Hints for the Best Wild Adventure
From saving money on tickets to enjoying free events and more, find tips to get the most out of every visit

Hints for the Best Wild Adventure


Published March 29, 2022

Planning a family adventure that’s both fun and affordable can be a challenge. As household budgets are being stretched now more than ever, ensuring the best value becomes more important than ever, also.

At the Indianapolis Zoo, there are plenty of ways to get more out of your visit, whether you’re bringing a whole herd or flying solo. Try these helpful hints to enjoy the best wild adventure!

Saving Starts Online

Start your visit on the right hoof by saving time and money! Before you arrive at the gate, visit IndianapolisZoo.com to purchase your tickets online. Depending on what day you choose to visit, buying admission online could save you up to 50% over the price at the gate. Once you have your mobile tickets, you can head straight to the gate for an expedited entry. Plus, you can save even more time by paying for parking online as well.

Members Get the Most

Free year-round admission to visit our furry family as much as you like — that’s one of the biggest and most well-known benefits of Zoo membership. Members also enjoy other great benefits like free parking, invitations to exhibit preview events and Member Appreciation Days, discounts throughout the Zoo and at other Indianapolis-area attractions, savings and early enrollment for Zoo Camps, and more.

For those who visit the Zoo more than twice per year, a Zoo membership is also the most cost-effective option. With multiple levels available, there’s a membership to accommodate every type of household. 

Wild Events

Throughout the year, the Zoo hosts several special events to give guests unique experiences beyond the regular visit.

Happening through April 17, come celebrate all things spring during xZOOberance presented by Indiana Soybean Alliance and Indiana Corn Marketing Council. Live entertainment, fun activities, living artworks and unique animals are all part of this year’s expanded spring festival. Once May rolls around, we’ll get into the racing spirit with Zoopolis 500 presented by American Dairy Association Indiana. Then on Thursday evenings this summer, we can chill out with the sounds of Animals & All That Jazz concerts.

Best of all, these and lots more public events are included with general admission.

Extend the Adventure

For those traveling from out of town, the Family Fun Adventure Package is another great option to save and get the most of a trip to Indianapolis. The package offers four tickets to the Zoo, four tickets to the Children’s Museum of Indianapolis and an overnight stay at a participating hotel all for an affordable rate. The Zoo also partners with dozens of area hotels to offer discount admission tickets with an overnight stay.

Additionally, as part of White River State Park, there are multiple amazing museums, a scenic outdoor concert venue and a top-tier ballpark are all waiting just across the river. Plus, you’ll find award-winning restaurants, sporting venues, shopping, night life and cultural attractions also located downtown. Park the car just once and access it all within walking distance from the Zoo.

See What’s New

Changes are a regular part of the Zoo’s landscape as we open new, interactive exhibits each year to offer guests unique experiences during every visit. Coming summer 2022, visitors can walk among amazing marsupials when we open Kangaroo Crossing presented by Citizens Energy Group. All our exhibits — from the familiar favorites to this year’s featured habitat — are always included with your regular admission. 

TAP Into Adventure

For thrill seekers, riding Indianapolis’ only roller coaster is an opportunity they just can’t miss! In fact, all our rides and animal feeds can add even more fun to your Zoo visit. If you have multiple guests in your group or you plan to visit the Zoo multiple times per year, multi-ticket packages offer great savings for these attractions. Or try the Total Adventure Package and enjoy unlimited rides and feeds throughout the day. TAP is available seasonally and can also be purchased online to save you more time.

Have a Chat

Have you ever mingled with a flamingo? Or touched an elephant? Our Animal Chats and Presentations are a great opportunity to get up close and learn more about some of your favorite animals. And the best part is they’re all free with your general admission. That includes our popular daily Dolphin Presentation​.

The schedule changes seasonally, so look online and plan ahead for these must-see experiences.

Active Animals

Our animals are generally more active when the temperatures are more moderate, which makes spring an ideal time of year for a visit. Once the daily forecasts start warming up, 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 do arrive later in the day, try starting at the back of the Zoo in the Plains area first to assure you have a chance to see those animals before they go inside for the evening.

Rainy Day Fun

See rain in the forecast? Those can be some of the best days to visit the Zoo! Lots of animals find spring showers refreshing and become even more playful in the rain. And since humans tend to shy away from rain, those willing to bring an umbrella and brave a few sprinkles will often enjoy a more personal Zoo experience.

Additionally, our many indoor exhibits offer places to stay dry while seeing amazing animals! Go 17 feet underwater in the Dolphin Dome. Watch orangutans swing through the Simon Skjodt International Orangutan Center. Inside Oceans, you can touch sharks and rays or watch penguins dive below your feet. Plus, it always feels like summer in Deserts.

It’s a Sign

As you’re observing our animals in their habitats, you could have questions about how their counterparts live in the wild. You may find the answers you’re looking for — plus a whole lot more —written into the signs sprinkled around our exhibits. The interesting facts and educational info included on our signs provide greater context about the species you’ll see here and even help call attention to interesting behaviors you may have otherwise missed.


Additional Parking 

Additional parking for busy days at the Zoo is now available at our South Lot on Harding Street. Signs will direct you to the lot when it is open on crowded days. Head west on Washington street past the Zoo and turn left (south) onto Harding. The lot is on your left after you cross the railroad tracks. A covered area and shuttle to the Zoo will be available.

Buy Tickets Now and Save!

Pick your day. Pick your price. Pick your package. Prices online are cheaper than at the gate.