Holiday, winter happenings at the Oklahoma City Zoo
OKLAHOMA CITY – There are plenty of fun events and attractions at the Oklahoma City Zoo during the holiday season.
DECEMBER AND WINTER SCHEDULES
The following Zoo attractions have established winter season hours.
- Giraffe feedings are from 11 a.m. to noon and 1:30 p.m. to 2:30 p.m., Friday through Sunday, weather permitting of 55 degrees or higher.
- Lorikeets will be open daily 10 a.m. to 3 p.m., weather permitting.
- Barnyard area will be open from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. daily.
- Safari Tram and Endangered Species Carousel will run from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. daily, weather permitting of 55 degrees or higher.
- The ZooZeum will be open daily from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m.
- All other rides and attractions, including Stingray Bay are closed for the season.
DECEMBER THROUGH FEBRUARY: FREE ADMISSION MONDAYS
Enjoy a day at the Zoo on us! The Zoo is offering free admission for guests each Monday in December, January and February. The Zoo is open from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m.
DECEMBER: ZOOFRIENDS HOLIDAY SPECIALS
Think outside the box and inside the Zoo this holiday season with these gift ideas from ZooFriends!
- Receive $5 off any new, renewal or gift membership purchased now through December 31 (excludes Junior and Adult membership levels). Contact the ZooFriends office at (405) 425-0618 for information.
- Go wild and adopt a Zoo animal for the animal lover on your list. Net proceeds benefit the health and enrichment needs of all animals at the Zoo. You will receive a plush animal, adoption certificate, fact sheet and name recognition online for the 2015 season.
- ZooFriends’ members can shop and save with a 25 percent discount at the Zoo’s Safari Gift Shop from December 1-31. This discount only applies to non-sale items.
DECEMBER: WILD WISH TREE
Become a secret Santa for your favorite animals through the Zoo’s Wild Wish Tree. This holiday, Zoo fans have an opportunity to enrich the lives of the animals at the Zoo by purchasing gifts from the Wild Wish Tree. Located in the Guest Relations office in the Global Plaza, the Wild Wish Tree displays ornaments bearing descriptions of enrichment items for Zoo animals. Diverse in size, shape and cost, each wish list item has been selected to generate the interest, curiosity, play and enjoyment of particular animals or species. To select an item from the tree, use these three options:
- Visit the Guest Relations’ office daily from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. to select your ornament. After purchasing the item, you may bring your gift back to the Guest Relations’ office through December 31.
- Purchase “Wild Wish” gifts online through the amazon.com Wish List section, and the item will be shipped automatically to the Zoo.
- Visit okczoo.com to scan various QR code(s) that will link you directly to specific animal areas on the www.amazon.com Wish List site.
For more information, contact Guest Relations at (405) 425-0262.
DECEMBER: SAFARI GIFT SHOP HAS IT ALL–FROM A TO ZEBRA!
The Oklahoma City Zoo’s Safari Gift Shop offers a one-stop shop experience for all holiday gift buying–from A to Zebra! Open daily from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. in the Global Plaza, the Safari Gift Shop features a unique selection of merchandise–from original artwork, children’s books and games, plush animals and collectibles. Locally designed and printed apparel options, such as tees and sweatshirts, have a unique feel of their own. Your loved ones can slip on a pair of giraffe gloves and children can zip into the wild side with new animal-inspired hoodies and sleepers. New home decor from Natural Life, a company that gives 10 percent of proceeds to several non-profits including nature education, also offers something for everyone. Zoo gift cards are also available and can be used for any need in the park. ZooFriends’ members receive a 25 percent discount through December 31.
Another unique gift idea! The Zoo’s original artwork, made by the Zoo’s resident animal artists with some help from their keepers, combines the worlds of animal creativity and conservation. Some animals use a paint brush while others choose to paint with their paws, claws, tails and scales. Artist animals include elephants, snakes, rhinoceros, flamingos, grizzly bears, fish and more! Each painting is unique, and each artist has his or her unique technique. All proceeds from Zoo animal artwork support Zoo conservation and enrichment programs. Visit www.okczoo.com to purchase one-of-a-kind paintings online, or call Guest Relations at (405)425-0262.
DECEMBER: GIVE FOR GORILLAS CELL PHONE CHALLENGE CONTINUES
Because conservation is in our nature, we are looking to the community to help our efforts. Cell phones are an integral part of the American lifestyle but the production of cell phones is having a costly impact on wild gorillas that live in areas of the world where cell phone materials are mined. The Zoo invites you to help save these animals by donating used cell phones to the Give for Gorillas Cell Phone Challenge. Schools, organizations, businesses or individuals can register for the Challenge and collect cell phones to be brought to the Zoo’s Guest Relations office by December 31, 2014, at 4:30 p.m. The reward? The group or individual collecting the most phones will win an Ultimate Prize Package from the Zoo! For more information, visit www.okczoo.com.
DECEMBER 1 – 24: DECK THE ZOO
From December 1-24, get down to earth and let your natural creativity take over! Make an edible wildlife ornament (made from items such as bagels, fruits, pine cones, popcorn, seeds, peanut butter, honey, etc.) to bring to the Zoo and receive admission for only $1! Donated decorations will be displayed on plant life in the Global Plaza and provide yummy enrichment for the Zoo’s native animals. One edible ornament per person is required for the admission discount. Not valid with any other discount or promotion.
DECEMBER 01: SKYPE SING-A-LONG: I WANT A HIPPO FOR CHRISTMAS
Come one, come all, for a sing-a-long! Gayla Peevey Henderson will sing her famous rendition of “I Want a Hippopotamus for Christmas” during a Skype broadcast and share her memories of growing up in Oklahoma City and this song’s connection to the Zoo. This walk down memory lane will take place on Monday, December 1, at 11 a.m. in the Zoo’s Education Center’s auditorium located at the east end of the Zoo’s parking lot. Light refreshments will be served. Plus, a selection of “hippo” merchandise will be available for purchase at the event. This event is free. For information, call (405) 425-0262.
DECEMBER 05: WREATH-MAKING PROGRAM
Delight in making your own holiday wreath. This year’s Wreath-Making Class is Friday night, December 5, from 6-9 p.m. Invite your friends and family, and make a memory! The program provides all materials needed to create a festive wreath with beautiful plant materials grown on Zoo grounds. Appropriate for ages 16 and older. Cost is $20 per ZooFriends’ member and $25 for nonmembers. You must pre-register and pre-pay through the Education department at 405-425-0218.
DECEMBER 08: SANTA DELIVERS
The Oklahoma City Zoo is on Santa’s radar and the big guy will be making a stop to visit some of his furry and feathered friends on Monday, December 8. The fun starts at 10:30 a.m. in the Barnyard area of the Children’s Zoo. After Santa makes his deliveries, join us in the Canopy Restaurant for free hot chocolate and snacks while supplies last. Be sure to bring your camera to get pictures with Santa! This event is free with paid Zoo admission. Reservations are not required.
DECEMBER – JANUARY: SCHOOL’S OUT SAFARI DAY CAMPS
Seeking an adventure for your child during school holidays? Hosted by the Zoo’s Education Department, Safari Day Camps are available for kids ages 4-12. Drop-off is from 8:15 – 8:45 a.m. Pick-up is at 12:30 p.m. Snacks will be provided, but campers must bring their lunch. The cost per child is $25. Extended day option is available until 3:30 p.m. for an additional $10 per child, per day. Advance registration and payment is required. For more information, call (405) 425-0218 or visit www.okczooed.com. Program dates include:
- Tuesday, December 30
- Wednesday, December 31
- Monday, January 19
DECEMBER AND JANUARY: WINTER FAMILY PROGRAMS
The Zoo can be a winter wonderland of excitement and play! See live animals, make holiday crafts, hear winter stories, experience a puppet show or take your photo with Santa. Adults must accompany children. Parents are free with paid child registration. Pre-registration and pre-payment is required. For more information, call (405) 425-0218 or visit www.okczooed.com. Program dates include:
- Zoo Chef Christmas Style – Saturday, December 13, from 10 – 11:30 a.m.; Ages 3 and up; $12 per child for ZooFriends members, $15 for non-members.
- Christmas Under the Sea – Saturday, December 13, from 2 – 3:30 p.m.; Ages 4 and up; $12 per child for ZooFriends members, $15 for non-members.
- New Year’s Kick-Off Snooze – Friday, January 2, at 7 p.m. through Saturday, January 3, at 9 a.m.; Ages 4 and up; $30 per child and $15 per adult.
- Wintery Wildlife Tea and Cocoa Party – Saturday, January 17, from 3:30 – 4:30 p.m.; Ages 3 and up; $15 for ZooFriends’ members, $18 for non-members.
DECEMBER 25: The Zoo is closed for Christmas Day.
JANUARY 1: The Zoo is closed for New Year’s Day.
JANUARY 31: SILVERBACK GORILLA, TATU, TURNS 40
The big guy is turning 40 and you are invited to the celebration! Western lowland gorilla, Tatu, has been with the Zoo since 1983 and has become a well-known ambassador for his species, which are critically endangered in the wild. The median life expectancy for gorillas is approximately 35 years old, so the Zoo is honoring Tatu’s long and healthy life. The festivities will be held Saturday, January 31, 2015, from 1:30 – 3:30 p.m. inside the Gorilla Interpretive Building in Great EscApe. Activities will include cupcakes while supplies last, signing Tatu’s birthday card, a special Tatu exhibit at the ZooZeum, and more. Gorilla t-shirts will be available for purchase in the Safari Gift Shop. Come, join the BIG celebration!
Celebrate the merriest season of all at the Oklahoma City Zoo! Recognized as Oklahoma’s number one attraction, the Zoo is a proud member of Oklahoma City’s Adventure District located near the crossroads of I-44 and I-35. The Zoo is open daily from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Buildings close at 4:45 p.m. General admission is $8 for adults, and $5 for children ages three through 11 and seniors ages 65 and over. Children two and under are admitted free. Parking is free. Become a Zoo fan on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram. For more information, call (405) 424-3344 or visit www.okczoo.com.