided tours on grounds. Ages 2-5 welcome. Toddler Cub Clubs are the second and third Thursdays of each month from 10 a.m. to 11 a.m. Cost per child/adult pair is $12 (member) and $15 (non-member). For more information, click here or call Education at (405) 425-0218.
FRIDAY, APRIL 19: NATURE EXPLORER PRESCHOOL OPEN ENROLLMENT BEGINS
Your early leaner will go wild for the Oklahoma City Zoo’s Nature Explorers Preschool. This program focuses on developing the “whole child” (i.e., cognitive, physical, social, emotional, and creative development). Curriculum increases direct contact time with the outdoors through discoveries about the Zoo’s plants and animals. Open enrollment for the 2018-2019 year begins Friday, April 19, 2019. Classes run September 3, 2019, to May 24, 2020. Child must be 3-5 years on or before September 1, 2019. Three enrollment options include: Option 1 - Monday and Wednesday from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m.; Option 2 - Tuesday and Thursday from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m.; or Option 3 - add Friday to either Option 1 or 2. Fees include a $50 non-refundable enrollment fee to reserve a child's spot and $195/month for two-day preschool or $245/month for three-day preschool.
The OKC Zoo offers monthly opportunities for Boy Scouts and Girl Scouts to learn about the natural world while achieving badges and meeting program requirements, electives. To learn more about these programs, click here.
ONGOING: EYE SPY SAFARI PRESENTED BY DEAN MCGEE EYE INSTITUTE
Discover a fun, new way to view the Oklahoma City Zoo with the Eye Spy Safari presented by the Dean McGee Eye Institute. This interactive safari is ideal for kids 11-and-under who will learn about the OKC Zoo’s animal family and the challenges threatening their wild counterparts as they explore the Zoo. Eye Spy goers will be inspired to learn how the Zoo is leading the way in local and global conservation efforts and what they can do to help. Find all seven Eye Spy stations located throughout the Zoo and scratch off your card to reveal the secret word as you go! Completed cards can be returned to the Zoo’s Safari Gift Shop for a prize. Eye Spy Safari cards are available at the Zoo’s Guest Services and ZOOfriends’ offices. Participation is free with Zoo admission.
ONGOING: OKC ZOO’s “ASK A Keeper”
The Oklahoma City Zoo is offering daily opportunities for guests to engage with its animal keepers called “Ask A Keeper”. These free, informal chats, formerly known as Keeper Connections, provide a unique opportunity for guests to ask questions about the Zoo’s wildlife and their counterparts in nature from the experts themselves–our keepers. OKC Zoo keepers are everyday conservationists, dedicated to protecting and preserving our planet and the amazing animals we share it with. “Ask A Keeper” signage will be posted on grounds and the schedule includes the following animal areas:
10 a.m.: Wallaby (Children’s Zoo)
10:30 a.m.: Galapagos tortoise (Island Life)
11:30 a.m.: Big Rivers Aquarium (Oklahoma Trails)
1:30 p.m.: Great Escape
2 p.m.: Asian Elephant Presentation (Sanctuary Asia, elephant pavilion)
2:30 p.m.: Red panda (Sanctuary Asia)
3 p.m.: Southern cassowary (Sanctuary Asia)
ONGOING: CAMEL RIDES AT THE OKC ZOO
Camel rides return and OKC Zoo guests can add to their zooventure with a camel ride on one of three dromedary camels, Fred, Bill or Mongo. The $6 tickets to ride may be purchased on-site at the camel ride area. Rides will take place daily from 9 a.m. until 4:30 p.m. (weather permitting) and children under 6 must be accompanied by a paying adult. Other rules are posted at the habitat. Camel rides are not included in the Zoo-It-All or Ride-It-All packages.
ONGOING: OKC ZOO SPRING/SUMMER ATTRACTION SCHEDULE
These Oklahoma City Zoo attractions are memories in the making! All Zoo rides and attractions are operational weather permitting. The following schedules can be made and all are subject to change without notice.
Centennial Choo Choo: Rides offered daily from 10 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. Cost is $3 per person. Children two and under free.
Children’s Zoo Barn: Guests with young children will go wild for this spacious oasis where little ones can connect with animals and nature. Open daily from 9 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. Free to experience.
Elephant Express Tram: Enjoy the view as you tour the Zoo! Rides offered daily 9:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. with four stops in the park. All day bracelets are $6 per person. Children two and under free.
Endangered Species Carousel: Take a spin! Open daily from 9:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. Cost is $3 per person.
Explorikeet Feedings (Children’s Zoo): Guests have the unique opportunity to feed and interact with our colorful lorikeets. $3 per person to feed. Open daily from 9 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. This experience closes for a “bird break” from 1-1:30 p.m.
Giraffe Feeding Platform: The Zoo’s gentle giants–Ellie, Julu and Demetri–are excited to meet you! Daily feeding opportunities from 1 p.m. to 2 p.m. Cost is $5 per person.
Sea Lion Presentations: Sea lion presentations provide “fin”tastic fun for all ages! Daily presentations at 10:30 a.m. and 1:30 p.m. at the Sea Lion Presentation Stadium. Cost is $4 per person. Children two and under are free.
Stingray Bay: Add a splash of fun to your day with a stop at Stingray Bay! Cost is $3 per person with paid Zoo admission. Children two and under are free. Open daily from 9 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.
ONGOING: OKC ZOO’S WILD ENCOUNTERS NOW INCLUDE DISCOUNT ADMISSION OPTION
The Oklahoma City Zoo provides you with an exclusive peek at what happens behind the Zoo scene with Wild Encounters! Wild Encounters are unique experiences that let you see some of your favorite Zoo animals in up-close ways like never before. Follow our expert animal keepers backstage to learn more about the animal’s unique personalities, stories. Wild Encounters are available daily and each experience comes with a souvenir lanyard! Wild Encounters are also a great gift idea for any occasion. Participants must be 6 years of age or older. Prices range from $41–$71 per person depending on the encounter, Zoo admission bundle package options available. ZOOfriends’ members receive $11 discount per encounter. Contact Guest Services at (405) 425-0262 for reservations.
Save these MAY dates:
May: Mathis Brothers ZOOfriends membership discount promotion month
5/04: Safe Kids Day at the OKC Zoo (9AM-2PM)
5/10-12: OKC Zoo’s Spring Pollinator Plant Sale (9AM-5PM each day, entry plaza)
5/11: ZOOfriends’ Ostrich Egg Breakfast (8AM-11AM)
5/13-5/17: National Public Gardens Week at the OKC Zoo
5/18: Botanic Gardens Conservation International Plant Conservation Day at the OKC Zoo (9AM-2PM)
5/23: OKC Zoo hosts World Turtle Day
5/31-6/2: OKC Zoo’s Cactus and Succulent Sale (9AM-5PM each day, entry plaza)
April brings OKC Zoo adventures for all! The Oklahoma City Zoo and Botanical Garden 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. Located at the crossroads of I-44 and I-35, the Zoo is open from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. daily. Regular admission is $11 for adults and $8 for children ages 3-11 and seniors ages 65 and over. Children two and under are admitted free. Connect with the Zoo on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram and by visiting Our Stories. Zoo fans can support the OKC Zoo by becoming Oklahoma Zoological Society members at ZOOfriends.org or in-person at the Zoo! To learn more about these and other happenings, call (405) 424-3344 or visit okczoo.org.