Service and community were central themes in the teachings of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. In recognition of his life and legacy, guests are invited each year in January to join the Indianapolis Zoo as we celebrate Martin Luther King Jr. Day presented by Honda Manufacturing. Along with our other partners in White River State Park, parking and admission to the Zoo are free on this day — donation dip jars will be on site for monetary donations benefitting Gleaner’s Food Bank.
Donations of non-perishable food items, school supplies, hygiene products, winter wear items and gently used athletic wear will also be accepted for The Rooted School Indianapolis. Special thanks to the Exchange at the Indianapolis Urban League as well as the African American Network employee resource group at Eli Lilly for providing support.
Although the Zoo is usually closed on Mondays in January, weather permitting, it will be our privilege to open our gates on this day to those with a generous heart and a sense of adventure. You’ll not only enjoy a special visit to the Zoo but also a special feeling of helping our community.
Our hardier animals will be out to enjoy the day, including Arctic fox, sea lions, tigers, brown bears and more. The Zoo’s indoor exhibits — Oceans, Dolphin Dome, Deserts Dome, Simon Skjodt International Orangutan Center and Hilbert Conservatory — will be open as well. Plus guests can enjoy special animal chats and presentations. Cafe on the Commons will offer a $5 combo meal for the day that will include a hot dog, kettle chips and a drink. Only credit and debit cards will be accepted.
The Zoo utilizes this annual observance of the civil rights leader’s life to continue the on-going commitment and dedication to serving a diverse community. For more than 20 years, Zoo and White River State Park have taken this opportunity to give back to our community. Through your generous contributions, we are able to support Gleaners Food Bank and help feed families throughout our community! In 2020, we collected 2,262 pounds of food.