The Columbus Zoo and Aquarium is one of the treasures of Central Ohio, but tickets can be expensive. The Zoo wants to be accessible to all, and offers lots of discounts and free admission days throughout the year. Sason passes are a great way to save money if you plan to go several times through the year, as you’ll get free parking and special members-only promotions and days.
The best way to find out about discounts to Columbus Zoo is to sign up for email updates from Columbus on the Cheap, and like our Facebook page. When we find new deals, we make sure our readers know about them.
Free and Discount Days at the Columbus Zoo
There are quite a few free and discount days offered throughout the year, but the offers aren’t usually verified until a month or two prior. Here are posts from the prior year, but they aren’t guaranteed to be offered in subsequent years.
- Half price winter admission (January 7 through February)
- Free Admission to Columbus Zoo for MLK Jr. Day: January 21
- Free Admission at Columbus Zoo on President’s Day: February 18
- Free admission for moms on Mother’s Day: May 12
- Free admission for dads on Father’s Day: June 16
- Free admission to Columbus Zoo: Military Family Free Days in July
- Free Columbus Zoo Admission with Red Cross Blood Drive (typically in September)
- Free Admission to Columbus Zoo for Veterans and Families on Veterans Day
- Wildlights Stuff the Truck Food Drive (mid-December)
- Free Columbus Zoo Admission for Jack Hanna’s Home for the Holidays (typically in December)
Purchase tickets online
You can save $1 per ticket by ordering online. You can either print your pass, so show the receipt on your smartphone. You can even purchase the tickets on your phone when you get to the Zoo and just show your phone to avoid waiting in long lines at the ticket window.
From the Columbus Zoo website:
Regular Admission Franklin County Residents (proof required)
- Under 3 – Free
- Ages 3-9 – $11.99
- Ages 10-59 – $16.99
- Ages over 60 – $11.99
- Parking per car – $10
Regular Admission for outside of Franklin County
- Under 3: Free
- Ages 3-9: $16.99
- Ages 10-59: $21.99
- Ages 60+: $16.99
Columbus Zoo/Zoombezi Bay 2 Day ticket (admission to the Zoo and Zoombezi Bay for both days during Zoombezi Bay Operating Season) for Franklin County residents. Add $5 for non-residents
- Ages 3 – 9 and 60+: $31.99
- Ages 10 and up: $43.99
Year Round Zoo Admission Specials:
- Tuesdays – Seniors (ages 60+) receive half price admission to the Zoo
Franklin County Days
- Mondays, Tuesdays and Wednesdays Franklin County residents receive half price admission to the Zoo.
*Zoo Guests will be asked to provide a valid driver’s license, state-issued ID or a current utility bill to receive the Franklin County Days discount.
- Active and Non-active duty military personel receive a $2 discount on up to 6 tickets when they show a valid military ID.
COTA Bus Rider Discounts during the summer
- Riders will receive a transfer/coupon from their driver to receive half off regular Zoo admission or $4 off Zoombezi Bay admission. See details on schedule and fares.
If you are going to go to the Zoo more frequently in a season, you will want to consider buying a season pass. You’ll get free parking (since $10 a car is outrageous), as well as other member benefits, like free preview nights for special events. There are discounts on season passes throughout the year.
Online Price for Franklin County residents ($3-$5 more if purchased at the Zoo).
- Individual Membership – starting at $54 Admits one named adult
- Individual Plus One Membership – starting at $94 Admits one named adult and one unnamed guest
- Family Membership – starting out $134 Admits up to two primary named adult members within the same household plus either dependent children OR grandchildren up to age 21 (not both) to the Columbus Zoo.
- Family Plus Membership – starting at $164 Admits up to two primary named adult members within the same household plus either dependent children OR grandchildren up to age 21 (not both) to the Columbus Zoo. This membership also includes up to two named* or unnamed* guests.
- Gold Individual Membership – starting at $124.99 This individual pass gives you access to the Zoo and Zoombezi Bay, FREE Zoo rides* (including Jungle Jack’s Landing) and FREE admission to Stingray Bay and 4-D Theater.
Zoombezi Bay Season Pass – $69.99 – $124.99
Just want to enjoy the water at Zoombezi Bay? Surf into the wildest water park ever and get a special discount on your Zoombezi Bay season pass through our online store. Zoo members save $5.
Reciprocal Discount Member Benefit
As a Columbus Zoo and Aquarium member, you can save $3 on general admission to select Columbus museums and attractions through the Columbus Member Advantage program. No coupon is necessary. Simply show your valid Columbus Zoo membership card each time you visit! Limited to 4 discounts per membership per day; can’t be combined with other discounts. Columbus Zoo members receive discounted or FREE admission to the AZA accredited Zoos in the list below
Columbus Member Advantage partners for 2019 include:
- Columbus Museum of Art
- Franklin Park Conservatory and Botanical Gardens
- LEGOLAND® Discovery Center Columbus
- National Veterans Memorial and Museum
- Ohio History Center & Ohio Village
- Pizzuti Collection
- Wexner Center for the Arts
Fun Foto + Member benefit
Columbus Zoo members are invited to become Fun Foto + members. Have your picture taken by any of the roaming photographers and get all your photos taken during the in 2018 season digitally for $34.99!