- Snap a photo of the daily event boards in the front plaza or near the Conservation Learning Center to remember what keeper chats and other daily events are happening.
- For a better chance at seeing animals, stay calm and quiet near habitats and windows, and spend some time trying to spot ones that may not be visible immediately. The animals’ habitats are designed to provide them comfort, shade, and privacy if they choose it, but animals can often be spotted with a keen eye and taking a little extra time to look.
- Fences and barriers are in place to keep animals and guests safe. Please respect the animals’ spaces by staying on designated paths, and refraining from tapping the windows.
- Accessible restrooms are located in all restrooms of the zoo. Family/all gender restrooms are located in the Front Plaza.
Working service animals are allowed in the Zoo as outlined in the Federal Service Animal Guidelines.
For the protection of the Zoo’s animals, we ask that service animals refrain from entering bird aviaries and the giraffe feed platform. If you have a service animal and would like to visit the aviaries or participate in the giraffe feed, a staff member will monitor your animal for you while you do so.
We have wheelchairs and strollers for rent available at the Discover the Wild Gift Shop. An ID for deposit is requested.
Wheelchairs: $7 (plus tax)
Single-stroller: $6 (plus tax)
Double-stroller: $8 (plus tax)
Guests are welcome to bring their own strollers or wheelchairs.
If you or someone in your group is sensitive to noise or crowds, the best times to visit the zoo are typically as follows:
Weekends year round: before 12:00pm to avoid crowds.
During the school year: after 12:00pm as most school field trips occur in the morning.
In the summer: anytime! If you prepare adequately for the heat by bringing plenty of water, sunscreen, and other sun protection, the summer season is fairly slow in terms of zoo guests.
Check out our sensory map here to see areas of the zoo that tend to be more quiet or noisy, have stronger odors, as well as areas to cool down or have movement space.
Click here to view social narratives which can help you or a member of your party see what to expect during a typical zoo visit.
Sensory bags are available for check out at the front entrance of the zoo on a first come first serve basis. The sensory bags are equipped with fidget toys, noise reducing headphones, and a customize-able visual schedule to plan your day at the zoo. Sensory bags require a signed waiver, but are free to check out. Please return the bag and all contents to the front entrance before leaving the zoo. Though it is not required, you may reserve a sensory bag in advance here.
We are proud to be inclusive in our camps and classes!
Campers of all abilities are welcome to register for any of the Zoo’s education programs. We provide reasonable accommodations to our programs to make them accessible. The Education Team frequently partners with the University Center for Excellence in Developmental Disabilities (UCEDD) to assist in training of Zoo staff and to identify ways we can continually improve to serve all of our guests.
One-to-one aides for program participants are welcome as a part of the group and can attend at no extra charge.
The Community Engagement Volunteer position is for individuals who require the assistance of an aide or job coach and for families with children between the ages of 11 and 13 years, where both the parent(s) and child(ren) or adults and aides are volunteering together on grounds. Community Engagement Volunteers provide a valuable resource for Zoo guests by interpreting one or two designated animal species or offering interpretive support for the Zoo Passport program (coming soon!).
Reports to: Volunteer Program Supervisor or Volunteer Program Coordinator
Specific Duties: Volunteers may do some or all of the following
- Interpret habitat animals, which may include artifacts
- Assist guests in completing the Zoo Passport
- Interact in a positive manner with guests, volunteers, and staff
- Attend required trainings and refreshers
- Assist with animal interactions
Length and Time Commitment: Community Engagement Volunteers are required to commit to volunteer for a period of at least six months, volunteering a minimum of three hours per month. Additionally, volunteers must complete five continuing education units during the six-month period.
Qualifications, Physical Demands, Working Conditions:
- Adults must be at least 18 years of age
- Children must be at least 11 years of age
- Children must be accompanied by an adult who has completed the training
- Ability to work outdoors in weather extremes
- Able to stand, sit, or walk for a minimum of one-hour shifts
- Able to take and follow directions from Zoo staff
- Ability to communicate in a positive manner with guests, volunteers, and staff
Training: Community Engagement Volunteers receive hard copies of the safety policies and procedures and a training to review safety protocols, Zoo background and structure, species-specific natural history and conservation and education messages, interpretation skills, and guest service. Community Engagement Volunteers are also required to shadow staff on grounds twice before they may interpret on their own. All people who will be on grounds in a volunteer or assistant capacity must attend the training.
Dress Code: Must wear the volunteer shirt (provided by the Zoo), and khaki pants, shorts (minimum 5-inch inseam), or skirts (no higher than 2 inches above the knee), closed-toe and heel shoes with good traction, and name tag. Colognes, perfumes, and strong-smelling lotions are not allowed, and minimal jewelry is recommended. Accompanying adults must wear business casual attire, closed-toe and heel shoes with good traction, and their name tag.