More tolerable weather has us all thinking one thing: Outdoor Family Fun! The best place to get the most bang for your buck is, of course, the OKC Zoo. Pack a lunch (or a breakfast sandwich and coffee), pile on the sunscreen and pull out those wagons!
Here are some tips for success in planning your next Zoo visit:
- Buy tickets in advance – Timed ticketing is still honored at the Zoo and, honestly, makes avoiding large crowds and lines so much more manageable. Plus, you can skip a few entry lines and get right to the fun stuff!
- Make a plan for what you would most like to see – If you’ve got little kids in tow, it’s likely going to be a struggle to stay all day walking around the Zoo. Maximize the time when their moods and energy levels are high by mapping out your walk in advance. Also note that a large portion of the Zoo is under construction: the new “Expedition Africa” is slated to open in spring 2023 and will be home to giraffe, flamingos, honey badger, zebra, meerkats, wildebeest and more!
- Arrive early to see active animals – Animals seem to be most active in the morning. Not to mention that the weather is typically best at that time, as are the crowds. The Zoo opens at 9 a.m. Springtime also has us thinking of baby animals. Don’t miss the newest elephant calf, Rama, born January 20 of this year. Rama is the first male elephant born at the Zoo and the fourth calf for mom, Asha, age 26. Caretakers share that Rama is healthy and growing, weighing approximately 475 lbs., and is very inquisitive. Rama enjoys exploring his habitat and trying to keep up with his big sisters, Achara and Kairavi! Guests can see the Zoo’s Asian elephants at the elephant habitat at Sanctuary Asia.
- Snacks, drinks and more snacks – If you’ve been a long-time reader of MetroFamily’s Weekend Warrior blog, you know our view on the importance of snacks! Like the Snickers commercial, no one is at their best when they are hangry. Low-sugar, high protein snacks for the whole family are an absolute must, as are cold water bottles! The Zoo does have many food and drink vendors around the property if you get in a pinch, but the cost savings (and time savings) of bringing your own is so valuable!
- Ask for more info – The Zoo offers free caretaker chats: these informal chats are a great way to learn more about our animal family from the experts caring for them each and every day. Chat times/schedule available on Zoo maps.
- Save time for the Jungle Gym! – The first couple times we went to the Zoo, we spent all the time walking around and no time letting the littles run free! Instead of barking out “stop climbing on that animal gate,” satisfy their wild side by letting them “monkey around” a bit. The Zoo has two playscapes: one is immediately to the right upon entry and has both big kid and little kid areas. The other is to the far left past the Children’s Zoo area and overlooking the lake.
We hope you enjoy your time this spring exploring animals and the outdoors with your family! Also mark your calendars for the Zoo’s upcoming events below.
EGGSPLORER QUEST PRESENTED BY KINDER JOY®
- Get hopping as you embark on the Oklahoma City Zoo’s Eggsplorer Quest presented by Kinder Joy®, a special scavenger search activity through the Zoo. While exploring the Zoo, guests will look for eight different clues located at select animal habitats. Completed cards can be redeemed at the Zoo’s Guest Services office for a special prize. This activity is free with Zoo admission and available through Sunday, April 17.
Pre-order ticketing opens for Mother’s Day Ostrich Egg Breakfast – April 15
You are invited to the Oklahoma Zoological Society’s 35th annual Ostrich Egg Breakfast (OEB), Oklahoma City’s most celebrated breakfast event, happening at the Oklahoma City Zoo on Saturday, May 7, Mother’s Day weekend. Make it a “mom”orable morning as you enjoy delicious breakfast foods and spending time with family and friends in the unique setting of the Zoo. Guests will feast on a smorgasbord of pancakes, sausage, bacon, scrambled hens’ eggs, waffles and more.
National Wildflower Week – Sunday, May 1 through Saturday, May 7
The OKC Zoo will be sharing tips from its horticulturists on social media throughout the week and is hosting a spring plant and OKC ZOO POO sale on Saturday, May 7, in the entry plaza from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. Local plant vendors as well as the OKC Zoo’s horticulture experts will have an array of botanicals available for purchase. Plus, the Zoo will be selling its premium compost, OKC ZOO POO. This organic fertilizer sourced from many of your favorite Zoo animals including the Asian elephants, Indian rhinos and giraffe is the natural way to nurture your garden. OKC ZOO POO comes in a large reusable bag with pollinator seeds for $14.99.
Kirsten Holder is a transplant from Michigan but calls the “land that is grand” her home. She graduated from Oklahoma City University and is passionate about the arts, community development and small business. She is the senior project manager for MetroFamily Magazine, and lives in a historic pocket in OKC with her young son Jimmy, husband Andrew and fur-child Clifford.