Tips for Enjoying This Abnormally Normal Summer at CMZoo

June 25, 2020

Due to COVID-19 restrictions, things certainly look different at the Zoo this summer. The response to our reopening has been overwhelming, and we’re grateful for your support.

With a little planning, patience and information, our guests are enjoying America’s mountain Zoo with small changes that make a big impact. Read on to learn what you can do and expect to increase your chances of reserving our limited-but-required advance e-tickets, and then get the most of your visit when you arrive.

For a complete list of FAQs and other information that will make your next visit enjoyable, go to

  • Advance e-tickets are required and can be reserved at Check daily for newly available tickets.
  • If you don’t see a date or time available, e-tickets for that date or time have been fully reserved.
  • We have asked members who can’t use the tickets they reserve to tell us so we can make those available for other members. We don’t have a release schedule for those, but we are receiving quite a few ‘recycled’ tickets, so please do continue to check back.
  • Members, please be considerate to your fellow members and limit the number of tickets you reserve at this time. Consider delaying a second visit to allow another family a chance to see their favorite animals while we’re still on restricted capacity.
  • All individuals visiting the Zoo must have their own advance e-ticket, including children age 2 and under.
  • We’re moving as quickly as possible based on when government restrictions change. We’re hopeful more tickets will be available soon, and we’ll be able to reopen at a capacity that relieves the compressed timelines within which everyone has been trying to purchase tickets.
Getting To and Around the Zoo Safely
  • Your timed e-ticket reflects the window of time you have to scan your ticket to enter the Zoo. Once you’re in the Zoo, you can stay until we close, regardless of what time you entered.
  • We have restructured our entry plaza to accommodate safe distancing as our guest services team scans your tickets and you enter the Zoo. Each group of people in line has six feet of space between other guests.
  • When you exit the Zoo to the parking lot, you will leave through the outgoing vehicle gate, not the pedestrian gates you used to leave through.
  • Closed and/or monitored capacity areas in and around the Zoo will be clearly defined with signage. Please understand there are temporary limitations and modifications put in place that may change the way you are used to experiencing the Zoo.
  • Masks are strongly encouraged for all Zoo guests.
  • We understand it’s hard to remember how important social distancing is when you’re hanging out with the herd, or watching a penguin waddling at your feet, but we’re depending on our guests to help us adhere to these guidelines set forth by state and local officials. We have placed six-foot tables in high-traffic areas, like hippo viewing and giraffe feeding, to help create a safe distance between groups attending the Zoo together. Also, keep looking for chalk bear tracks on the ground, in places like the elephant feeding lines. Those ground markers indicate six feet of space, so you can say hello to our African elephants and help keep your community safe.

Safely Visiting the Animals
  • To prevent the congregation of large groups of guests, no scheduled animal demonstrations will be available during this time. However, you may come across “pop-up” experiences throughout your visit.
  • Giraffe feedings are available on the boardwalk, when the giraffe are outside. Lettuce is available for $3 or $5 per bundle.
  • Elephant feedings are available for $10 to $15 daily (weather dependent) at 11 a.m. and 2:30 p.m.
  • Rhino feedings are available for $10 to $15 daily (weather dependent) at noon.
  • Some buildings, like the giraffe barn and The Loft, will be closed because they do not allow for safe distancing.
  • Buildings have maximum capacities, and some will have a staff member regulating when new groups can enter a building.
Amenities Available
  • The Mountaineer Sky Ride is open.
  • The carousel is closed.
  • Due to current health guidelines, we are not able to honor free refills with reusable cups at this time. Soft drinks will be available for purchase in our eateries.
  • Drinking fountains will also be disabled at this time. Touchless water bottle filling stations will still be accessible, so please consider bringing your own reusable water bottle.
  • Food service will be limited during this time. All restaurants are open, with limited menus and spaced seating, both inside and outside as available.

We’re asking our members and guests to bring their patience and understanding to the Zoo, as we all work together to safely reopen and adhere to restrictions that allow us to open our gates again, after the Zoo’s longest closure in history. Some of the things mentioned in this article are subject to change, as we figure out best practices and react to new regulations.

For more information and to reserve limited availability e-tickets, visit