Join Us For a Tailgate Party to Open the New Parking Lot

New Lot Paves the Way for the Zoo’s Pathway to Asia

Visitors to Reid Park will have a new parking opportunity, as a new parking lot serving Reid Park Zoo, the Edith Ball Adaptive Recreation Center (ARC), and other Gene C. Reid Park amenities opens next week.

The new parking lot is located just north of the Zoo and the ARC in a space that was previously a maintenance yard for Tucson Parks and Recreation. The new lot has 433 total spaces, 90 more spaces than the lot it is replacing, in addition to 54 accessible spaces and ample bike and motorcycle parking. The lot covers the existing hardscape and will add green features, including 100 new trees.

The new parking lot paves the way for the Zoo’s Pathway to Asia expansion, which will be constructed in the old Zoo parking lot, and will bring a dedicated reptile house, red pandas, Malayan tigers, Komodo dragons, and other animals to Tucson.

“We are excited to complete this first step toward realizing the new Pathway to Asia, while at the same time providing a more comfortable and convenient parking experience for guests,” said Nancy Kluge, Reid Park Zoo president and CEO.

Both the new and old Zoo parking lots will be available to guests through the end of the year. In early 2024, the old lot will close and crews will break ground on Pathway to Asia.

Reid Park Zoo is hosting a celebration to welcome guests to the new lot. On Thursday, Dec. 21, from 9-10:30 a.m., the public and the media are invited to help open the new lot with a special tailgate party. The Zoo is providing free doughnuts and coffee (and juice for the kids) as an incentive for guests to familiarize themselves with the new lot.

Tailgate Party Timeline:

9 a.m.       

Remarks and Ribbon Cutting Ceremony

Lara Hamwey, director, Tucson Parks and Recreation

Nancy Kluge, Reid Park Zoo president and CEO

9:10 a.m.

Ready, Set, Rec! Van and Zoo Van Leads the Way into the New Lot

9:10 – 10:30 a.m.  

First 100 Guests to the New Lot Receive a Free Cup of Coffee and Doughnuts (juice for the kids)

9:10 – 10:30 a.m.

Games by Ready, Set, Rec!

9:20 a.m.

Tree planting

Directions to the New Parking Lot 

The new parking lot is accessible from Lakeshore Lane as well as Randolph Way. To access the lot from Randolph Way, follow the road as it curves from North to West. The entrance to the new lot is directly beside Hi Corbett Field. To access the new lot from Lakeshore, take the turn directly North of the Adaptive Rec Center.