Hints for a Great Visit

​​Plan to Save

Looking for ways to save time and money during your next Zoo adventure? Then our Pick Your Day, Pick Your Price, Pick Your Package program is exactly what you’ve been looking for! By planning ahead and purchasing advance tickets online, your Zoo visit will be more affordable and more enjoyable. Typically, families will save more on a weekday visit. The prices will never fall below today's listed prices, but they may increase the longer you wait to buy. Plus, prices will be higher if you wait to buy at the gate, so lock in the best admission price by purchasing today!

​​​​​That's Cool

Our animals are generally more active when the temperatures are more moderate, which makes spring and fall the ideal times 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. 

Be Comfortable

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 65 acres at the Zoo and an additional 3 acres at White River Gardens​, you'll be on your feet most of the day.

Start at the Plains Exhibit

If you arrive at the Zoo later in the day, you may wish to go to the Plains exhibit first to assure you have a chance to see all the animals of the African Plains before they go inside for the evening.

Go to the Dolphin Presentation

The daily Dolphin Presentation​ 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.

​Enjoy a Snack

We offer lots of dining options with foods to fit all tastes. The best time to grab a bite is just before and during the Dolphin ​Presentation​ when the restaurants tend to be less crowded. You can also bring a lunch, and though visitors cannot carry food into the Zoo, we have picnic areas outside the Entry Plaza and along the Riverwalk behind White River Gardens​. Seating is first-come, first-served, and we suggest coming at off-peak times to easily find a seat.

School's in Session

We're fortunate to host lots of school field trips​ with students eager to learn about animals and conservation. Weekdays in May and early June are our busiest times for school trips, so during that time of year weekends (especially Sundays) are a great time to beat the crowds.

Getting Around Town

During busy times of year, like Spring Break, end of the school year, ZooBoo and Christmas at the Zoo, having an alternate driving route will help you avoid traffic.  You may come to the Zoo from White River Parkway West Drive which offers a scenic view of the city. The Zoo is also along Indianapolis' Cultural Trail and we have bike racks if you bicycle to the Zoo.  Or you may consider walking through White River State Park on your next Zoo visit.

Make a Splash

During the hot summer months, cool off at the misting stations in the Forests and Plains exhibits. We also feature a very kid-friendly Splash Park presented by Kroger. You may wish to bring a change of clothes for the kids; they will get wet!

Stop and Smell the Roses

No matter what season, there's always something in bloom at White River Gardens. Whether it's the indoor tropical paradise of the Hilbert Conservatory or the outdoor beauty of the DeHaan Tiergarten, you won't want to miss everything White River Gardens has to offer. Plus, admission is included with regular Zoo admission!

Take Note

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.

Baby, It's Cold Outside

Many of our animals love Indiana's cold winters like our tigers, bears, walrus and more. But when the temperatures drop, some species prefer the comfort of their climate-controlled indoor facilities. The animals in Plains and many of the birds in Encounters will be back on exhibit when warm weather arrives.

It's a Sign

Take advantage of the signs sprinkled throughout the exhibits that contain interesting facts, educational info and tips to become part of our animal conservation mission.