Potter Park Zoo plans to reopen to members Monday, June 15, 2020 and to the public Thursday, June 18, 2020 after being closed to the public since March 14, 2020.
Please visit our new webpage for all the information you need to visit the zoo!
“We are grateful to be able to offer our community a safe way to visit the animals they have missed during this closure,” said Zoo Director Cynthia Wagner.
When guests arrive, the zoo experience will look a little different than before. The zoo team’s commitment to the safety of guests, staff, and animals has never been stronger. Zoo staff have invested time to create and implement a plan that sets a new standard for safety and sanitation protocols that follow the Center for Disease Control and state guidelines, as well as the recommendations of the Ingham County Health Department.
The zoo will be limiting how many guests can visit at one time. Timed entry tickets will be used to space our guest’s arrival times and will be available for purchase online at www.potterparkzoo.org. Timed entry tickets will allow ample room for household groups to social distance while exploring the zoo at their own pace.
Admission tickets may be also purchased at the gate, but guests are not guaranteed admittance at the time of arrival due to the capacity limits. Guests may have to wait for the next available time window if the zoo is at maximum capacity when they arrive.
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 two year of age and if medically able. Signs and paw prints have been posted throughout the zoo to guide guests with social distancing. Guests are asked to respect all barriers that are in place to promote one-way traffic flow and social distancing.
Additional hand sanitizer stations have been added throughout the zoo. Guests are encouraged to wash their hands frequently and use hand sanitizer often. Restroom doors will be propped open to allow for increased air flow. Staff will be sanitizing restrooms and other touch points throughout the zoo at regular intervals each day.
Several areas of the zoo will be closed during the first phase of reopening. The Feline Primate House and Bird and Reptile House will not be open, as well as any outdoor educational activities that have direct contact with animals or staff such as the farmyard contact area, Wings of Wonder, camel rides, and pony rides.
The restaurant and gift shop will look a little different as well. Food and beverage will be available, but with limited offerings to ensure a safe experience for guests and staff. The indoor gift shop area will not be open to walk through, but gift shop merchandise will be available soon at outdoor kiosks for guests hoping to take something special home (like a custom Jaali the black rhino stuffed animal!). Guests are encouraged to bring refillable water bottles to the zoo, but outside food and other drinks are not permitted.
The park playground and shelters will remain closed at least through June 30 as staff evaluate how to adhere to state and county guidelines regarding social distancing in these spaces.
These protocols also apply to all staff who will be required to social distance and wear masks.
“We are incredibly thankful for the hard work of the remarkable Potter Park Zoo team, along with the devoted support of our community through this time,” said Wagner. “We can’t wait to welcome you back to Potter Park Zoo!”