OKC Zoo announces plans for Haunt the Zoo, Fair Food Days, other fall events
The Oklahoma Zoo and Botanical Garden has announced the plans for its popular Haunt the Zoo Halloween event as well as for new fall events like Parents Night Out and Safari Study Hall.
Here's a list of what the zoo has planned in September and beyond:
THURSDAYS THROUGH SEPT. 10: SIP & STROLL, OKC ZOO’S 21+ EVENT SERIES
There’s still time to wine and dine on the wild side with the Oklahoma City Zoo’s 21+ evening event series, Sip & Stroll sponsored by Will & Wiley Hard Seltzer, 1800 Tequila, Kraken Rum and Bubly Sparkling Water. Sip & Stroll is planned from 6 to 10 p.m. today and Sept. 10 to discover amazing animals and cool cocktails. Limited to 900 guests per night to ensure social distancing, Sip & Stroll guests 21 and older, are invited to explore an outdoor path through the majority of the park to experience six water holes, each with a full bar, and delight in featured drinks, inspired wildlife and wild places. Best of Oklahoma, Big Rock BBQ and the Lotus Pavilion will be open with delicious menu items available for purchase.
Sip & Stroll admission is $17 per person and tickets must be purchased in advance online at okczoo.org/sipandstroll. Guests can also pre-purchase a Drink Passport at okczoo.org/sipandstroll good for one 5-ounce featured drink sample at all six water holes for an additional $27 per person. Six full bars located throughout the zoo will be selling beverages including domestic beer, wine, mixed drinks, soda and water. Event entry times are spaced every 15 minutes to allow for maximum social distancing. After scheduled checked in, guests are welcome to stay until 10 p.m. Tickets are non-refundable and non-transferable. Sip & Stroll is a rain or shine event.
The Oklahoma City Zoo continues its partnership with the Curbside Chronicle and provide a free zoo general admission ticket in the magazine’s September issue. Pick up your copy of Curbside on sale for $2 to discover what’s happening at the zoo this fall, a park map and, of course, get a free ticket. To redeem aCurbside Chronicle voucher for admission to the OKC Zoo, present it at the zoo’s ticket window upon arrival. Reservations are not required for entry. To learn more, call 425-0262.
SEPT. 1-30: "ART GONE WILD," ART MADE BY THE OKC ZOO’S ANIMALS FOR ANIMALS
Art by animals for animals – that’s the focus of "Art Gone Wild," the Oklahoma City Zoo’s collection of original animal paintings. View this year’s new pieces from various animals, including elephants, giraffe, goats, ostrich, various reptiles, sea lions, tigers and more on display and available for purchase at the zoo. With assistance from their caretakers, each animal applies its own technique from paint brushes to using their noses, feathers, flippers or paws to paint.
"Art Gone Wild" is part of the zoo’s enrichment program, and the paints are safe for the animals to use as they are non-toxic and washable. Prices for these wild works of art range from $35 to $300, depending on size. All net proceeds benefit one of the zoo’s conservation initiatives. "Art Gone Wild" will be on display in the Zoo’s Guest Services office located in the Entry Plaza from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. daily. Masks are required for all guests 11 and older upon entry into Guest Services. To learn more, call 425-0262.
SATURDAY, SEPT. 5: OKC ZOO AND RED CROSS BLOOD DRIVE
This Labor Day holiday, the American Red Cross of Oklahoma and the Oklahoma City Zoo are calling on the community-at-large to help save lives. The Red Cross will host a blood drive at the OKC Zoo’s Rosser Conservation Education Center from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. Saturday. As a thank you, those who come to donate will receive a one voucher good for admission to the OKC Zoo. For additional information about donating blood and the requirements to give, visit www.redcrossblood.org.
TUESDAY, SEPT. 8: OKC ZOO RETURNS TO 9 A.M. OPENING
Beginning, Tuesday, the Oklahoma City Zoo returns to daily hours of 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Advance tickets are required for all guests and ZOOfriends members. Tickets can be purchased at www.okczoo.org/tickets and are limited each day to ensure adequate social distancing between guests.
WEDNESDAY, SEPT. 9: OKC ZOO’S NEW SAFARI STUDY HALL
Parents can expand their student’s virtual learning experience with the Oklahoma City Zoo’s new Safari Study Hall, happening every Wednesday beginning Sept. 9. Safari Study Hall provides the fun zoo-centric activities children know and love while also allowing time for their virtual learning. Students will go on zoo tours, meet animal ambassadors, participate in STEAM-themed activities and more. Safari Study Hall hours are 8 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. on Wednesdays. Drop off is from 8 to 8:30 a.m. only. Late pickup, between 4:30 and 5:30 p.m., is available for an additional fee. This program is for children ages 8 to 11. Register now at www.okczoo.org/safari-study-
SATURDAY, SEPT. 12: MONARCH FESTIVAL PRESENTED BY BOB MOORE SUBARU
The Oklahoma City Zoo calls on the public to help save monarchs from their plight in the wild. Flutter to the OKC Zoo for the Monarch Festival presented by Bob Moore Subaru from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. Sept. 12 to help plant a new pollinator garden at the zoo. Families and individuals are invited to participate in this fun hands-on project, providing vital habitat for native pollinators. Planting areas will be spaced out to allow social distancing among guests, and all tools will be sanitized between uses.
Additional activities include milkweed giveaways, photo opportunities hosted by Bob Moore Subaru, Facebook Live videos, a special story time and reading of Junpier’s Butterfly Garden, and a pollinator information station – all free with zoo admission. Plus, OKC ZOO POO and butterfly conservation wristbands will be available for purchase during the event. For more information, call 425-0262.
FRIDAY, SEPT. 18: OKC ZOO HOSTS NEW PARENTS NIGHT OUT
It can be a bear of a task to raise your cub and teach them too. The OKC Zoo has experts ready to give parents a break and provide youngsters with a fun experience during its new Parents Night Out program. Program activities include a themed lesson, craft activity, pizza dinner, a nighttime zoo tour and a movie. The program is for children 4 to 11 years old. Program starts at 6 p.m. Pickup as late as 10 p.m. Prices are $30 per child and $25 per additional child for members and $40 per child and $35 per additional child nonmembers. Program capacity is limited to ensure safe social distancing. Enroll today at www.okczoo.org/
MONDAY, SEPT. 21: TICKETS ON SALE FOR 37TH ANNUAL HAUNT THE ZOO FOR HALLOWEEN
Get ready for trick-or-treating with Haunt the Zoo. Tickets for the Oklahoma City Zoo’s 37th annual Haunt the Zoo for Halloween go on sale Sept. 21, at okczoo.org/tickets. Oklahoma’s beloved Halloween tradition returns this year with more treats, extended dates and new surprises. Participants will experience new trick-or-treating methods in place to ensure a safe and memorable experience for guests, staff and volunteers. To participate in trick-or-treat activities, an official treat bag must be purchased for each participant for $7 (for nonmembers) or $6 (ZOOfriends members). This does not include general admission for entry into the zoo.
Advance reservations are required and can be purchased at okczoo.org/tickets. Haunt the Zoo runs for four weekends: Oct. 10-11; Oct. 17-18; Oct. 24-25 and Oct. 31-Nov 1, from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. each day. To learn more about Haunt the Zoo, visit okczoo.org or call 425-0262.
THURSDAY, SEPT. 24 THROUGH SUNDAY, SEPT. 27: FAIR FOOD DAYS AT THE OKC ZOO
Partake of favorite fair foods at the OKC Zoo during Food Food Days. Guests can indulge in a variety of sweets and savory eats from Oklahoma vendors plus, culinary favorites from the zoo’s eateries, from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. each day. Food locations will be located throughout the park. Regular zoo admission applies. To learn more about this happening, visit okczoo.org or call (405) 425-0262.
The Oklahoma City Zoo and Bob Moore Subaru invite the public to the zoo on Sept. 24 for World Gorilla Day. Created by The Dian Fossey Gorilla Fund International (DFGFI), World Gorilla Day, is a global effort that connects people to gorillas while raising awareness for the conservation of these great apes and their habitat. DFGFI is one of the OKC Zoo’s conservation partners and funds provided by the Zoo are used to support operations at the Karisoke Research Center, which is the base for DFGFI’s field activities.
Help gorillas by donating old or used cell phones to the Gorillas on the Line Cellphone Challenge and receive a free zoo admission ticket. Small electronics frequently contain coltan and mining for this substance threatens the habitats of gorillas and other endangered species. When individuals donate used phones or other electronics, the coltan from those devices is re-used and reduces the need to mine for the compound in gorilla habitats. Gorilla fans that donate a cellphone from Sept. 19 through Sept. 23, will receive a free general admission ticket to the Zoo. These items can can be dropped off for recycling in the zoo’s guest experience office in the Entry Plaza.
World Gorilla Day activities are planned from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. on zoo grounds and include a scavenger safari with prizes, photo opportunities presented by Bob Moore Subaru, Facebook live videos and more. All activities are free with Zoo admission. To learn more, visit okczoo.org or call 425-0262.
FRIDAY, SEPT. 25: ZOOBREW, 21+ FUNDRAISER, BACK AS LIVE EVENT AT THE OKC ZOO
Raise a glass for conservation with ZOObrew 2020. The 12th annual, ZOObrew is back as a live event, limited to 1,200 guests 21 and older, at the Oklahoma City Zoo in support of the Oklahoma Zoological Society on from 7 to 10 p.m. Sept. 25.
Eventgoers 21 and older, will have an opportunity to taste their favorite Oklahoma breweries while roaming zoo grounds after hours. This year's ZOObrew will have a much lower capacity, and fewer brewers, who will be spaced throughout the park to ensure social distancing measures are enacted. Additionally, ZOObrew will be in conjunction with the zoo’s Fair Food Days and guests will be able to purchase local fair favorites such as funnel cakes, turkey legs, churros and more, from local food trucks and the zoo’s eateries.
Doors will open at 6 p.m., and the event will begin promptly at 7 p.m. Admission times are spaced every 15 minutes to allow for maximum social distancing. ZOObrew staff and volunteers will maintain crowd sizes and ensure all those participating will be able to maintain CDC social distancing guidelines.
ZOObrew tickets are on sale now at various levels from $15 to $100 per person, and ZOOfriends members receive 10% off. Quantities are limited. To purchase yours tickets, click here.
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, brings Oklahoma families together through reading and family fun. Sponsored by OG&E, this year’s program features a new, original children’s book, Juniper’s Butterfly Garden, inspires kids to read with the story of a child’s journey as she learns about monarch butterflies. Monarchs migrate annually through Oklahoma on their journey from central Mexico to 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/
ONGOING: OKC ZOO ATTRACTIONS – FALL SEASON SCHEDULE
Exclusive animal feedings, attractions and rides are offered daily at the OKC Zoo. Attraction capacity is limited to maintain adequate social distancing among guests. Guests can pre-purchase tickets for all Zoo rides and attractions 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 and schedules are subject to change without notice.
- Flamingo Mingle: Flock to the fun and experience the excitement of feeding the Zoo’s American flamingos. Flamingo Mingle feedings occur daily, weather-permitting, 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 younger are not permitted. Participants age 3 and older must wear a mask during this up-close animal encounter for the protection of guests and staff.
- Elephant Express Tram: Embark on a guided zoo tour as you travel from the Entry Plaza to Sanctuary Asia. Rides offered Monday through Thursday from 9:30 a.m. to 3 p.m. and Friday, Saturday and Sunday from 9:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. All day bracelets are $6 per person. Children 2 and younger admitted free.
- Camel Rides: Connect with camels, Fred, Mongo and Bill. Daily rides available from 9 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. Cost is $6 per person. Children younger than 6 must be accompanied by a paying adult. Children age 2 and younger are not permitted. Participants age 3 and older must wear a mask during this up-close animal encounter for the protection of guests and staff. Additional rules are posted at the habitat.
- Centennial Choo Choo: Make tracks for the zoo’s popular train ride open Monday through Thursday from 9:30 a.m. to 3 p.m. and Friday, Saturday and Sunday from 9:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. Cost is $3 per person. Children 2 and younger free.
- Endangered Species Carousel: Carousel rides are available Monday through Thursday from 9:30 a.m. to 3 p.m. and Friday, Saturday and Sunday from 9:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. Cost is $3 per person.
- Explorikeet Feedings (Children’s Zoo): Discover the hands-on fun of feeding lorikeets. Opportunities available Monday through Thursday from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. and Friday, Saturday and Sunday from 9:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. Cost is $4 per person. Participants age 3 and older must wear a mask during this up-close animal encounter for the protection of guests and staff. This attraction closes for a “bird break” from 1-1:30 p.m.
- Giraffe Feeding Platform: Daily feeding opportunities are offered from 11 a.m. to noon and 2 to 3 p.m. Cost is $5 per person. Children age 2 and younger are not permitted. Participants age 3 and older must wear a mask during this up-close animal encounter for the protection of guests and staff.
- NEW Rhino Feedings: Feeding opportunities with the Indian rhinos now are available on Saturday and Sundays at 11:30 a.m. at Sanctuary Asia. Cost is $10 per person. Children age 2 and younger are not permitted. Participants age 3 and older 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: Daily presentations at 10 a.m. and 1 p.m. at the Zoo’s Sea Lion Presentation Stadium. Cost is $5 per person. Children 2 and younger are free.
- Stingray Bay: Stingray Bay makes a splash with up-close encounters and feeding opportunities with these majestic creatures. Cost is $4 per person to enter. Stingray feedings are 10:30 to 11:30 a.m. and 1:30 to 2:30 p.m. for an additional $3 per person. Participants age 3 and older must wear a mask during this up-close animal encounter for the protection of guests and staff. Stingray Bay is open Monday through Thursday from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. and Friday, Saturday and Sunday from 9:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.
ONGOING: OKC ZOO’S RIDE IT ALL WRISTBANDS AVAILABLE FOR PURCHASE
Oklahoma City Zoo guests can add a Ride It All wristband to their admission ticket to enjoy unlimited rides on the Zoo’s Endangered Species Carousel, Centennial Choo Choo train and Elephant Express Tram. Daily capacity for all rides will be limited to ensure appropriate social distancing among guests. Rides will be cleaned and sanitized between each stop. The Elephant Express tram route will take guests between the Entry Plaza and Sanctuary Asia and includes a narrated tour by the Zoo’s knowledgeable and experienced drivers along the way. Due to the popularity of all rides, guests with Ride It All wristbands may experience brief lines at each attraction. Lines should dissipate quickly. The price for a Ride It All wristband is $10 per person for all ages plus general Zoo admission. Guests presenting a valid military ID will receive a price of $19 per person for all ages. ZOOfriends members can purchase a Ride It All for $10 per person for all ages. To purchase advance Zoo admission tickets and Ride It All wristbands, visit www.okczoo.org/tickets.
ONGOING: OKC ZOO KEYS RETURN
Sponsored by Oklahoma’s Own News9, Oklahoma City Zoo Keys bring learning to life as fans unlock interesting facts about the animals they know and love. A favorite Zoo activity that began in the 1960s, OKC Zoo Keys has been reimaged for new generations to experience. Guests of all ages can unlock recorded messages from more than 20 displays throughout the Zoo. Each display shares information about the Zoo’s signature species and conservation efforts voiced by some of News9’s well-known 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. Vintage keys will also work on the new displays! 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.
ONGOING: OKC ZOO’S WILD ENCOUNTERS
The Oklahoma City Zoo’s Wild Encounters enable wildlife fans to get up close and personal with grizzly bears, Galapagos tortoises, sea lions and Asian elephants. Wild Encounters are premium experiences that let you see some of your favorite Zoo animals in up-close ways like never before. Connect with our expert caretakers and learn about the animals they care for each and every day and the Zoo’s efforts to conserve their wild counterparts. Wild Encounters are available daily and each experience comes with a souvenir lanyard. These encounters are also ideal gifts for any occasion. There is a maximum of 10 people per encounter and participants must wear masks. Prices range from $40–$50 per person depending on the encounter. Children age 2 and younger are not permitted. Participants age 3 and older 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, contact Guest Services at 425-0262.
ONGOING: OKC ZOO POO AVAILABLE FOR PURCHASE
The Oklahoma City Zoo’s premium compost, OKC ZOO POO, is sourced from organic plant material and members of the Zoo’s animal family including the Asian elephants, Indian rhinos, giraffe and various hoofstock. OKC ZOO POO is available for purchase at the Zoo's Guest Services office, located in the Entry Plaza. Purchase a small bag for $3.99 or a large bag with a reusable tote bag and a packet of pollinator seeds for $14.99. To learn more, call 425-0262 or visit okczoo.org.
ONGOING: OKC ZOO’S CONSERVATION WRISTBANDS
These one-of-a-kind wristbands are available to purchase at the OKC Zoo’s stroller window in the Entry Plaza for $2 each, with all proceeds benefiting the Zoo’s local and global conservation efforts. Choose from 10 different animal designs including butterfly, elephant, flamingo, giraffe, gorilla, honeybee, lion, red panda, rhino and turtle.
The OKC Zoo is open daily at 8 a.m. now through Labor Day, which is Monday. Advance tickets are required for all guests and ZOOfriends members and can be purchased at www.okczoo.org/tickets. Zoo tickets are limited each day to ensure safe social distancing among guests.
Located at the crossroads of I-44 and I-35, regular admission is $12 for adults and $9 for children ages 3-11 and seniors ages 65 and older. Children 2 and younger are admitted free. Stay up-to-date with the Zoo on Facebook, Twitter and Insta