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A Guide to the Houston Zoo

Everything you need to know about the Houston Zoo in Houston, TX


houston zoo, things to see
Houston Zoo
Houston Zoo at a Glance

The Houston Zoo is one of Houston's best attractions. It holds over 4,500 animals on more than 55 acres of land. It is visited by nearly two million people a year, making it one of the most visited zoos in the nation. It is located in the Museum District at Hermann Park. The only day the Houston Zoo is closed is on Christmas Day.

The African Forest Exhibit

The African Forest exhibit was unveiled in December of 2010 after years of planning. The experience begins with at the tourist outpost where visitors will be briefed on what to expect from this self-guided tour. And among the sights to expect are a colony of chimpanzees (who are always up for interacting through the viewing glass), a cohabitation of rhinos and antelopes, sculpture, art and of course a restaurant and gift shop. On weekdays, get up close and personal with the giraffes by feeding them their breakfast ($5 for giraffe food....lettuce). There is no additional charge to enter the African Forest. 

Explore the Museum District

Houston Zoo Exhibits and Facilities

The Houston Zoo is comprised of many different exhibits and facilities. These include the John P. McGovern Children's Zoo, which includes a petting zoo, playground and small water play park, the Carruth Natural Encounters Building, Kipp Aquarium, Asian Elephant Habitat, Reptile House and more.

The 4-D Experience

Located next door to the Herzstein Trading Post in the African Forest, The 4-D Experience theater features a short 3-D film with additional effects including bubbles, lights, fragrances and mist. Check website for daily showtimes. Tickets are $4 for members and $5 for non-members. 4-D film choices have included Dora and Diego's 4-D Adventure and Planet Earth: Pole to Pole

Houston Zoo Prices

Admission for children under two are free. Children 2-11 are $9. Adults 12-64 are $13. Seniors are $7. Members of the Houston Zoo receive free admission.

Houston Downtown Aquarium

Zoo Lights

During the holiday season, the Houston Zoo is transformed into a winter wonderland complete with holiday tunes, hot cocoa and extravagant lighting. Entrance to Zoo Lights is not included in the cost of regular zoo admission.

If you are in a group of twenty of more people, you are eligible for a twenty percent discount on each ticket. You must fill out the Group Tickets Order Form and submit it at least three weeks in advance. For more information, you can email grouptickets@houstonzoo.org or call 713.533.6754.

See the Best Houston Attractions

Military Discounts

Admission to the Houston Zoo is free for active members of the military and their families.

Houston Zoo Hours

Between March 11 and November 4, hours of operation are from 9 a.m. to 7 p.m. From November 5 to March 10, hours of operation are from 9 a.m. to 6 p.m.

Houston Zoo Free Days

The Houston Zoo offers free admission on the first Tuesday of every month beginning at 2 p.m. until closing.

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