FAQs

 

How do I get to the Zoo?

 

The Zoo is located at 4001 E Paisano Dr., El Paso, TX . Get directions here

 

For service on Sun Metro:

To the Zoo from downtown, use Route 23* or Route 65

From the Zoo to downtown, use Route 24 or Route 65

To the Zoo from Cielo Vista Mall, use Route 25

*Route 23 is the only route that drops guest off directly in front of the Zoo. 

 

 

When are you open?

 

The Zoo is open year round.  Hours are 9:30 a.m. to 5 p.m. daily. The ticket window and membership offices close at 4 p.m. and animals start going off exhibit shortly after that time. The Zoo is only closed Christmas Eve, Christmas and New Year’s Day.

Special note: We want your visit to the El Paso Zoo to be enjoyable. Please note that during the spring months, many schoolchildren visit the Zoo on field trips. Most schools visit in the morning, so the Zoo is less crowded in the afternoon.

For more on Zoo hours go here

 

 

What is the cost of admission and parking?

 

Ages 2 & Under - Free

Ages 3 to 12 - $7.50

Ages 13 to 59 - $12.00

Active Duty Military & Spouse (must present Department of Defense identification card) - $9.00

Ages 60 & over - $9.00

El Paso Zoological Society Members - Free

Parking is free at the El Paso Zoo. Overflow parking at the El Paso County Coliseum is $5 per car when the coliseum is hosting an event. 

The Zoo accepts cash, credit cards and checks with a matching state-issued identification card or driver’s license, consular card, or municipal identification card. For more information on tickets, go here. To learn about Zoological Society memberships, go here

 

 

What rental items are available?

 

For your convenience, the Zoo has the following items available for rent. You are always welcome to bring your own mobility devices.  

Stroller: $7

Double stroller: $9

Wagon: $9

Wheelchair: $10

Electric wheelchair: $25

Call (915) 212-0247 or go here for more information. 

Rentals are available on a first-come, first-served basis at the Safari Outfitters Gift Shop, located just inside the front gate.

 

 

What is the smoking policy at the Zoo?

 

El Paso City ordinance prohibits smoking and using electronic cigarettes at all city-owned facilities, including the El Paso Zoo. Smoking is not allowed on Zoo property, including the parking lot. Should you observe a guest smoking, please report it to a Zoo employee and we will address the situation.

 

 

What items are not allowed at the Zoo?

 

The El Paso Zoo does not allow guests to bring balloons, noise makers, glitter, confetti, cascarones nor piñatas. Likewise, balls, grills and other portable cooking stoves and devices, domestic animals, alcoholic beverages, glass containers, lawn chairs, bicycles, roller blades, skates, and/or skateboards are not allowed inside the Zoo.  

 

 

May I bring a backpack?

 

Guests are welcome to bring a backpack to the Zoo. 

 

 

 

May I bring my own food and drinks?

 

Guests may bring their own food and drinks, although glass items, alcoholic beverages and lightweight, single-use straws are not permitted. There are no facilities available for food or cooler storage. The Zoo has restaurants and food and beverage carts on the grounds with a variety of menu items, including healthy options. The Zoo does not allow outside catering or food deliveries. 

For more on what is offered at the Zoo, go here

Passport Café is open year round from 9:30 a.m. to 4 p.m. 

Grasslands Café is open seasonally on weekends from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. and may close during inclement weather.

The Zoo’s Wild About Health interactive program encourages children and their families about making healthy choices by eating like an animal! Download the scavenger hunt here

 

 

Are there water fountains?

 

Yes, water fountains are located in various areas of the El Paso Zoo. The Zoo encourages guests to bring recyclable water bottles and to stay hydrated during their Zoo visit. 

Snack and drink carts are located throughout the Zoo. The Zoo also sells special cups that allow guests to refill their drinks at a discounted rate. 

 

 

May I bring pets into the Zoo?

 

For the safety of the Zoo animals and yours, the El Paso Zoo does not allow pets on the grounds. However, certified service animals are permitted under the Americans With Disabilities Act (ADA). Examples of tasks performed by service animals include guiding a person who is blind (“guide dog”), alerting a person who is deaf (“hearing dog”), for seizure and other medical alerts (“medical alert dog”) or for wheelchair assistance (“service dog”). 

Animals that provide only emotional support (“therapy animals” ) and companion animals are not service animals under the ADA and may denied access to public places. For detailed ADA information, visit www.ada.gov or call (800) 514-0301 (voice) or (800) 514-0383 (TTY).

 

 

Do we have to have a swimsuit to use the splash pad?

 

Swimsuits are not required to play in the splash pad, but all guests must wear clothing at all times while splashing around. If your child wears diapers or is potty-training, he or she must wear swim diapers when using the splash pad. 

 

 

 

Are there baby-changing stations?

 

Yes, in every set of restrooms there is a space for changing. 

 

 

Are shoes required?

 

Shoes are required at all times by city ordinance. 

 

 

Will I see every animal?

 

Zoo habitats are designed to be as naturalistic as possible, because that’s best for the animals. Sometimes, that means they will find a secluded place to rest, so they won’t always be easily visible. Different animals also are more active at various times of the day.

Animals may be in their behind the scenes living spaces for a variety of reasons including: environmental conditions, training, medical exams and other health issues, and behavioral concerns. Additionally, many of the Zoo habitats are designed to allow animals to remove themselves from guest view at any time. For these reasons, it is not always possible to predict or note these exceptions before the fact. If an animal is behind the scenes for a long period of time, the front gate will let you know before you enter the Zoo.

Animals may also be temporarily in their behind the scenes living spaces for a short period of time so they may receive enrichment, training and/or medical treatment. 

 

 

When is the best time to see every animal?

 

There really isn’t any special time that more animals are in view, though many of our animals are “early risers” and may be a bit more active in the morning. Animals are also more active during trainings and presentations. Zoo habitats mimic natural environments and like natural environments, these areas give the animals plenty of room to hide. Hiding is a natural animal behavior that contributes to the animal’s well-being. 

 

 

How can I get close to the animals?

 

Animal encounters give you an opportunity to wave to a sea lion or feed a giraffe and more! Check the event calendar for animal encounter experiences. 

Additionally, the Zoo has several special experiences that are uniquely designed to get you closer to animals! Through Zoo Adventure Programs, you can have behind the scenes tours and up close encounters. For more on Zoo Adventure Programs, go here

 

 

Can you feed the animals?

 

Our animals are on special diets and foods outside those diets can harm the animals. Extend your arm and give giraffes a taste of lettuce at a special giraffe encounter! Guests may participate in this encounter for $3. Check the event calendar for feeding days and times. 

 

 

What happens if there is inclement weather?

 

The Zoo is open year round, rain or shine! Depending on the extent of rain, some animals may choose to go into their behind the scenes living spaces, though many animals seem to enjoy the rain. 

If you are unsure if the Zoo is open, feel free to give us a call at (915) 212-0-ZOO. 

 

 

Are commercial photography and videography allowed?

 

Guests are welcome to photograph and/or videotape at the El Paso Zoo for their personal use. 

Professional and portrait photography is allowed at the Zoo in the regular public guest areas and fees are charged by the hour. Additional security fees and Zoo admission may be required.

People intending to take portraits/photos/film/video at the El Paso Zoo for commercial or non-personal use (including but not limited to personal portraits, commercial, artistic, educational or media use) must submit a request for approval in writing to the El Paso Zoo Marketing Department two weeks before the date of the intended photo shoot. For a request approval permission or for more information, contact This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

 

 

Can I use a selfie stick at the El Paso Zoo?

 

The El Paso Zoo prohibits guests from entering animal exhibits or reaching past exhibit barriers. This policy is in place for the safety and wellbeing of the animals in our care as well as guests visiting our facilities. Guests may use selfie sticks, but these devices may not reach past exhibit barriers. 

 

 

How do I plan a field trip for my group?

 

Educational groups planning a field trip should make their reservations here

 

 

Can I plan my own event at the El Paso Zoo?

 

Group events must be planned through Taste of the Wild Catering. Groups are defined as any organized group of more than 20 people, including but not limited to, family reunions, corporate outings, teams and nonprofit organizations. Reservations must be made by contacting Taste of the Wild Catering via e-mail at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. or phone at (915) 212-0250. 

 

Group events include a private facility and seating area. Public shaded and seating spaces are provided as a courtesy to general zoo guests and groups shall not occupy or hold these areas. Groups occupying or holding those spaces will be asked to vacate. Please call us for more information regarding renting any Zoo space or facility for your group.

 

 

 

Can we fundraise at the El Paso Zoo?

 

The City of El Paso has a contract with the El Paso Zoological Society granting them the exclusive right to fundraise at the Zoo. At this time, we cannot host fundraisers for outside organizations. If you are interested in donating to or helping fundraise for the El Paso Zoological Society, please go here.  

 

 

How can I volunteer at the Zoo?

 

We love our volunteers! We welcome volunteers age 18 and up. For more information, please visit us here.  

 

 

May I leave and come back in?

 

You may return to your vehicle if you forgot something. Security will need to stamp your hand in order for you to re-enter the Zoo. In-and-outs are limited to the Zoo parking lot.