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NEWS

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WINTER HOLIDAY HAPPENINGS AT THE OKLAHOMA CITY ZOO

ZOOFRIENDS HOLIDAY SPECIALS

Take advantage of these specials from ZOOfriends this holiday season. Membership has it perks!

  • A gift for the wise! Save $10 when you purchase or renew a ZOOfriends’ membership during November and December. Offer excludes Junior memberships. Purchase online at zoofriends.org, by phone at (405) 425-0618 or in the ZOOfriends’ membership office located in the Global Plaza.
  • Animal adoptions are a great way to share your love for the Zoo’s animals with everyone on your list. Contributions from these symbolic adoptions support the health, enrichment and nutritional needs of all animals at the Zoo. With each $45 donation, recipients receive their choice of a plush bison or zebra, adoption certificate, a fact sheet about their adopted animal and name recognition on the ZOOfriends’ website for one year.
  • ZOOfriends’ members can shop and save with a 25 percent discount at the Zoo’s Safari Gift Shop during the month of December. This discount only applies to non-sale items.

 

Wild Encounters

Don’t just visit the Zoo. Experience it! The Zoo’s behind-the-scenes program, Wild Encounters, enables you to get up close and personal with black bears, sea lions and elephants. All ages welcome. Maximum group size is 10 people. Children must be accompanied by an adult. You can purchase a Wild Encounter in Guest Relations daily. Tickets are based on per person basis for each encounter. The following schedule applies:

  • Black bears: Meets daily at 9:45 a.m. at the swift fox habitat; $35/member, $40/nonmember
  • Sea Lions: Meets daily at 11:30 a.m. at the sidewalk ramp across from Canopy Restaurant; $35/member, $40 for nonmember
  • Elephants: Meets daily at 2:45 p.m. at the elephant habitat entrance; $45/member, $50/nonmember

 

KEEPER CONNECTIONS

Discover things you never knew about wildlife and wild places with the Zoo’s Keeper Connections. These daily presentations are the perfect opportunity to ask questions and learn more about your favorite Zoo animals from the people dedicated to caring for them, the keepers. Keeper Connections are held daily at posted areas throughout Zoo grounds, weather permitting, and are free with paid Zoo admission. Schedules are available in Guest Services or on the Zoo’s event calendar at www.okczoo.org.

 

WINTER SCHEDULES

The following Zoo attractions have established winter season hours and will be operational weather permitting of 55 degrees or higher.

  • The ZooZeum, Elephant Express, Children’s Zoo Barnyard area, Endangered Species Carousel, Explorikeet Adventure/Nectaurant will be open from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m., daily.
  • Centennial Choo Choo, the General Store and Lion’s Lair will be open from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m., Friday through Sunday.
  • Giraffe feedings are from 1-2 p.m., Friday through Sunday.
  • Elephant presentations are at 2 p.m., Saturday and Sunday.

All other rides and attractions are closed for the season.

 

WINTER FAMILY PROGRAMS

Bring friends and family together with the Zoo’s fun and exciting education programs. Experience up-close animal encounters, make festive crafts and edible treats for our animals and your pets, hear winter stories and more. Majority of these programs are appropriate for ages 4 and up. Adults must accompany children. Pre-registration and pre-payment is required. For more information, call (405) 425-0218 or visit www.okczoo.org. Program schedule includes:

EdZOOcation LIVE! SERIES

  • Thursday, November 17, 2 to 3 p.m. - "Sticky, Slimy, Stinky"
  • Thursday, December 15, 2 to 3 p.m. - "Winter in the Woods"

LIVING WREATH CLASS

  • Saturday, November 19, 1 to 3 p.m. or 5 to 7 p.m.

*Ages 16 and up.

‘TWAS THE NIGHT BEFORE ZOO-MAS

  • Friday, December 2, from 6 to 7 p.m.

SANTA'S WORKSHOP–ZOO STYLE!

  • Saturday, December 17, from 10 to 11:30 a.m.

 

WINTER SCOUT PROGRAMS

We invite your young explorers and nature enthusiasts to learn about the wild world around them. The Zoo’s education team is offering the following Boy and Girl Scout programs this winter. Pre-registration and pre-payment is required. For more information, call (405) 425-0218 or visit www.okczoo.org.

READY, SET…VET! Overnight Program (All Cub and Boy Scouts)

Learn how we keep all our furry and scaly residents happy and healthy. Visit the Joan Kirkpatrick Animal Hospital and chat with one of the Zoo’s veterinarians. Evening snack and light breakfast provided. Please pack lightly.

  • Friday, November 18, 7 p.m. to 9:30 a.m.

PUBLIC SPEAKER (Girl Scout Cadette Program)

Sign up for a fun afternoon of games, dramatic play, sharing and working together to help you find your inner performer and learn how to speak up!

  • Saturday, November 19, 10 a.m. to noon

EATING FOR BEAUTY (Girl Scout Cadette Program)

Come earn your "Eating for Beauty" badge and find out how you can eat your way to a healthy mood, mind, and body, while discovering how the animals do it, too!

  • Saturday, November 19, 2 to 4 p.m.

NIGHT OWL (Girl Scout Cadette Program)

Did you know life goes on after the sun goes down? Let’s turn out the lights, tune in your senses, and step out into the night at the Zoo.

  • Saturday, November 19, 6–8:30 p.m.

 

DECEMBER–FEBRUARY: TWO-FOR-ONE TUESDAYS!

Two-For-One Tuesdays are back! This winter, buy one Zoo admission ticket and get one for free (of equal or lesser value) each Tuesday in December, January and February. The Zoo is open from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m.

 

NOW–NOVEMBER 30:  CELL PHONE CHALLENGE

By participating in the Zoo's Eco Cell-Phone Recycling Program and donating old electronics, you can help reduce the direct effects that cell phones have on wildlife. Small electronics frequently contain the substance coltan. Mining for coltan threatens gorillas and their habitats. All proceeds from the Eco Cell Phone Recycling Program directly benefits the Dian Fossey Gorilla Fund, one of the Zoo’s global conservation partners. Items accepted include smartphones, cell phones, handheld gaming systems, tablets, iPods and iPads as well as any chargers or accessories that come with these devices. Items not accepted include laptops, portable CD players and digital cameras. Donations are accepted in the Zoo's Guest Services office during regular business hours. Collect the most cell phones and win the Ultimate Zoo Prize Package. Here are the details:

  • Schools, organizations, businesses and individuals are invited to participate.
  • The winner of this challenge will win a wild Zoo prize and, of course, bragging rights!  
  • Visit www.okczoo.org/take-action for more information.

 

NOVEMBER 11:  VETERAN'S DAY

In recognition of Veteran's Day, the Zoo will offer free admission to all active duty, active reserves and retirees, and up to five guests. Military ID or proof of service is required.

 

NOVEMBER 15 and DECEMBER 06:  WILD ABOUT ANIMALS PAINTING SERIES

You will want to “Van Gogh” wild at the Zoo during our Wild About Animals Painting Series! With step-by-step instructions from a Pinot's Palette artist, you can create a unique masterpiece. In addition to the workshop, you will get to meet an animal artist from the Zoo’s education department. Pre-registration and pre-payment is required. For more information, call (405) 425-0218 or visit www.okczoo.org.

  • Tuesday, November 15, 6 to 8 p.m. - Gaboon Viper
  • Tuesday, December 6, 6 to 8 p.m. - Macaw
  • Ages 14 and up. Parent supervision required.
  • $36 (member), $40 (non-member).
  • Parents may attend for free or pay to participate.

 

NOVEMBER 19:  AMERICA RECYCLES DAY

Celebrate America Recycles Day and learn more about eco-friendly habits at the Zoo on Saturday, November 19, from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m.

  • All ages are welcome to attend.
  • Event is included in Zoo admission.
  • Enjoy information stations, activities and prizes.
  • Story-times at 11 a.m. and 1 p.m. on Grandma’s Porch (Children’s Zoo).

 

NOVEMBER 23:  FREE DAY AT THE ZOO

The Zoo is thankful for you! Bring your family out to enjoy the Zoo on Wednesday, November 23, and the admission is on us!

 

NOVEMBER 24:  THE ZOO IS CLOSED FOR THANKSGIVING DAY

 

DECEMBER:  OKC ZOO’S SAFARI GIFT SHOP HAS IT ALL!

Forget the mall, the Zoo has it all! The Zoo’s Safari Gift Shop is your ticket to a one-stop, hassle-free shopping experience for all your gift buying needs. Open daily from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. in the Global Plaza, the Safari Gift Shop features an array of merchandise including plush animals, children’s books, educational toys and games and home décor. Discover locally made and designed apparel options, such as tees and sweatshirts, which will be one-of-a-kind finds for everyone on your list. But wait, there’s more! The Safari Gift Shop provides complimentary gift wrapping for purchases made in December, parking is free and Zoo admission is not required to visit the Safari Gift Shop. Zoo gift cards also make wonderful gifts and can be used for any need in the park. Zoofriends’ members receive a 25 percent discount through December 31.

 

Looking for something a little more “outside the box”? Give an animal painting! The Zoo’s animal paintings are original creations made by the Zoo’s resident animal artists with assistance from their keepers. Select from masterpieces by birds, bears, elephants, gorillas, sea lions, snakes, and more! All proceeds from these works of art support Zoo conservation initiatives. To view and purchase paintings, visit the Guest Services office open daily from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m.

 

DECEMBER 01, 03:  TODDLER EDUCATION PROGRAMS

The Zoo’s education team hosts monthly toddler programs that are entertaining, engaging and educational fun for you and your little ones! Toddlers delight in learning about animals through crafts, activities, discovery stations and more. Pre-registration and pre-payment is required. For more information, call (405) 425-0218 or visit www.okczoo.org. December’s programs include:

Leaping Lizards / Two-Year-Old Tots

  • Thursday, December 1, 9:30 to 10:30 a.m.
  • Saturday, December 3, 9:30 to 10:30 a.m.

Sneaky Snakes / Three-Year-Old Tots

  • Thursday, December 1, 11 a.m. to noon
  • Saturday, December 3, 11 a.m. to noon

 

DECEMBER 03:  HIPPO SING-ALONG WITH GAYLA PEEVEY

Hippo hop to the Zoo for a live Skype session with Gayla Peevey as she leads us in singing, "I Want a Hippopotamus for Christmas.” Born in Oklahoma City, Gayla is most renowned for her 1953 recording of this classic Christmas song. In addition to leading the sing-along, she will also share some of her childhood memories of Oklahoma City and talk about the song’s connection to the Zoo.

  • Saturday, December 3, 11 a.m. in the Safari Gift Shop.
  • Free for all ages. Zoo admission not required to participate.
  • Bonus, the Zoo will debut this year’s "I Want a Hippopotamus for Christmas” T-shirts during the event. Shirts will be available for purchase in the Safari Gift Shop during the month of December.

 

DECEMBER 03:  O’ CHRISTMAS SEA PARTY/21+ EDUCATION PROGRAM

Calling all party animals! Eat, drink and be merry at the Zoo's wild Christmas party hosted by our education team. Activities include an ugly sweater competition, holiday games and photo opportunities with a sea lion to make for unforgettable greeting cards. Pre-registration and pre-payment is required. For more information, call (405) 425-0218 or visit www.okczoo.org.

  • Saturday, December 3, from 6 to 8 p.m.
  • Ages 21 and up.
  • $25 (member), $30 (non-member)

 

DECEMBER 13:  SANTA DELIVERS

Ho! Ho! Ho! Santa is on the go! But he'll be stopping by the Zoo to deliver treats to animals in the Children’s Zoo Barnyard area! Tuesday, December 13, from 10:30 to 11:30 a.m., enjoy free hot chocolate and donuts in the Children’s Zoo while supplies last. Shortly after, Santa will be available for pictures in the Canopy Restaurant. Bring your cameras and your smiles!

 

DECEMBER 21-23 and DECEMBER 28-30:  SCHOOL'S DAY OUT CAMP

Parents, whether you are at work or shopping for the holidays, skip the babysitter. Instead, send your children on a zoological adventure this winter break! School's Out Day Camps at the Zoo are a great educational opportunity during the holiday season. Pre-registration and pre-payment is required. For more information, call (405) 425-0218 or visit www.okczoo.org.

  • December 21, 22, 23, and 28, 29, 30
  • Ages 4 to 11.
  • $25 half day, 8:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m.
  • $45 full day, 8:30 a.m. to 5:15 p.m.
  • Drop-off begins at 8:20 a.m.

 

DECEMBER 25:  THE ZOO IS CLOSED FOR CHRISTMAS DAY

 

JANUARY 01:  THE ZOO IS CLOSED FOR NEW YEAR’S DAY

 

All your warm and wild winter adventures await at the Oklahoma City Zoo. Located at the crossroads of I-44 and I-35, the Zoo is a proud member of Oklahoma City’s Adventure District and an Adventure Road partner. Hours of operation are 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. daily. Buildings close at 4:45 p.m. daily. Guests must exit grounds at closing time. Regular admission is $8 for adults, and $5 for children ages 3-11 and seniors ages 65 and over. Children two and under are admitted free. Before your next Zoo visit, download our new app for easy access to purchasing tickets in advance and an interactive park map. Plus, it’s free! Follow us on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.  To learn more about these and other happenings, call (405) 424-3344 or visit www.okczoo.org.

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