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Media Contact

Candice Rennels | (405) 425-0298 | crennels@okczoo.org
 


OKC Zoo News Releases

APRIL HAPPENINGS AT THE OKC ZOO

THURSDAY, APRIL 1: PRE-SALE TICKETS FOR OKC ZOO’S NEW DINO SAFARI

Oklahoma City Zoo and Botanical Garden presents DINO SAFARI, a new immersive experience featuring life-sized animatronic dinosaurs that demonstrate movement and sounds like the prehistoric creatures! This interactive, COVID-safer experience connects guests to many of their favorite dinosaurs through 15 one-of-a-kind animatronic displays and 8 skeleton replicas. Learn how dinosaurs evolved over time and where they roamed as well as what the OKC Zoo is doing to fight extinction of Oklahoma’s beloved lizard, the horny toad, also known as the Texas horned lizard. DINO SAFARI will be open to the public on Saturday, May 1 through Sunday, October 31, 2021, but you can get your tickets early starting Thursday, April 1. General admission to DINO SAFARI is $5/person for ZOOfriends members and $6 /person for nonmembers plus, Zoo admission. Children 2 and under are free and do not require tickets for entry into DINO SAFARI.

For Zoo guests wanting the ultimate adventure, purchase a DINO SAFARI Single-Day Adventure Ticket with unlimited walks through DINO SAFARI, unlimited lorikeet feedings, unlimited carousel and Elephant Express tram rides plus, general admission to the Zoo for $31/adult and $28/child and senior. ZOOfriends members can take advantage of a dino-mite deal and purchase the Zoo’s DINO SAFARI Adventure Season Pass to enjoy unlimited admission to DINO SAFARI, May 1 through October 31, along with lorikeet feedings, carousel rides, a souvenir Zoo Key and access to a DINO SAFARI Preview event on Friday, April 30. DINO SAFARI Adventure Season Passes range from $35 to $200. Must be a current member to purchase season passes. Reserve your tickets or DINO SAFARI Adventure Season Pass starting April 1, at okczoo.org.

 

WEEKENDS IN APRIL: OKC ZOO’S NEW PAINT THE WILD SERIES

Color your world wild with the Oklahoma City Zoo’s new Paint the Wild series. This brand-new series offers Zoo fans, 12 and older, a creative way to connect with the Zoo’s animal family and caretakers. Join us every weekend in April for these engaging events as you paint different animals in picturesque areas of the Zoo and enjoy a caretaker chat. With painting instruction led by Pinot's Palette of Norman, guests select one date per weekend to come out and create a masterpiece from the pros. The same painting will be taught on both Saturday and Sunday with a new animal featured each weekend. Add a VIP experience to your painting excursion for early entry to the event and see the featured animal up-close. The VIP experiences are limited to 20 guests per event date. Paint the Wild dates and featured animal paintings:

  • Saturday, April 3 and Sunday, April 4: Asian Elephant Painting (Lotus Pavilion at Sanctuary Asia)

  • Saturday, April 10 and Sunday, April 11: Bison Painting (Joan Kirkpatrick Animal Hospital)

  • Saturday, April 17 and Sunday, April 18: Sea Lion Painting (Sea Lion Stadium)

  • Saturday, April 23 and Sunday, April 24: Flamingo Painting (Roughneck Pavilion by Zoo Lake)

Paint the Wild events run 2–5 p.m. VIP experiences are prior to the painting instruction from 1:30–2:30 p.m. Tickets per person for general admission, $50 (members) / $72 (nonmembers) or VIP admission, $70 (members) / $92 (nonmembers) and includes Zoo admission for nonmembers. Tickets are non-refundable and non-transferrable. Due to limited capacity, ticket reservations may not change after purchase and must be purchased in advance. Capacity varies by date and location. Events will be held rain or shine. To purchase tickets or learn more, visit okczoo.org.

 

NOW THROUGH FRIDAY, APRIL 30: OKC ZOO AND PEPSI VENDING MACHINE ART CONTEST

The Oklahoma City Zoo and Pepsi invite Oklahoma’s students, K-12, to participate in the Pepsi Vending Machine Art Contest for an opportunity to win prizes and have their original art design displayed on a Pepsi vending machine at the Zoo. Finding inspiration from the contest theme, Go Wild for Recycling, students are asked to use their artistic talents to motivate others to recycle and contribute to a healthy environment. Contest entries become property of the OKC Zoo and must be postmarked by Friday, April 30, 2021. Each of the contest’s grand prize winners (K-5 and 6-12) will have their design replicated on the cover of a Pepsi machine at the Zoo to be admired by guests for a year! Winners from all award categories will receive a certificate and have their designs on display at the OKC Zoo. Contest details and entry forms are available on the Zoo’s website, okczoo.org/pepsicontest.

 

MONDAY, APRIL 12: EARLY BIRD TICKETS AVAILABLE FOR OKC ZOO’S SIP AND STROLL TO ZOOFRIENDS MEMBERS

Join the Oklahoma City Zoo for its summer event series, Sip and Stroll, happening Thursday evenings, May 6 through June 24, 2021, from 6 to 10 p.m. This exclusive evening experience invites guests 21-and-older, limited to 1,200 guests per night, on an outdoor path to adventure through the Zoo to discover the world’s wildlife and feature cocktails as you stroll. Plan your own travel itinerary through the Zoo and six watering holes, with two brand-new locations. With the majority of the 100-acre park open for exploration, you can expect to see African painted dogs, Sumatran tigers, Asian elephants, Indian rhinos, flamingos, Galapagos tortoises and more. The Zoo will host a special PRIDE Sip and Stroll on Thursday, June 24.

Treat yourself to VIP admission, $40/person, to enjoy early entry to the event with check-in times from 5:45-6:15 p.m., a special sea lion presentation at 7 p.m. plus, access to DINO SAFARI, Stingray Bay and lorikeets. DINO SAFARI, is the Zoo’s new immersive experience taking guests back in time to when dinosaurs roamed the Earth. Encounter 15 life-sized animatronic dinosaurs while learning what the OKC Zoo is doing to fight extinction of Texas horned lizards. VIP admission is limited to 300 guests per night. General Admission is $25/person with event entry between 6:15-7:45 p.m. and access to DINO SAFARI. Sip and Stroll Drink Passports will be available for purchase and pass holder will receive one 5-oz featured drink sample at all six specialty drink locations. Additional beverages and food will be available for purchase during Sip and Stroll.

Early bird tickets are available for ZOOfriends members on Monday, April 12 through Sunday, April 18. Tickets go on sale to the public starting Monday, April 19. To purchase tickets or learn more about Sip and Stroll, visit okczoo.org. Sip and Stroll entry times are spaced every 15 minutes to allow for maximum social distancing. After scheduled check-in, guests are welcome to stay through the duration of the event, 10 p.m. Tickets are non-refundable and non-transferable. This event will occur rain or shine.

 

SATURDAY, APRIL 24: OKC ZOO AND BOB MOORE SUBARU CELEBRATE INTERNATIONAL FLAMINGO DAY

Think pink and flock to the Oklahoma City Zoo for International Flamingo Day on Saturday, April 24, from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. Hosted locally by Bob Moore Subaru, International Flamingo Day is a global celebration that raises awareness for our planet’s iconic pink birds and the importance of protecting their native habitat. The Zoo’s animal family includes two of the six species of flamingos, American and Chilean, which guests have an opportunity to connect with daily during Flamingo Mingle. International Flamingo Day activities will take place in the Children’s Zoo near the flamingo habitat and include an information station, interactive activities for kids with prizes, photo opportunities and special Facebook live events with the Zoo’s bird caretakers at 10 a.m. and 1 p.m. Zoo guests are encouraged wear pink on International Flamingo Day and show their support for these beloved birds. All event activities are free with Zoo admission. For more information, visit okczoo.org.

 

TUESDAY, APRIL 27: OKC ZOO AND BOB MOORE SUBARU PRESENT MARINE MAMMAL RESCUE DAY

The Oklahoma City Zoo and Bob Moore Subaru invite you to lend a helping flipper this Marnie Mammal Rescue Day. In 2017, the Senate of the State of California declared April 27th to be Marine Mammal Rescue Day to bring attention to the increased number of marine mammals stranded on California shores, and the threats they face in the wild. Plastic pollution and climate change have a direct impact on fish populations, the main food source for California sea lions and seals. During this special day, learn how you can help all sea life and make a change for good. The OKC Zoo is home to seven California sea lions, including rescue animals Xander, Pearl and Isla, and two harbor seals. Event activities will be set up near the sea lion and Raptor Ridge habitats from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. Guests will enjoy information stations, animal enrichment, interactive activities for kids with prizes, photo opportunities and special Facebook live events with the Zoo’s marine mammal caretakers at 9:30 a.m. and 12:30 p.m. Dive into more fun, attend the Zoo’s educational sea lion presentation at 1 p.m. Additional fees apply. All other event activities are free with Zoo admission. For more information, visit okczoo.org.

 

APRIL:  OKC ZOO’S EDUCATION PROGRAMS

For additional information about these and other programs, contact the Zoo’s Education department at (405) 425-0218 or visit www.okczoo.org.

  • OKC ZOO SUMMER CAMP ENROLLMENT OPEN: 10 FULL WEEKS OF CAMP, MAY 31-AUGUST 6, 2021

Summer fun abounds at the Oklahoma City Zoo during our summer day camps. Summer break is a great time to encourage youngsters to explore their passions and the Zoo is the best place in Oklahoma City to both inspire a connection to nature and use that connection to build a scientific understanding of the world. The OKC Zoo’s unique, week-long summer camps offer individually themed programs that include a variety of educational and hands-on S.T.E.A.M. activities that are sure to engage your child’s curiosity and love for wildlife and wild places. Campers will also enjoy in-park exploration, engaging activities, up-close encounters with animal ambassadors and unforgettable experiences. With a myriad of summer camp options to choose from, your kiddo is sure to find a program they are wild about. OKC Zoo summer camps are available for kids 4–15 and run for ten weeks, Monday, May 31, through Friday, August 6, 2021. The cost is $275 per camper (ZOOfriends members) and $300 per camper (nonmembers) per week. Camps run from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. Campers must bring their own lunch and snacks. All Zoo camps will operate with enhanced safety and sanitation measures in place per CDC, city and state guidelines. Camp capacity is limited and advance registration is required. To learn more or to register, visit https://www.okczoo.org/summer-camps or call (405) 425-0218.

  • FRIDAY, APRIL 9: PARENTS’ NIGHT OUT

Oklahoma City Zoo’s Parents Night Out is a win-win for your kiddos and you! Hosted by the OKC Zoo’s education team, kiddos will enjoy program activities including a Zoo-themed lesson, craft activity, pizza dinner, a nighttime tour on grounds and a movie. Program capacity is limited to 15 kids to ensure safe social distancing. Ages: 4–12 years old. Program starts at 6 p.m. with pick up as late as 10 p.m. Prices are $30/child, $25/additional child (members) and $40/child, $35/additional child (nonmembers). Enroll your kiddo(s) today at https://www.okczoo.org/after-hours.

  • SATURDAY, APRIL 17: NATURE EXPLORERS PRESCHOOL OPEN HOUSE

The Oklahoma City Zoo’s education team invites you to an open house on Saturday, April 17, from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. to learn more about the Zoo’s Nature Explorers Preschool program. Using the Zoo’s natural setting, Nature Explorers Preschool focuses on developing the whole child -- i.e., cognitive, physical, social, emotional and creative development. The curriculum increases direct contact time with the outdoors through discoveries about the Zoo plants and animals. Children ages 3, 4 and 5 will have daily in-park explorations, interactions with animal ambassadors in the classroom and participate in special events! We have three enrollment options: two, three, or five day per week from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. More information can be found here: https://www.okczoo.org/preschool.

 

OKC ZOO SPRING/SUMMER ATTRACTION SCHEDULE

Up-close animal connections and feedings, memorable rides and more are in store for you with these uniquely fun Zoo attractions. The following schedule is subject to change without notice. Capacity is limited for all rides and attractions to maintain adequate social distancing among guests. Guests can pre-purchase tickets for these experiences when they make their online reservation at www.okczoo.org/tickets or purchase them in the park. All rides and attractions are operational weather permitting.

  • Camel Rides: This seasonal attraction returns to the Zoo. Enjoy a ride on a dromedary camel during your visit. Cost is $6 per person and rides will take place from 9 a.m. until 3:30 p.m. daily. Children under 6 must be accompanied by a paying adult. Other rules are posted at the habitat. Camel rides are not included in Ride-It-All packages.

  • Centennial Choo Choo:  Rides offered daily from 9:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. Cost is $3 per person. Children two and under free.

  • Elephant Express Tram: Sit back and relax as you tour the Zoo! Rides travel from the Entry Plaza to Sanctuary Asia and are offered daily from 9:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. All day bracelets are $6 per person. Children two and under free.

  • Endangered Species Carousel: 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 feed the lorikeets. Feeding opportunities available daily from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. Cost is $4 per person. Participants age 3+ must wear a mask during this up-close animal encounter for the protection of guests and staff.

  • Flamingo Mingle: Flamingo Mingle feedings occur daily in the Children’s Zoo habitat from 9:30-10:30 a.m. and 3:30-4:30 p.m. Cost is $7 per person. Children age 2 and under are not permitted. Participants age 3+ must wear a mask during this up-close animal encounter for the protection of guests and staff.

  • Giraffe Feeding Platform: Meet and feed the Zoo’s gentle giants! Weekend (Friday, Saturday and Sunday) feeding opportunities from 2 to 3 p.m. Cost is $5 per person. Children age 2 and under are not permitted. Participants age 3+ must wear a mask during this up-close animal encounter for the protection of guests and staff.

  • Rhino Feedings: Our Indian rhinos are ready to meet you! Weekend (Friday, Saturday and Sunday) feeding opportunities from 11:30 a.m. to noon. Cost is $10 per person. Children age 2 and under are not permitted. Participants age 3+ must wear a mask during this up-close animal encounter for the protection of guests and staff. Additional rules are posted at the habitat.

  • Sea Lion Presentations: Don’t miss this educational and engaging presentation featuring the Zoo’s California sea lions and harbor seals! Daily presentation at 1 p.m. in the Zoo’s Sea Lion Presentation Stadium. Cost is $5 per person. Children two and under are free.

  • 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 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. with feeding opportunities available from 10:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m., while supplies last, for an additional $3 per person. Participants age 3+ must wear a mask during this up-close animal encounter for the protection of guests and staff. 

 

ONGOING: GORILLAS ON THE LINE CELLPHONE CHALLENGE

Support the Oklahoma City Zoo and Botanical Garden 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 Friday, September 24, 2021. Small electronics frequently contain a substance called coltan, and 80 percent of the world's coltan supply is in the Democratic Republic of the Congo, also home to many gorillas. Mining for coltan threatens the habitats of gorillas, chimpanzees, okapi and other endangered species. The coltan from these donated devices is re-used and reduces the need to mine for the compound in gorilla habitats. Go above and beyond for gorillas by donating cellphones or small electronics now through Friday, September 24, and receive a free general Zoo admission ticket! Schools, organizations, businesses and individuals are encouraged to collect as many cell phones and electronics as they can to help gorillas and wild habitat. Donated items can be dropped off for recycling in the Zoo’s Guest Services office in the entry plaza. Masks are required for all guests 11 and older upon entry into Guest Services.

 

ONGOING: ART GONE WILD, ART MADE BY THE OKC ZOO’S ANIMALS FOR ANIMALS

Art Gone Wild, the Oklahoma City Zoo’s collection of original animal paintings, are available for purchase at the Zoo. As part of the Zoo’s enrichment program, many animals including elephants, sea lions, tigers and more paint during enrichment sessions with assistance from their caregivers. Peruse the Zoo’s newest selection of animal paintings on display in the Zoo’s Guest Services office located in the entry plaza during regular hours. Painting prices range from $35 to $300, depending on size. All net proceeds are used to provide grants to local schools to plant gardens for monarchs and other pollinators. Masks are required for all guests 11 and older upon entry into Guest Services. To learn more, call (405) 425-0262. 

 

ONGOING: OKC ZOO’S STATEWIDE LIBRARY PROGRAM, READ FOR ADVENTURE, BRINGS OKLAHOMANS TOGETHER THROUGH READING, FREE ZOO TICKETS

Read for Adventure, the Oklahoma City Zoo and Botanical Garden’s statewide library program, inspires Oklahoma families to connect through reading and caring about wildlife and wild places. Sponsored by OG&E, this year’s program features an original children’s book, Juniper’s Butterfly Garden, encourages kids to read about the story of a child’s journey as she learns about monarch butterflies. Monarchs migrate through Oklahoma in spring and fall on their journey between central Mexico and 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 are redeemable through June 30, 2021. For a list of participating libraries, visit www.okczoo.org/readforadventure.

 

ONGOING: OKC ZOO’S WILD ENCOUNTERS

The Oklahoma City Zoo’s Wild Encounters provide you with a memorable experience as you enjoy an exclusive look behind the Zoo scene! See some of your favorite animals up-close like never before. Meet our expert caretakers and learn about the animals they care for and the Zoo’s efforts to conserve their wild counterparts. Wild Encounters are available Thursday through Monday and include a souvenir lanyard. There is a maximum of ten people per encounter and participants must wear masks. Prices range from $40–$50 per person depending on the encounter. Children age 2 and under are not permitted. Participants age 3+ must wear a mask during this up-close animal encounter for the protection of guests and staff. ZOOfriends’ members receive discount per encounter. For additional information about Wild Encounters or to make a reservation, visit okczoo.org

 

Your OKC ZOOventure awaits! The Oklahoma City Zoo and Botanical Garden is open daily from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Advance tickets are required for all guests and ZOOfriends members and can be purchased at www.okczoo.org/tickets. Zoo tickets are limited daily to maintain social distancing among guests. 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 $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 FacebookTwitterInstagram 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 ZOOfriends.org 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.

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