Frequently Asked Questions

We’re happy to have you visit Denver Zoo and we want you to enjoy your visit. Our goal is to connect people with animals and create defining moments that inspire everyone to respect, value and care for the natural world. The comfort and safety of our visitors and animal residents is our top priority.

What new safety measures are in place to protect me during my visit?

Your safety, as well as the safety of our employees, volunteers and animals, is absolutely paramount. With this in mind, we have made widespread operational changes throughout our 80-acre campus. A quick overview is below—for more information on our safety measures, visit DenverZoo.org/updates.

  • As mandated by the City and County of Denver, all guests ages three (3) and over are required to wear a mask or face covering (includes employees and volunteers).
  • Six feet of safety for everyone on campus
  • One-way path to provide for social distancing
  • Touchless ticketing at DenverZoo.org/tickets
  • Limited admissions with timed entry
  • New sanitation protocols throughout campus
  • Pre-shift temperature checks for employees

How are you protecting the animals?

All employees are required to wear masks and observe six feet of safety with animals as well as guests, volunteers and other employees. Additional guidelines are also in place for other potentially sensitive species—such a primates, felines and otters.

Can I remove my mask to eat/drink/take a photo? How quickly do I need to put it back on?

If you must remove their mask, we ask that you physically distance yourself from other people or groups, turn your back to others, and then lower your mask as needed. Once your task has been completed, replace your mask prior to returning to the one-way loop.

What is your sanitation and disinfection processes?

High-touch surfaces, including restrooms, are being disinfected frequently on a set schedule. Some high-touch surfaces, like restaurant tables and chairs, are cleaned immediately after use.

  • Public restrooms: Cleaned and disinfected every two hours
  • Interior exhibits: Cleaned and disinfected every two hours
  • Front Plaza/Ticket Booths/Main Gate/Parking Structure (stairs/elevators): Disinfected every hour
  • High-touch Surfaces/Exterior Exhibit Spaces: Disinfected every hour, including door handles, hand rails, benches, signage, exhibit glass, interactive signage

Are the restrooms safe/sanitized?

When the zoo is open to the public, public restrooms are closed and cleaned every two hours. The area is thoroughly cleaned with disinfectant cleaner; high touchpoints (door handles, ledges, dispensers, trash receptacles etc.) are additionally disinfected with an electrostatic sprayer. Public restrooms are also thoroughly disinfected each evening. Additionally, we have added 20 portable restrooms and handwash stations to campus to encourage dispersion of use and social distancing.

Why is the pathway one direction?

A one-way path around the entire campus allow guests to view a majority of our animal habitats and garden while maintaining six feet of safety.

What if we miss an animal? Can we go back?

Our one-way path is for the safety of everyone on campus—including guests, employees, volunteers and our animals. There are two places to re-loop or exit: (1) at the hippo/tapir, where you can return to the entrance or repeat the primate portion of the 2-hour loop; and (2) at the main gate, where you may opt to do another 1- or 2-hour loop.

Where can we stop to take a break/rest?

There are benches along the pathway for guests to rest. Benches are disinfected every hour. For the safety of all, please do not rest in the flow of traffic or on hay bales.

Where can I buy food? What safety precautions are being taken?

In addition to complying with all government-mandated COVID-19 safety procedures with regard to the preparation and service of all food and beverage items, we have moved to a touchless and tamper-free dining experience. Grab-and-go food and beverage options are available throughout campus with easy ordering at DenverZoo.org/eat:

  • Kibongi Coffee
  • Samburu Grille
  • Samburu Ice Cream
  • Brown Bear
  • Kamala Café
  • Lighthouse Pizza

Where can I eat?

The Samburu Patio is open with seating for guests. All seating is outdoors, with tables spaced out for social distancing. Tables are bussed and cleaned by staff after each use. Additionally, you may picnic on Zoo grounds while adhering to social distancing guidelines. There are picnic areas in Giraffe Meadows, Sycamore Island near the okapi exhibit, and in the Woodland Garden. We ask that you do not bring straws, for the safety of our animals.

When eating, you must physically distance yourself from other people/groups, turn your back to others, and then lower your mask to consume food or water. Masks should be replaced prior to returning with the flow of people. Please do not break/rest in the flow of traffic, or on hay bales.

Where can I buy Denver Zoo souvenirs?

Denver Zoo’s primary gift shop, Kibongi Market, will remain open with safety modifications—including one-way traffic flow, distanced displays and available hand sanitizer. Guests can also purchase anytime from our online gift shop and have purchases shipped.

Why did Denver Zoo open when it did?

Everyone here at Denver Zoo missed having guests on campus. But, while we're excited to welcome back our wonderful community, we also have an obligation to abide by City and State health orders. Per their request, we submitted a detailed re-opening plan in mid-May which outlined how we planned to protect guests, employees, volunteers and our 3,000 animals with new operational procedures including social distancing guidelines, timed ticketing, mandatory mask-wearing and more. Our opening date was determined by the Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment and the Governor’s office after they approved our new operational plan.

How old do guests have to be to visit Denver Zoo by themselves?

Children under the age of 16 must be accompanied by a person 16 years or older.

Can I bring a guest when using my membership?

It depends on the type of membership you purchased. Visit our membership page to learn about your benefits.

Where are your restrooms located?

We have restrooms at the Main Gate, Gates Center, Congo Basin in Primate Panorama, Bird World, Tropical Discovery, Giraffes, Felines, and near the McGrath Family Amphitheater in Toyota Elephant Passage. See our map for locations. Full-service restroom facilities that accommodate the physically challenged are available in Tropical Discovery, Primate Panorama, Gates Center and near the Kamala Cafe. Baby changing stations are available at all locations. View our digital map or download our app to find restroom locations.

Do you have any family restrooms or a private place for nursing?

Yes, family restrooms are available at the Main Entrance, Primate Panorama and near the Kamala Café in Toyota Elephant Passage and are available for nursing in private. View our digital map or download our app to find restroom locations.

Can I smoke anywhere in the zoo?

Smoking is not allowed inside the fences of Denver Zoo. You can get your hand stamped and exit at the Main Entrance, smoke in the designated smoking area outside of the zoo and re-enter the zoo when you are finished.

Where do I park and is there a fee?

You may park in any of the parking lots adjacent to the zoo or in the zoo’s four-level parking garage.  All of the parking is free. Access to these parking lots is along 23rd Avenue between York Street and Colorado Boulevard near the zoo’s main entrance.

Denver Zoo encourages carpooling, using public transportation, bike riding and walking.

Do you have any free days?

We have seven free days annually. Click here for list of upcoming free days at Denver Zoo.

Do you have wheelchairs and wagons for rent?

Yes, we have push wheelchairs for $10/day and electric scooters for $30/day. You must be at least 18 years of age to operate; no reservations can be made as it is first come first served. Wagons are $8/day and safari jeeps $10/day. Members receive a $1 discount on wagons and safari jeeps. When the Wagon Rental is closed you can rent at Samburu Grille.

Do you allow skateboards?

No, for the safety of our guests, self-propelled or motorized riding conveyances such as skateboards, skates, “Heely” brand shoes or similar (wheels must be removed), roller blades, scooters, cycles, big wheels, electric powered toys/riding toys, etc are not allowed.

Do you allow pets?

No, for safety of our guests and animals, pets of any kind are not allowed on Denver Zoo grounds.  Assistance animals are allowed with some restrictions.  Please check in with security at the main gate if you plan on bringing a service animal into the zoo.

Are there other items that are not allowed in the zoo?

Yes, for the safety of our animals items such as balloons, confetti, flags, straws, boom boxes, loud toys, horns, laser pens, flashlights, stilts, etc., are not allowed. Denver Zoo reserves the right to refuse any other items that animal staff advises may cause distress to the animal collection.

Can we feed the animals?

Feeding, chasing and teasing the animals is strictly prohibited. This includes the free roaming animals that call Denver Zoo home, such as the beautiful peacocks. Observe these animals from a distance and do not approach, chase or feed them. Please do not tap on glass or shout at animals. Violation of this rule is subject to removal from the zoo grounds and/or prosecution.

Guests who are interested in feeding an animal should visit Lorikeet Adventure where they can purchase and feed this beautiful species with specially created nectar designed for their dietary needs. Lorikeet Adventure is a seasonal/weather dependent experience and will be closed if the temperature gets too low for the birds safety.

Where would I find an item I lost at the zoo?

Please visit the Boettcher Welcome Center at the Main Entrance to see if the item has been found or file a claim to report the lost item.

Where can I find first aid?

We take care of "owies," and, if needed, paramedic service is available. Please ask any security officer or employee to assist you.

What is the best way to dress for a day at the Denver Zoo? Is there any clothing that isn't permissible?

Denver Zoo is a casual, family-oriented organization. Footwear is required at all times. We suggest you dress comfortably, wear good walking shoes and check the local weather report before you leave for the zoo. In Colorado, it is often a good idea to bring an extra layer just in case. Ensuring that the zoo is family friendly is an important part of the zoo experience. In that spirit, we ask you to use discretion and common sense.

Will Denver Zoo take my animal?

No, Denver Zoo does not generally accept animal donations from private individuals. Many animals in our collection are carefully managed by a Species Survival Plan (SSP) and we coordinate managing these populations by working with other zoos and accredited organizations. This helps us make sure that we have a healthy animal population and know as much as possible about each animal before they arrive.

If you have an animal you want to find a new home for, please contact our Guest Care Center at 720-337-1400 for information about specific animal rescue organizations.

How long does it take to visit Denver Zoo?

Many visitors to Denver Zoo spend an average of 1-3 hours at the zoo, but how long you stay is really up to you! We offer food, restaurants and activities that can offer an entire days worth of fun and memories for you and your family.

What is the best time of day to visit Denver Zoo?

We generally recommend guests arrive early in the day, ideally when gates open for the day, or in the early afternoon, as mid-morning to noon is often the busiest part of the day.

Are weapons permitted on Denver Zoo grounds?

Please view Denver Zoo's Weapons Policy.

Can I get in for free with MY Denver Card?

Your MY Denver Card is good in January and February. It can be used for up to 5 free visits with a paid adult per family or 16+ can attend without paying adult. It does however exclude special events, zoo lights, field trips and classes.