We will open for our 2017 season on April 8th, so we will be open for April vacation (April 16-22)! As you may expect, the zoo can get very busy during this week, especially if the weather is warm.
We’d like to remind visitors that some animals may not be out during the first few weeks we are open. The majority of our animals are now out, however a small number (such as the sloths and alligator) may need to remain indoors off-exhibit until temperatures are warm enough to safely move them to their outdoor habitat in the zoo. If you plan on visiting in April and there is a particular species you want to see, please call a day or two prior to visiting at 1-800-258-9182 to find out if it has been moved outdoors yet.
In order to help our visitors have the best experience possible, we’ve put together a list of tips for those planning on visiting the zoo during vacation week or other busy times!
1. Have Your Tickets Ready and in Hand
We recommend purchasing your tickets online and printing them before heading to the zoo. Make sure you print out the bar-coded ticket pdf attached to your confirmation email before you leave. When you arrive at the zoo, look for the line for pre-purchased ticket entry to the right of the main entrance for faster entry.
Note: Military discounts and AAA discounts cannot be applied to tickets purchased online, so these discounts are only available for tickets purchased here at the zoo.
2. Beat the Crowds
Your best chance to avoid long admissions lines is either early in the morning (at least 15-20 minutes before we open) or later in the afternoon (after 1:00pm). Lines are usually heaviest between 11:00am to 1:00pm. If you would like to rent a stroller, wagon, or wheelchair we do recommend you come to the zoo for when it opens at 10:00am, because rentals usually sell out by noon time on busy days.
3. Know What Type of Admission You’d Like to Purchase
Read admission options here so you know ahead of time what type of admission you’d like to purchase. If you plan on purchasing Combo Admission, we recommend checking the ride information to make sure your child meets the appropriate height requirements. Also, please keep in mind that certain rides may be unavailable during our first few weeks. If you ever want to check in advance what will be open, call us at 1-800-258-9182.
4. Plan Ahead if Your Want to Purchase an EARTH Membership
If you plan on purchasing an EARTH membership, be prepared to wait in line as this process takes longer than purchasing zoo admission. We suggest you call the EARTH Discovery Center at 1-800-258-9182 ext 208 to purchase your membership now so you will have easy entry to the zoo during school vacation week. If you already have a membership, please have your member key tag ready to scan for faster entry.
5. Wear Comfortable Shoes and Be Prepared for the Weather
Our zoo is very large and built into a hill, so visitors can expect to do a lot of walking and encounter some steep pathways. We always recommend that visitors wear comfortable, closed toe shoes. If you visit on or after a rainy day, some paths may be very muddy. Be sure to also prepare for the weather. Check the day’s weather before leaving so you can prepare for potential rain. Also keep in mind that the zoo doesn’t have much shade during the spring before the trees regrow their leaves. If you are sensitive to the sun you may want to bring a hat, sunglasses, etc.
Parking Changes for 2017
Since the restaurant has opened, zoo parking (including handicapped spaces) will now be located in the large lot across the street from our main entrance. The small parking lot will be for those just dining at Galliford’s Restaurant & Tavern. Guests are welcome to drop people off at the entrance before parking. Parking Attendants will be available to assist. Parking is always free at Southwick’s Zoo.
Thank you and we hope everyone has a wonderful visit to the zoo this season!