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Media Contact

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


OKC Zoo News Releases

OCTOBER HAPPENINGS AT THE OKC ZOO

OCTOBER: OKC ZOO HIRING FOR FALL AND WINTER POSITIONS

The Oklahoma City Zoo is now hiring for fall and winter part-time positions, including tram drivers, cashiers, brand ambassadors and more. Evening hours are available. Starting hourly pay ranges from $10.25 to $10.75. Apply online today at www.okczoo.org/careers.

 

NOW THROUGH FRIDAY, OCTOBER 8: ANNUAL PUMPKIN DRIVE

Go big or gourd home! Guests who bring a pumpkin larger than their heads to the Zoo during regular hours will receive free same-day admission through Friday, October 8. Limit one free admission per person. Pumpkins will be available for purchase in front of the Zoo. Donated pumpkins will be used to decorate Haunt the Zoo.

 

SATURDAY, OCTOBER 9 THROUGH SUNDAY, OCTOBER 31: OKC ZOO HOSTS HAUNT THE ZOO FOR HALLOWEEN, DAYTIME TRICK-OR-TREATING EVENT

Fall is in the air, which means it’s time for the 38th annual Haunt the Zoo for Halloween at the Oklahoma City Zoo. Presented by News 9, Haunt the Zoo brings families together for outdoor, Halloween fun in a safe environment. Collect gourds of candy from volunteers on the Haunt the Zoo trail with various photo booth opportunities as well. Volunteers will distribute candy and snacks to trick-or-treaters through 8-foot “treat tubes” into official Haunt the Zoo bags from a safe distance. Show off your style and wear your fab-BOO-lous costumes to Haunt the Zoo. Adults are encouraged to dress up, too, but nothing scary. Expanded to four weekends to allow for adequate social distancing among guests, Haunt the Zoo is happening Saturdays and Sundays, October 9 through 31. Trick-or-treating is available each day from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. through timed ticketing. 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. Combo ticket options offering Zoo admission, Haunt the Zoo treat bags and single-day entry to DINO SAFARI will be available online starting Friday, September 3, at $25/adult (12-64) and $22/child (3-11) and $22/senior (65+). Trick-or-treat bags for children 2 and under are $7/bag or $6/bag (ZOOfriends members). To purchase tickets and view all ticket options, visit okczoo.org. While experiencing Haunt the Zoo, attendees can enjoy a Hay Maze at no additional cost. Guests can also partake in a Pumpkin Painting Craft ($5 for members/$6 for non-members) or experience other Zoo attractions including giraffe, rhino and lorikeet feedings, a ride on the tram or carousel, sea lion presentations, DINO SAFARI and more. Tickets for these attractions will be limited and can be purchased in advance or on-site. Haunt the Zoo sponsors to date include News 9, Bob Moore Subaru, Frito Lay, OKC Friday, Paycom Center, Pepsi, Sam’s Club and Tyler Media. Click here to learn more about Haunt the Zoo.

  • CALL FOR HAUNT THE ZOO VOLUNTEERS: This fang-tastic volunteer opportunity is ideal for families and individuals. Be a member of the Haunt the Zoo crew and distribute candy during this special event. With unique trick-or-treating methods in place, it's sure to be a safe and memorable experience for our guests, staff and volunteers. Halloween costumes are encouraged but nothing too scary! Volunteers must 14+. Ideal for individuals and families plus, civic, school and corporate groups. To sign up, click here. Volunteers will receive one general admission ticket to the Zoo for giving their time.

 

SATURDAY, OCTOBER 9: “DINO” DON BRINGS DINOSAUR FUN, EDUCATION PROGRAMS TO HAUNT THE ZOO

World-renowned dinosaur expert, “Dino” Don Lessem, the CEO of DinoDon, Inc, the premiere maker of robot animals, is visiting the Oklahoma City Zoo and Botanical Garden and helping kick off the Zoo’s 38th annual Haunt the Zoo for Halloween celebration on Saturday, October 9, 2021. Mega fans will go wild at the opportunity to meet “Dino Don” and as he “digs up” the dirt on all things dinosaur on Saturday, October 9. “Dino” Don Lessem, will share his expertise and passion about dinosaurs with Haunt the Zoo guests during two educational presentations at 11 a.m. and 3 p.m. Both DINO-mite sessions are free with Haunt the Zoo admission and will take place at the Zoo’s Devon Picnic Area underneath the Roughneck Pavilion. Seating will be available on a first-come, first-serve basis. Dino Don's dinosaurs are scientifically accurate and full-sized robots. Zoo guests can currently experience some of these creations in-person as they explore DINO SAFARI. Located in the Zoo’s lush, 6-acre pollinator garden, dinosaur enthusiasts can see several creatures come to life through 15 one-of-a-kind animatronic displays and 8 skeleton replicas. DINO SAFARI DATES EXTENDED! Because of the popularity of DINO SAFARI, the Zoo is excited to announce this experience will remain open through Sunday, January 9, 2022, from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. daily.

 

FRIDAY, OCTOBER 15: TICKETS ON SALE FOR ALL NEW OKC ZOO SAFARI LIGHTS

This winter, go wild and fill your holiday season with the magic of light! OKC ZOO SAFARI LIGHTS, the first holiday light event at the Oklahoma City Zoo since 1992, features a larger-than-life light display showcasing over 59 wildlife themed light sculptures viewable on a driving tour through the Zoo. Feel the holiday cheer starting Saturday, November 6, with animated light displays, festive treats, kids activities and weekend visits with Santa. In addition to the drive-thru experience, OKC ZOO SAFARI LIGHTS includes a separate walking experience with interactive light exhibits, musical light performances and lots of other winter magic as guests journey through the Zoo’s entry plaza, Children’s Zoo and DINO SAFARI. Online reservations are required for OKC ZOO SAFARI LIGHTS. No drive-up purchases will be allowed. Tickets are limited to ensure optimal guest experience. Admission for the drive-thru experience is $50/vehicle for ZOOfriends members or $60/vehicle (non-members) this fee also includes 4 walk-thru admission tickets. Admission for the walk-thru only is $10/guest for ZOOfriends members or $12/guest (non-members). This holiday event is open starting Saturday, November 6 and Sunday, November 7 from 6:30 to 11 p.m. each night. Beginning Monday, November 8 and continuing through Sunday, January 9, OKC ZOO SAFARI LIGHTS is open from 5:30 to 11 p.m. nightly. Prepare for the holiday season and purchase your tickets today at www.okczoo.org/tickets.

 

FRIDAY, OCTOBER 15: OKC ZOO’S ANNUAL CHOMP AND STOMP ENRICHMENT EVENT

Roll out for this festive, family-friendly activity and watch as some of the Oklahoma City Zoo’s animals chomp and stomp on pumpkin treats! This year’s Chomp and Stomp theme, “Autumn Harvest – Eat, Drink and Be Scary,” will be inspiration for the Zoo’s caretakers, as they put their creative talents to the test – carving, slicing and dicing pumpkins into edible creations for the animals to enjoy. These unique food items are provided to the animals as part of the Zoo’s ongoing animal enrichment program, which is designed to stimulate and encourage the animals’ natural behaviors, such as foraging. This activity is from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. and is free to attend with Zoo admission. The Chomp and Stomp schedule will be shared on the Zoo’s social platforms and website.

 

TUESDAY, OCTOBER 19: ZOOFRIENDS HOSTS CHEERS FOR CHEETAHS EVENT IN SUPPORT OF CHEETAH CONSERVATION FUND AT THE OKC ZOO

Join the Oklahoma Zoological Society to celebrate the Oklahoma City Zoo’s partnership with Cheetah Conversation Fund (CCF) and enjoy a sneak-peek of the OKC Zoo’s newest wildlife habitat, Predator Pass. This expanded space includes an enlarged habitat for cheetah, which are listed as vulnerable by the International Union for Conservation of Nature as well as habitat space for the Zoo’s pack of endangered African painted dogs. Event goers will be treated to cocktails and light hors d’oeuvres as well as an exciting live auction. Dr. Laurie Marker, Founder and Executive Director of CCF, will share stories from the field and how the partnership with OKC Zoo helps save cheetahs and keeps the wild, wild. Cheers for Cheetahs takes place on Tuesday, October 19, from 6 to 8 p.m. at the Zoo’s Joan Kirkpatrick Animal Hospital. Admission is $125.00 per person. Purchase tickets by October 12 at zoofriends.org/cheetah, to reserve your spot for this exclusive opportunity to support cheetah conservation and get a glimpse of Predator Pass.

 

FRIDAY, OCTOBER 22: OKTOBEARFEST HOSTED BY THE OKC CHAPTER OF THE AMERICAN ASSOCIATION OF ZOO KEEPERS

Drink beer, save bears! Join the OKC Chapter of the American Association of Zoo Keepers at Roughtail Brewing on Friday, October 22, from 5 to 11 p.m. for OktoBEARfest. Guests will enjoy raffle prizes and a silent auction. Plus, 15 percent of all beer sales from the event will benefit bear conservation efforts. All proceeds from this event will benefit Wildlife SOS, an organization that partners with local communities in India to protect sloth bears in their native habitat. The 2019 OktoBEARfest event raised over $5,400 for Vital Ground Foundation, an organization that helps to conserve grizzly bears.

 

FRIDAY OCTOBER 29: HAUNT THE ZOO: ALL GROWN UP RETURNS TO THE OKC ZOO

Orbit into a dimension of thrills and fun with Haunt the Zoo: All Grown Up. This 21 and older event returns to the Oklahoma City Zoo on Friday, October 29, 2021, from 7 to 11 p.m. Halloween lovers are invited to this epic occasion featuring unique experiences created around the event’s theme, Time Travel. Enjoy a thrilling night traveling through themed areas of the Zoo to encounter full bars, delicious eats, the Haunted Herpetarium, the Haunted DINO SAFARI, karaoke, a live performance by DJs Brothers Griiin and more! Celebrate spooky season in style and come in costume. The Zoo prohibits real or fake weapons or full coverage masks. Treat yourself with the Haunt the Zoo: All Grown Up VIP ticket option. A limited number of VIP tickets are available for $60/person and $50/person for ZOOfriends members and include early entry to the event, access to an out-of-this-world VIP lounge complete with full bars and food plus, access to the sea lion presentation, carousel and haunted houses. General admission to Haunt the Zoo: All Grown Up is $40/person and $30/person for ZOOfriends members. Drink ticket packages will be available for purchase in advance and during the event. Event attendance is limited to ensure social distancing so purchase your tickets early. Tickets are on sale now at okczoo.org. This event is rain or shine and tickets are non-refundable.

 

ONGOING: 2021 ZOO AMPHITHEATRE CONCERT SEASON

The Zoo Amphitheatre rocks on! For nearly eight decades, the Zoo Amphitheatre has been a favorite destination for outdoor concerts, providing Oklahomans with a unique setting for enjoying live music. Go wild for this season’s lineup of events:

  • Friday, October 15: NF-Clouds Tour

  • Sunday, October 17: KATTFEST 2021 presents Daughtry & Stone Temple Pilots

  • Saturday, October 23: Machine Gun Kelly with special guests jxdn and Girlfriends

  • Sunday, October 24: NEEDTOBREATHE with special guests Switchfoot and The New Respects

  • Wednesday, October 27: Playboi Carti: Narcissist

Managed by 3HORSE Productions, LLC, the Zoo Amphitheatre is adjacent to the Oklahoma City Zoo and remains one of Oklahoma City’s most iconic attractions. To learn more about the Zoo Amphitheatre or for ticket information, visit thezooamphitheatre.com.

 

ONGOING: OKC ZOO’S DINO SAFARI OPEN DAILY THROUGH JANUARY 9, 2022

The Oklahoma City Zoo presents DINO SAFARI, an immersive experience featuring life-sized animatronic dinosaurs that demonstrate movement and sounds like the creatures that once roamed the Earth. See these prehistoric giants come to life through 15 one-of-a-kind animatronic displays and 8 skeleton replicas located in the Zoo’s lush, 6-acre pollinator garden. These amazingly life-like creations were created by Jurassic Park advisor “Dino Don” Lessem’s company Dino Don Inc., the premiere maker of robot animals in the world. 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. Enjoy a day of dinosaurs and discover tasty dino-bites at the Dino Café located next to the pollinator garden then find the ultimate dinosaur souvenirs at the dino-store.

Looking for 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 along with lorikeet feedings, carousel rides and a souvenir Zoo Key. 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 now at okczoo.org/tickets. DINO SAFARI is open daily from 9 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. now through Saturday, January 9, 2022 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.

  • CALL FOR OKC ZOO DINO SQUAD VOLUNTEERS: This new volunteer opportunity is ideal for families and individuals. Need to brush up on your dinosaur facts? We’ve got you covered and will provide the tools and training you need. Children 8 and up are eligible to volunteer; under 17 must volunteer with a guardian. Learn more or apply at okczoo.org.

 

ONGOING: OKC ZOO’S DAILY CARETAKER CHATS

Have the opportunity to learn more about the Oklahoma City Zoo’s animal family from expert caretakers at select habitats and hear about the amazing wildlife they care 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.

  • Asian elephants (Sanctuary Asia’s Boardwalk), Monday through Thursday, 11:30 a.m.

  • Great apes (Great EscApe), 1:30 p.m.

  • Cassowaries (Sanctuary Asia, near Lotus Pavilion), 3 p.m.

 

ONGOING: OKLAHOMA CITY CULTURE BOXES AVAILABLE AT THE OKC ZOO

Oklahoma City’s favorite attractions have partnered to make gift-giving a breeze with the Oklahoma City Culture Box! Find these one-of-a-kind gift boxes at partnering cultural attractions. This collaborative project created by the Science Museum Oklahoma, Oklahoma City Museum of Art, Oklahoma History Center, Oklahoma Contemporary, National Cowboy and Western Heritage Museum, Oklahoma City National Memorial Museum and Oklahoma City Zoo and Botanical Garden, celebrates Oklahoma City’s unique cultural community and enriching experiences available that highlight a wide-range of interests including art, history, science, western culture and wildlife! Each OKC Culture Box is a treasure trove of valuable tickets and unique souvenirs. Available for $50 each the OKC Culture Box includes contents that have a retail value of more than $200. Boxes are limited. All proceeds from the sale of OKC Culture Boxes will remain at the attraction where it was sold. Purchase OKC Culture Boxes from the OKC Zoo, available in the Guest Services office during regular park hours. The Zoo strongly encourages all unvaccinated guests to wear a face mask when in indoor habitats and Zoo buildings.

 

ONGOING: OKC ZOO’S STATEWIDE LIBRARY PROGRAM, READ FOR ADVENTURE, OFFERS FAMILY-FUN AND FREE ZOO TICKETS

The Oklahoma City Zoo and Botanical Garden’s statewide library program, Read for Adventure, is available offering Oklahoma families reading fun and free tickets to the OKC Zoo. Sponsored by OG&E, this year’s program features a new, original children’s book, Juniper’s Butterfly Garden, helps encourage kids to read with an inspiring story of a child’s journey as she learns about monarch butterflies. These valuable pollinators migrate annually through Oklahoma on their journey from central Mexico to southern Canada and both the OKC Zoo and OG&E are dedicated to conserving vital habitats for monarchs. 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, 2022. For a list of participating libraries, visit www.okczoo.org/readforadventure.

 

ONGOING: SHOP THE OKC ZOO’S ONLINE STORE, DISCOVER WILD MERCH AND MORE

Shop until you drop on the Oklahoma City Zoo’s online store with exclusive wildlife plush, DINO SAFARI swag, toys, apparel and other souvenirs when you shop the Zoo’s new digital store. Experience the ease of shopping anywhere, any time to find wildly perfect gifts and know that your purchases are helping support the OKC Zoo, its animals and conservation initiatives.

 

ONGOING: OKC ZOO DAILY ATTRACTIONS AND EXPERIENCES

The Oklahoma City Zoo and Botanical Garden offers a variety of daily attractions and experiences including camel rides, Endangered Species Carousel, giraffe feedings, sea lion presentations and more. Daily capacity will be limited for each attraction to ensure social distancing among guests. Guests can pre-purchase tickets for all Zoo rides and attractions when they make their online reservation at http://www.okczoo.org/tickets or purchase them in the park. All rides and attractions are operational weather permitting and schedules are subject to change without notice.

 

ONGOING: OKC ZOO KEYS

Turn up the fun with OKC Zoo Keys! Sponsored by Oklahoma’s Own News9, OKC Zoo Keys is an all-new reimaging of a popular Zoo activity that began in the 1960s. Guests of all ages can unlock recorded messages from more than 20 displays throughout the Zoo. This retro attraction features information about the Zoo’s signature species and conservation efforts and spoken by some of News9’s most popular anchors and meteorologists. There are five key options available in various colors. Each key is made from the same molds used to make keys for the OKC Zoo in the 1960s. In fact, vintage keys will also work to unlock current conservation messages. Cost is $4 per key. Zoo Keys are available for purchase daily at the Guest Services office, stroller window (Entry Plaza) and Explorikeet habitat in the Children’s Zoo. The Zoo strongly encourages all unvaccinated guests to wear a face mask when in indoor habitats and Zoo buildings.

 

ONGOING: OKC ZOO’S WILD ENCOUNTERS

The Oklahoma City Zoo’s Wild Encounters provides guests with a wild opportunity to see some of your favorite animals up-close. Spend time with 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. The Zoo strongly encourages all unvaccinated guests to wear a face mask during encounters and when in indoor habitats and buildings. 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.

 

ONGOING: OKC ZOO’S CONSERVATION WRISTBANDS

Go wild, and collect them all for conservation! The Oklahoma City Zoo is introducing all new Conservation Wristbands, available for a limited time. The OKC Zoo’s original conservation wristbands feature several different animal designs for all ages. These one-of-a-kind wristbands are available to purchase at the Zoo’s stroller window in the Entry Plaza for $2 each, with all proceeds benefitting the Zoo’s local and global conservation efforts.

       

Celebrate this October with a BOOst of excitement and visit the OKC Zoo! The Oklahoma City Zoo and Botanical Garden is open daily from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. with the last entry no later than 4 p.m. Purchase advance tickets at http://www.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 $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 Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Linktree 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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