The Columbus Zoo and Aquarium has reopened in 2020, and there’s so much to enjoy this year at the Zoo including new exhibits and new babies!
Read below for the changes for the 2020 operating season for the Columbus Zoo, including required reservations, and more.
The Zoo is open daily from 9 a.m. until 7 p.m. until August 16. Starting August 17, Zoo hours change to 9 a.m. – 5 p.m., Mondays-Fridays, and 9 a.m. – 7 p.m. on Saturdays and Sundays (and Labor Day Monday).
All Zoo visits (including for Members) will require a dated, timed ticket to help ensure that social distancing and other precautions are followed appropriately. Columbus Zoo Members can visit the Zoo after 2 p.m. any day without a timed entry/reservation. Just be sure to bring your membership card and photo ID to the turnstile. Please note, reservations are still required for any visits before 2 p.m. (3 p.m. until 8/17)
2020 Columbus Zoo modifications
The Columbus Zoo has put safety precautions and protocols in place for the well-being of guests, staff and the animals.
Time Ticketing Reservations
All Zoo visits will now require a dated, timed ticket, including all members. Tickets must be pre-purchased or pre-registered online prior to date of visit. Each ticket will also have an entry timeslot. Guests can enter the Zoo any time after their timeslot begins and are welcome to remain on Zoo grounds until closing time. To help minimize crowds in our entrance plaza, guests cannot arrive prior to their timeslot to enter the Zoo. There will be no day-of ticket sales at the Zoo.
- Columbus Zoo Members can select reservation times of: 9:00 a.m., 10:00 a.m., 11:00 a.m., 12 p.m. and 1 p.m. Members can visit without a reservation any day after 2 pm. Make sure you bring your membership card. (3 p.m. until 8/17)
- Other guests can select reservation times of: 9:30 a.m., 10:30 a.m., 11:30 a.m., 12:30 p.m. and 1:30 p.m.
- On Wednesdays, the Zoo will offer a “high risk” time slot and be open from 9:00 a.m. to 11:00 a.m. for guests with high-risk considerations, such as senior citizens or immuno-compromised individuals.
- Late Date admission: For reservations scheduled after 3 pm, admission tickets are discounted by $3.
Tickets can be purchased and entry times can be reserved up to three weeks in advance. If changes need to be made to a reservation, this must be done over the phone by calling the Zoo at (614) 645-3400. The maximum party size is 10 people per reservation
COTA discounts will be honored at the Zoo’s Will Call window. Other discount programs/offerings are currently unavailable.
All Columbus Zoo and Aquarium memberships will be extended for the time the are closed. If you purchased or renewed your membership while they were closed, it will start when the Zoo reopens. Members must still pre-register their date of visit online. Reciprocity for members of other AZA-accredited facilities is temporarily suspended.
Visiting the Zoo
The parking booth is not accepting cash; only Memberships and Season Passes, pre-purchased online parking vouchers and credit card payments. When making a purchase inside the park, we ask that guests pay by credit card, when possible
The majority of the outdoor habitats and viewing areas will be open and available to guests. Some modifications have been implemented, including spacing in front of viewing windows to minimize contact with glass surfaces, and removal of some seating and objects to encourage guest flow and social distancing. One-way direction has been instituted in certain Zoo regions that contain smaller pathways. If a viewing area is too narrow and social distancing is not possible, then that viewing area will be closed.
Some indoor habitats and areas may be open during the Zoo’s reopening while animal encounters, some rides, trams, playgrounds, group programs and events, and interactive stations will be unavailable at times. Availability is subject to change due to operational considerations.
Souvenir cup (beverage refill program) are being honored (no self service). The employee will give you a disposable cup to pour into your souvenir cup. This is to prevent the employee from having to touch used cups from customers.
Coin operated machines such as penny presses, photo booths and foot massagers will also be closed.
Health and Wellness
The Columbus Zoo is adhering to State of Ohio guidelines for face coverings. As per State mandate, masks are required for guests (unless exempted according to State mandate) who are indoors, as well as in outdoor locations where 6-foot social distancing is not possible. More than 50 hand sanitizing stations and 14 sets of restrooms are available throughout the park to encourage handwashing and personal hygiene. All restroom facilities and high-touch surfaces, including picnic tables, benches, railings and trash cans, will be frequently disinfected throughout the operating day. All rental equipment (strollers, wheelchairs and motorized scooters) are disinfected before and after each use.
Most importantly, STAY HOME if any members of your household is exhibiting any symptoms of any illness or isn’t feeling well. You can visit another time.
Other Zoo properties
The Safari Golf Club and The Wilds in Cumberland, Ohio are open as well. Find Reopening details at SafariGC.com and TheWilds.org.
Zoombezi Bay Waterpark is open to all guests beginning on June 22 with timed reservations. See details of the reopening here.
Full details about the Columbus Zoo’s reopening plan and guidelines can be found on the Zoo’s Reopening Plan page on the Zoo’s website. For additional updates about the animals, events and more, be sure to follow the Zoo’s social media accounts on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter.
Find more information about the Columbus Zoo, including ticket pricing, future discounts, memberships, and more.
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