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10 Essential Things to Know Before Your Visit to San Antonio Zoo

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If you are excited about visiting the San Antonio Zoo, then get ready for an adventure at one of the most impressive zoos in the country! The San Antonio Zoo is home to over 9,000 animals from 750 different species, some of which are endangered or extinct in the wild. You can also enjoy fun activities like riding the zoo train, visiting the butterfly garden, or watching a 4D movie. But before you go, there are some things you need to know to make the most of your visit. Here are 10 essential tips that will help you have a wonderful and memorable experience at the San Antonio Zoo.

These tips will make your trip a wild success!

Must-See Spots Near the San Antonio Zoo

  • Kiddie Park: A historic amusement park for children, featuring classic rides, games, and snacks. It is located right next to the zoo and is open on weekends.
     
  • Witte Museum: A museum of natural history, science, and culture, with exhibits on dinosaurs, Texas wildlife, ancient civilizations, and more. It is located about 8 minutes from the zoo and is open daily.
  • Japanese Tea Garden: A beautiful and serene garden with a pond, a waterfall, a pavilion, and a cafe. It is located about 6 minutes from the zoo and is open daily.
  • The DoSeum: A museum for kids, with interactive and hands-on exhibits on art, technology, engineering, and math. It is located about 15 minutes from the zoo and is open daily.

VISUAL STORY: 7 San Antonio Zoo Upcoming Events That Really Need A Visit

Here is the list of Things to Know Before Your Visit to San Antonio Zoo

1. Must-Try Foods at San Antonio Zoo  

  • Beastro: This is the zoo’s main restaurant, located near the entrance. It serves burgers, sandwiches, salads, and more, as well as beer and wine. You can enjoy your meal indoors or outdoors, with a view of the zoo’s lake and flamingos.
  • Longnecks Bar & Grill: This is a casual and family-friendly spot, located near the giraffe exhibit. It offers grilled items, such as hot dogs, burgers, and chicken, as well as snacks, drinks, and ice cream. You can also feed the giraffes for an extra fee.
  • Zoo snacks: If you are looking for a quick bite, you can find various snack stands throughout the zoo, offering popcorn, pretzels, cotton candy, nachos, and more. You can also find vending machines with drinks and snacks. 

These are just some of the famous food options at the San Antonio Zoo, but there are many more to discover and enjoy. 

2.  Buy Your Tickets Online to Skip the Line 

If you want to save time and money when you visit the San Antonio Zoo, you should buy your tickets online. By buying your tickets online, you can skip the line at the entrance and go straight to the fun. You can also take advantage of online discounts and deals, such as the zoo membership, combo tickets, and special events. 

You can buy your tickets online through the zoo’s website or app, and show them on your phone or print them at home. Buying your tickets online is a smart and convenient way to visit the zoo. 

3. Map Your Adventure to Discover the Best Path to Fun 

The San Antonio Zoo is a huge place, with over 56 acres of land and more than 750 animal species to explore. To make the most of your visit, you need to plan ahead and map your adventure. 

You can use the zoo’s website or app to find the exhibits, attractions, and amenities that interest you, and create your own itinerary. You can also download or print a zoo map to guide you along the way. By mapping your adventure, you can discover the best path to fun and avoid missing anything. 

4. Respect Wildlife and Follow the Rules 

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The San Antonio Zoo is not only a place for entertainment, but also for education and conservation. The zoo cares for the animals and their habitats and strives to inspire visitors to respect and protect wildlife. To help the zoo achieve its mission, you need to follow some rules when you visit. 

These include: staying on the designated paths, not feeding or touching the animals, keeping your distance from the enclosures, not littering or smoking, and following the staff’s instructions. By respecting wildlife and following the rules, you can ensure a safe and enjoyable visit for yourself, the animals, and the environment. 

5. Visit the Zoo’s Conservation and Education Center

zoo’s conservation and education center is a hub for various programs and activities that aim to educate and inspire visitors about wildlife and the environment. The center offers interactive exhibits, live animal shows, zoo camps, field trips, and more. 

The center is open daily from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m., and admission is included with your zoo ticket. The center is a great place to visit if you want to learn more and get involved with the zoo’s mission. 

6. Enjoy a Zoo Tour on the Zoo Train for a Wild Ride 

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One of the best ways to see the San Antonio Zoo is by hopping on the zoo train, a historic and fun ride that takes you around the zoo and the nearby Brackenridge Park. You can enjoy the scenic views of the animals, the lake, and the golf course, as well as learn some interesting facts from the train conductor. The zoo train runs daily from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m., and the tickets are $4 per person. Don’t miss this unique and exciting experience at the zoo. 

7. Discover the Butterfly Garden at the Zoo   

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One of the most beautiful and relaxing attractions at the zoo is the butterfly garden, a tropical oasis where you can see hundreds of colorful butterflies flying around. The butterfly garden is located near the Africa Live exhibit and is open daily from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. 

You can walk through the garden and admire the different species of butterflies, as well as the flowers, plants, and birds that share their habitat. You can also learn more about the life cycle and conservation of butterflies at the education station. The butterfly garden is a must-see attraction for nature lovers at the zoo. 

8. Explore the Zoo’s Water Park 

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If you want to cool off and have some splashy fun at the zoo, you should check out the zoo’s water park, a new and exciting attraction that opened in 2023. The water park features a wave pool, a lazy river, a splash pad, and several water slides, as well as cabanas, lockers, and food options. 

The water park is open daily from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m., and the tickets are $21.99 per person or $14.99 for zoo members. The water park is a great way to beat the heat and enjoy some water fun at the zoo. 

9. Meet the Zoo’s Animal Ambassadors 

The San Antonio Zoo has a special program called Animal Ambassadors, where you can meet some of the zoo’s most charismatic and friendly animals up close. You can interact with animals such as sloths, porcupines, armadillos, and more, and learn about their natural behaviors, adaptations, and conservation status. 

You can also take photos with them and ask questions to the zookeepers. The Animal Ambassadors program is available daily from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m., and the tickets are $15 per person or $10 for zoo members.

10. Watch a 4D Movie at the Zoo  

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If you want to add some thrill and excitement to your zoo visit, you should watch a 4D movie at the zoo’s theater. The 4D theater offers an immersive and interactive experience, where you can feel the action on the screen with sensory effects, such as wind, water, scent, and vibration. 

The 4D theater shows different movies throughout the year, featuring animals, nature, and adventure. The 4D theater is open daily from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m., and the tickets are $5 per person or $4 for zoo members. The 4D theater is a great way to have some fun and learn something new at the zoo.

FAQs

Can you take snacks to the San Antonio Zoo?

Outside drinks or foods are not allowed into the Zoo.

How long does it take to tour the San Antonio Zoo?

3- 4 hours is a good estimate of time.

How much does it cost to go to the San Antonio Zoo?

$35.99

Can I bring alcohol to San Antonio Parks?

Nope, bringing alcohol to City parks is a no-go, unless it’s a special event or a park that’s got the green light for it.


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