Have you been to your zoo lately? For over 80 years, our small zoo has played a unique role in connecting people to the natural world.  We’re the only place in community where you can hear the roar of a lion or stand inches away from an otter family swimming in their underwater home. Our goal is to inspire people to protect the natural world for future generations by creating engaging experiences that connect wildlife. Whether it’s a family outing or a school field trip, our Zoo provides a welcoming environment where people of all ages can enjoy themselves and learn about the incredible animals that we share our planet with.  In 2016, we again had record attendance with more than 85,000 visitors enjoying all that our Zoos has to offer.

For those looking for an educational experience, the Washington Park is an amazing outdoor classroom where students can think outside the box by exploring the lakefront, gardens and the zoo. Visitors of all ages have the opportunity to make personal connections to the history of the community, as well as create lasting memories. 

Over the last few years, the Zoo has focused on creating more enriching habitats for the animals where they can demonstrate natural behaviors, such as food foraging and social living. Our education staff is also trying to help visitors make an up close connection to the animals, by present daily Keeper Talks with opportunities to meet some of the animals.  Two of the guest favorites seem to be Lola, a small two-foot long Alligator and Tucker, our male Three Banded Armadillo.  We hope that these experiences and so many others position the Zoo to inspire others to explore nature through discovery, play, education, and imagination. 

Throughout the year the zoo also offers educational outreach presentations for students of all ages – from toddlers to school-aged children, college students and casual learners. A Zoo to You program immerses the audience in hands-on discovery and interactive learning through live animal encounters, biofacts and environmental themed programming.

Are curious on how you can get involved with the Zoo and make a difference?

Purchase a Zoo Membership: There are many ways to “Do the Zoo”, but the best way is as a member! Our annual Zoo pass allows members to come and go as often as they like. Members receive exclusive discounts, such as free or discounted admission to special events, invitations to special member-only events and discounted admissions at other zoo who reciprocal with our passes.

 Adopt an Animal: This is a fun and unique way to support the Zoo’s conservation efforts and create a special bond with one of your favorite Zoo animals. As part of the adoption program you will receive a certificate of adoption, special photo and fact sheet about your animal and your name displayed by the animal exhibit for a whole year.

Host an Event: The Zoo offers a natural, serene escape for special gatherings, and is a great place for birthday parties and corporate outings. Our staff will assist you in making your meeting or outing spectacular and memorable.

Volunteer: Zoo volunteers give their time and talents for many reasons, but primary is their love for the institution and a respect for our mission. We treasure our volunteers for their above and beyond commitment and service.

Attend a Fundraiser: Proceeds from Zoo events support animal care, education programs and conservation efforts. From Zoo Brew to Zoo-B-Que to Boo at the Zoo, we are certain to have an event you will love.

Support the Zoo: Consider participating as a corporate sponsor, naming the Zoo in your estate or making an immediate impact to animal care, education and conservation through a gift to the Zoo Society. Your charitable gift helps us care for the animals, make improvements, offer education programs and take part in community conservation efforts.

The Washington Park Zoo will open for the 2017 season on April 1st, but for information please visit our website at www.washingtonparkzoo.com, Facebook or call us at 219.873.1510.