The Best OKC Attractions-OKC Zoo & Botanical Garden

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The OKC Zoo is definitely on the list of the best OKC attractions! With its unique animal experiences and continued commitment to conservation, families of all ages enjoy this longstanding Oklahoma tradition.

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OKC Attractions

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Having lived in OKC for a decade now, we’ve been to the OKC Zoo & Botanical Garden quite a few times over the years. When the kids were younger, we were members of Zoofriends, which allowed us to have unlimited OKC Zoo admission for a whole year and support the zoo’s conservation, education, and research efforts at the same time.

And, of course, if you’re going to homeschool in Oklahoma, your yearly homeschool field trips agenda must include the OKC Zoo!


With the kids getting older and me having some chronic health issues, though, it had been about three years since we had all gone to the zoo together as a family. So, when the cooler temps of fall came around last year, we thought it was about time to head back to the OKC Zoo!

Warm up with Beaches Resorts

OKC Zoo Keeps Getting Better

We were so impressed with the improvements that had been made since our last visit!

Galapagos Tortoise Habitat

The new Galapagos tortoise habitat just inside the entrance to the zoo is my favorite! It was just completed in 2020 and provides the perfect environment to enjoy the tortoises. We were even lucky enough to walk up when one of the caretakers was interacting with them, and she was so great to share information and answer questions!


I was so enamored with these giant elders (70-110 years old!) that I could have stayed and watched them all day. But, we had purchased tickets for the Sea Lion Presentation, so we had to pull ourselves away to make it over to the aquarium in time for the show (the sea lions were awesome, too, btw!).

Sanctuary Asia


Sanctuary Asia has been around since 2010, but it had been expanded since my last visit. The Elephant Pavilion is amazing, but the addition of the Lotus Pavilion for dining and event options has just elevated the entire atmosphere of the OKC Zoo!


The Lotus Pavilion didn’t appear to be open when we were there (several indoor activities were limited due to Covid-19 precautions), but we enjoyed all of the adjoining animal habitats. The outdoor fountains and shaded areas provided a cool respite in the warm afternoon sun.


Things to do at the OKC Zoo

Visit the Animals

The main reason we all go to the zoo is to visit the animals, of course! Across the OKC Zoo’s 140 acres, you’ll find a wide variety of animals in these unique habitat areas:

  • Cat Forest
  • Lion Overlook
  • Children’s Zoo
  • Herpetarium & Wetlands Walkway
  • Hoofed Animals
  • Marine Mammals
  • Oklahoma Trails
  • Great EscApe
  • Sanctuary Asia

Extra Fun

In addition to all of the regular zoo fun, the OKC Zoo offers several unique activities for an additional fee ($3-$10 per person). These include:

  • Flamingo Mingle
  • Camel Rides
  • Elephant Express Tram
  • Giraffe Feeding Platform
  • Rhino Feedings
  • Sea Lion Presentations
  • Stingray Bay
  • Centennial Choo Choo
  • Endangered Species Carousel
  • Explorikeet Adventure

We couldn’t afford to do all of these in one visit, but we had a lot of fun at the Sea Lion Presentation and Giraffe Feeding Platform. All of our teenagers jumped at the chance to feed the giraffes!


Wild Encounters

The OKC Zoo also offers some unique up close and personal animal interactions through their Wild Encounters! For $36-$50 per person, you can go behind the scenes with:

  • Grizzly Bears
  • Bison
  • Indian Rhinos
  • Galapagos Tortoises
  • Sea Lions
  • Asian Elephants

VIP Safari Tours

For the ultimate OKC Zoo experience, you can book a personal tour guide with a VIP Safari Tour. This full-day opportunity varies in cost depending on whether it’s a weekend or weekday ($189-230 per person) and includes:

  • Elephant Express Tram
  • Centennial Choo Choo
  • Endangered Species Carousel
  • 5-6 Wild Encounters

OKC Zoo Botanical Gardens

The OKC Zoo is covered in beautiful foliage! I absolutely love the Butterfly Gardens! It’s such a relaxing sanctuary.


A walk along the peaceful waterside is a favorite, as well!


Know Before You Go

OKC Zoo Admission

General OKC Zoo admission is as follows:

  • Adults (ages 12-64): $12
  • Children (ages 3-11): $9
  • Seniors (ages 65 and older): $9
  • Infants (ages 2 and under): Free

There are several levels of Zoofriends memberships as well. You can usually get a discount on Zoofriends memberships at the Mathis Brothers furniture store during the month of May, but that may be different this year due to Covid-19.

OKC Zoo Covid-19 Precautions

Currently, advance online reservations are encouraged for OKC Zoo admission, so they can make sure there aren’t too many people in the zoo at one time. Masks are also encouraged indoors and at all of the animal interactions. These precautions are subject to change, so check the website before you go!


I am immunocompromised, and I felt comfortable in most areas of the zoo. There were a few areas (mostly around the food carts) where there were quite a few people gathered. I just pulled my mask up and walked through those areas quickly.

OKC Zoo Hours

OKC Zoo is open daily from 9:00 am-5:00 pm throughout most of the year. Hours are sometimes changed during the winter, so make sure you check the website before you go. It is closed on Thanksgiving and Christmas.


OKC Zoo Location

The OKC Zoo is located right next door to the Science Museum and across the street from Remington Park at:


The OKC Zoo is part of Oklahoma City’s Adventure District in NE Oklahoma City at the crossroads of I-35 and I-44.

The OKC Zoo-Always a Good Choice

Whether you’re taking a homeschool field trip, getting the little ones out of the house, connecting with your teenagers, or just want to get a little closer to nature, the OKC Zoo is a great place to spend the day!

I don’t think our family will ever outgrow taking a trip to the zoo!


What is your favorite animal at the OKC Zoo?

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OKC Attractions

I love to share my passion for family, faith, learning, and adventure! I am a worship pastor's wife, a homeschool mom, a former public school teacher and counselor, and a Ph.D. in educational psychology. My heart is to encourage and support families who are homeschooling kids with ADHD, homeschooling high school, and raising teenagers. I'm so excited for you to follow along on this joyous journey!

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