Frequently Asked Questions

Details are evolving, check this page often for any updates 

Should I visit the zoo?

Please stay home if you have any of these symptoms or feel sick:
– New or worsening cough
– Shortness of breath or chest tightness

– Fever (temperature over 100.4)
Thank you for helping to keep the zoo a safe place for everyone!

If you feel sick before your scheduled reservation, we ask that you not visit the zoo. If you begin feeling sick while at the zoo, reach out to our staff so that someone from the on-site team may assist you

The changes we have put in place are meant to create the safest possible environment for everyone at the zoo including our visitors, staff, volunteers and the animals in our care. We ask that everyone follow social distancing protocols and other posted guidelines throughout the zoo, as well as respiratory etiquette and hand hygiene.

Do I have to wear a mask? What about my kids?

Every guest who enters the zoo is expected to support the shared responsibility of keeping themselves, other guests, zoo staff, and animals safe by social distancing and wearing a mask when closer than six feet to individuals outside of their household and in all indoor spaces if over five years of age and medically able (all children older than two are strongly encouraged to wear a mask). Disposable masks will be available for purchase at the admission gates for 50 cents each.

We have installed social distancing guidelines throughout the zoo. In the event you find yourself closer than six feet to an animal or an individual outside of your household, we are requiring guests to wear masks. Thank you for helping us protect our guests, staff, and animals by wearing a mask!

You don’t have to wear a mask if you have a medical condition that prevents you from doing so or if you are under the age of five (all children older than two are strongly encouraged to wear a mask).

We are following the Center for Disease Control and state guidelines as well as the recommendations of the Ingham County Health Department.

Please Note: Masks are required to enter the zoo, when indoors, and when within six feet of anyone outside of your household. Mobility devices and stroller rentals, as well as membership sales are located in an indoor area where masks are required. If you do not bring your mask with you, you will be asked to purchase one at admissions. Thank you for helping to keep the zoo a safe place for everyone!

Have you increased your cleaning/sanitizing schedule?

Yes, we have increased our cleaning and sanitization schedule and are following all CDC guidelines. In addition, we have installed hand sanitizer stations throughout the grounds and will be continuously cleaning high-touch surfaces including restrooms, handles, railings, seating and more.

Will it be possible to follow social distancing protocols inside the zoo?

Yes, absolutely. We’ve made some changes inside the park to allow all zoo staff, volunteers and guests to appropriately social distance. You will see markers in many areas as well as signage throughout the zoo to remind you to follow these guidelines. Additionally, we have indicated a recommended one-way path to help control traffic flow.


Do I have to get a ticket in advance, or can I get one at the gate?

All visitors (even those under two) are encouraged to purchase a timed-entry ticket online before arriving at the zoo. This is to help limit the number of people in the zoo and to promote social distancing. Members will still be free, but need to reserve an arrival time online before your arrival*.

Guests can purchase their tickets at the gate without reserving an arrival time, but we cannot guarantee admittance at the time of your arrival due to capacity limits. You may have to wait for the next available time window if the zoo is at maximum capacity when you arrive. Entry times will be 30-minute windows. For example, if you reserve a ticket for noon you will be able to enter the zoo from 12-12:30 p.m. Once you’re here, you are welcome to stay as long as you would like.

*Members will still need to show their membership card at the admissions gate along with their reserved arrival time.

Can I check-in early for my reserved time?

In order to maintain a properly social distanced line, please wait in your vehicle if you arrive early. Please do not join the check-in line more than 15 minutes prior to your reserved time.

Is there a limit to the number of arrival time reservations I can order?

Yes. Reservations are limited to nine. If you have a group larger than nine, please call 517-342-2765.

What if I make a reservation and then I’m unable to attend at the date/time I selected?

If you are no longer able to visit during your reserved time, please let us know so we can help you reschedule your visit and make your unused tickets available for other guests.

Members call Kelly at 517-342-2717

General Admission call Ruby at 517-342-2765

Do I need to print my timed-entry tickets?

Guests do not need to print tickets. We are able to look up their reservation online.

How long can I stay at the zoo?

You will be prompted to select an entry time window during the ticketing process. This designates when you are able to enter the zoo. Once you’re here, you are welcome to stay as long as you would like.

What if I have a valid general admission coupon to come to Potter Park Zoo?

Call 517-342-2765 to exchange your coupon for a timed entry ticket. Coupons will be extended 3 months past their expiration date.

I have a membership to another zoo or aquarium. Will that still work for free or reduced rate admission?

We will accept reciprocal zoo members at the gate only, where we ask you to bring your membership card to get your discount. Online ticket sales are not available for reciprocal zoo members. If the zoo is at full capacity, you may have to wait for the next available time slot.

Can I use a “Zoo in Your Neighborhood” pass to visit the zoo?

Yes! You can use a “Zoo in Your Neighborhood” pass to visit the zoo. Please note, we are limiting how many guests can visit the zoo at one time. Those with a ZIYN pass cannot reserve an arrival time online and may have to wait for the next available time slot if the zoo is at the maximum reduced capacity.

Visit our ZIYN Pass FAQ for more info on visiting the zoo with a zoo pass during our reopening.


Have your hours changed?

Our hours remain 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. daily. Guests have one hour to leave the zoo after closing.

Can I bring food and beverages with me?

For the safety of valued guests, team members, and the animals in our care, no outside food or beverage is allowed. Refillable water bottles are encouraged.

What about the cost of admission and parking?

Admission pricing remains: $7 for resident adults, $13 for non-resident adults, $5 for resident seniors, $11 for non-resident seniors, $5 for children ages 3-12 and free for children under 3. Parking is $3 for residents, $5 for non-residents and free for deluxe and premium zoo members.

Can we leave the zoo and come back during our visit?

Yes, you can reenter the same day with your ticket or receipt.

Are there wheelchairs, electric mobility devices, wagons, and strollers available for rent?

Yes. You can rent wheelchairs, electric mobility devices, strollers and wagons at the Discovery Center (where masks are required). They will be disinfected before and after each use.

What are you doing to keep the animals safe?

Animal care staff will continue to work on staggered schedules and wear the appropriate personal protective equipment (PPE) during their shifts to keep our animals safe. We’re also requiring guests to wear masks when they are closer than 6 feet to animals. We appreciate you being a part of keeping our animals safe!

Will the pony rides, farmyard contact yard, camel rides and Wings of Wonder be available to guests?

Only camel rides are open during phase one of reopening. Pony rides, farmyard contact yard, train and bungee will not return this season.

Can we play on the bronze giraffes or in the playground? Can we have our photos taken at the photo boards?

The bronze giraffes and photo boards will not be available for photo opportunities during phase one of reopening. The playground is open.

Can we purchase food and drinks?

The AniMall gift shop and Dippin’ Dots Kiosk are now open! The AniMall has prepackaged snacks available, and the Dippin’ Dots kiosk has a variety of beverages for purchase. Pepsi vending machines are available as well as refillable water bottle filling stations near the gift shop, the red panda exhibit and the rhino exhibit.

Will you have paper maps available?

No paper zoo maps will be available at the zoo. Please take a photo of the large maps throughout the zoo or view a digital version on our website.