Our animals are generally more active when the temperatures are moderate, which makes spring an ideal time for a visit. During warmer months, getting an early start and visiting in the mornings when it is cooler will give you the best chance of seeing animals when they're most active. If you happen to arrive later in the day, start at the African Plains exhibit to assure you have a chance to see all the animals before they go inside for the evening.
If spring showers are in the forecast on the day you plan to visit, no worries! Our Zoo has multiple indoor exhibits for you to warm up in and see amazing animals! Visitors can go 17 feet underwater in the Dolphin Dome and catch computer learning demonstrations in the Simon Skjodt International Orangutan Center. Penguins, cownose rays, reef fish and more are always on the move in Oceans. Plus, it always feels like summer in Deserts.
Check the day's weather forecast before you arrive and dress appropriately. We recommend dressing in layers — come with a jacket for the cooler morning that you can peel off as the day warms up. And comfortable shoes are a must! With 64 acres at the Zoo and an additional 3 acres at White River Gardens , you'll be on your feet most of the day.
Immerse yourself in the beauty of butterflies as Butterfly Kaleidoscope presented by Citizens Energy Group returns to the Hilbert Conservatory! As you walk through the warm, aromatic indoor garden, more than 40 species of butterflies will flit nearby — and one might even land on you! If you want to see these beautiful critters take their first flight, plan on coming to a scheduled release at the Conservatory.
Go to the Dolphin Presentation
The daily Dolphin Presentations are one of our most popular features and they're included free with regular Zoo admission. However, seating in the Dolphin Pavilion is limited, so if you want to pick the presentation you attend, get your tickets as soon as you come through the gate! And if you choose to sit in the Splash Zone, be prepared to get wet by tucking away your smart phone or camera.
Have a Chat
If you want to learn more about our animals, check out our daily Animal Keeper Chats. Sessions change seasonally, so as you enter, hold onto the schedule you receive along with your Zoo Map.
Stop and Smell the Roses
There's always something in bloom at White River Gardens. In the spring season, DeHaan Tiergarten showcases hundreds of tulips that fill our outdoor garden beds with vibrant colors each year! Plus, admission is included with regular Zoo admission! The Gardens are here to inspire! So if you're a gardening guru, we suggest bringing a notepad (or smart phone) to jot down any tips you collect from our Gardener's Notes signs or favorite plants you find.