The Potawatomi Zoo opens for the season on April 2, 2021. Regular hours are 10 am to 5 pm daily until the last day of the season, October 31. Hours are extended in the summer, June 1 to August 31, from 10 am to 8 pm.
Regular admission is $11 for adults; $9 for children ages 3-14 and seniors 62+; and free for children 2 and under. Potawatomi Zoological Society members are admitted free of charge during regular hours and extended summer hours.
Two of the Zoo’s popular attractions, the Potawatomi Zoo Express Train, and Endangered Species Carousel, will be open during the 2021 season. Tickets for the train and carousel are $3 per ticket.
“Last year was such an unusual year, so we’re excited to open on schedule this year,” says Josh Sisk, executive director of the Potawatomi Zoo. “We’re still working to keep our visitors safe by requiring masks inside buildings and when social distancing isn’t possible, but we can’t wait to have the Zoo open again.”
Some of the facilities that were closed last year, such as the Learning Center and auxiliary bathrooms, will be open to guests in 2021. There is a new quiet room for nursing in the Learning Center.
The Zoo Gift Shop, Otter Outpost, Congo Café will be open every day during the 2021 season. Hours will vary for the Chill Zone and Round Barn Bar.
The Zoo will have a full range of camps and classes this year in both the Learning Center and the AEP STEM Classroom in the renovated Tire Rack Education Center.
This year, visitors will get a chance to see some of the Zoo’s new animals, including two new sloths, sand cats, and genets.
“We love bringing new species to the Zoo,” says Sisk. “Not only does it help preserve rare and endangered species but having animals that people are excited to see helps us spread our conservation message even further.”
Public events at the Zoo this year include Eat & Drink at the Zoo on May 15, Brew at the Zoo on September 25, Zoo Boo on October 22-24, and The Gift of Lights, beginning November 26.
During summer extended hours, the Zoo will have fun activities on Third Thursday Family Fun Nights to celebrate the Zoo’s 100th anniversary on June 17, July 15, and August 19.
Construction on the Zoo’s newest project, the giraffe savanna and feeding platform, is taking place in the former Australia yard, but there are no closures to any of the habitats planned, although animals may be moved around to different yards and areas than visitors are used to.
“This is the biggest project we’ve ever undertaken, and it’s going to have a huge impact on our visitors and our community,” says Sisk. “Potawatomi Zoo is growing by leaps and bounds, both physically and in reputation, and I am so proud of the direction we are headed.”
For more details about new animals, EdZOOcation, construction projects, special events, or to become a member, please see potawatomizoo.org, or check the Zoo’s Facebook page for the most up-to-date information.