Dallas Zoo To Open, But You’ll Need to Plan Ahead

If you’ve been missing your penguin fix, or want to catch up on the hijinks of the various primates at the Dallas Zoo, you’re in luck – the organization announced Tuesday that it will reopen soon.

“We’re excited to share that we will reopen to the public on May 29, after being closed for 11 weeks,” the Zoo said in a statement on its Facebook page. “We’ve missed everyone and can’t wait to welcome you back.”

However, visitors will note some pretty big changes post-coronavirus shut down. For instance, visitors – even if you’re a Dallas Zoo member – will need to reserve entry tickets and parking ahead on the zoo’s website. Visitors will also be prompted to choose a specific entry time for the visit when they make their reservation.

Members will still get free admission and parking, but will still need to reserve tickets. Members will also get first dibs on visiting with member days on May 26-28.

“These new ticketing policies are meant to limit person-to-person transactions as much as possible and help us manage guest capacity throughout the day,” the Zoo explained.

“In accordance with City of Dallas guidelines, protective face coverings are required for all guests over the age of 2 to enter the restrooms and other indoor areas,” the Zoo’s statement continued. “We strongly encourage all guests over the age of 2 to wear face coverings while they enjoy our outdoor areas, as well, for the protection of other guests, our staff, and our animals.”

All indoor areas will be closed – with the exception of bathrooms – for now, as well. Those areas (as well as some other activities that require more person-to-person contact) include:

  • Lacerte Family Children’s Zoo
  • Endangered Species Carousel
  • Herpetarium
  • Giraffe feeding
  • Indoor tiger viewing
  • Mini Train
  • Adventure Safari Monorail
  • Prime Meridian Café
  • Serengeti Grill
  • Bug U!
  • Simmons Safari Basecamp (open-air Savanna habitat viewing remains open )
  • Gorilla Research Station
  • North Gorilla Bunker (open-air gorilla habitat viewing remains open)
  • Highland Hippo Hut (open-air hippo habitat viewing remains open)
  • Wilds of Africa Forest Aviary
  • Zoo Gift Shop

In addition, zookeeper chats and animal encounters are reduced, and in-park food options have also been scaled back, although visitors can still bring in their own food and drink.

Tickets will be available soon. To keep tabs on when tickets are available, as well as get more information about restrictions, see DallasZoo.com/Reopen.


Bethany Erickson

Bethany Erickson, Digital Editor at People Newspapers, cut her teeth on community journalism, starting in Arkansas. Recently, she's taken home a few awards for her writing, including first place for her tornado coverage from the National Newspapers Association's 2020 Better Newspaper Contest, a Gold award for Best Series at the 2018 National Association of Real Estate Editors journalism awards, a 2018 Hugh Aynesworth Award for Editorial Opinion from the Dallas Press Club, and a 2019 award from NAREE for a piece linking Medicaid expansion with housing insecurity. She is a member of the Education Writers Association, the Society of Professional Journalists, the National Association of Real Estate Editors, the News Leaders Association, the News Product Alliance, and the Online News Association. She doesn't like lima beans, black licorice or the word synergy. You can reach her at [email protected].

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