The Columbus Zoo is ranked among the best in the USA across all authorities including, Zoo vs Zoo, Trip Advisor, USA Today, and The Discovery Channel. However, there are New Rules established for visiting the Zoo this year. These New Rules could catch you off guard if you aren’t aware of them prior to your visit. We will break them down in easy to read slides.
Many of us, and our children, look forward to a visit that can cost hundreds of dollars. Without knowing these New Rules, you could really be in for a shock. Be an informed traveler. Of course, have fun and take lots of pictures.
Here are the New Rules
Planning Your Visit
The Zoo’s hours will be 9:00 a.m. to 7:00 p.m.
- 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.
- Columbus Zoo Members can visit the Zoo after 3 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 3 p.m.
- Our 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.
Columbus Zoo New Rules
There will be no day-of ticket sales at the Zoo. All tickets must be pre-purchased or pre-registered online prior to the date of the visit.
- All Zoo visits will now require a dated, timed ticket, including all Members.
- Zoo visitors must pre-purchase a ticket online for a specific date. Each ticket will also have an entry timeslot. To prevent large crowds from gathering in our entrance plaza, guests cannot arrive prior to their timeslot to enter the Zoo.
- Only one date and timeslot can be booked at a time. The maximum party size is 10 people per reservation. Members are permitted to book more than one reservation at a time per household; however, we ask that Members be courteous to other Members.
Tickets can be purchased 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.
- Tickets are non-refundable due to weather or animals/attraction availability.
- Guests can enter the Zoo any time after their timeslot begins and are welcome to remain on Zoo grounds until closing time.
- Guests can choose to either print their tickets at home (tickets will not be printed at the Zoo’s entrance) or show the ticket on their mobile device.
Printed tickets or digital tickets on a mobile device can be scanned at the Zoo’s turnstile.
Columbus Zoo New Rules
When you arrive:
- To maintain social distancing among team members, a maximum of four parking booths can be open (all driver-side access booths) at a time.
- Guests are encouraged to utilize as much of the parking lot as possible, rather than congregating in one area.
- Guests to remain in their vehicles until it is their reservation time to enter the park. This will help reduce gathering in the Zoo’s entry plaza and maintain social distancing.
- Four turnstiles will be open at the Zoo’s entrance, each with a minimum of 6 feet of distancing between the turnstiles.
- Guests cannot arrive and enter the Zoo prior to their timed entry. Once inside the park, they are welcome to stay until park close.
Inside the Zoo:
- Printed park maps will not be distributed, but access to a digital map is available for download here and large maps will be available throughout the park.
- When making a purchase inside the park, we ask that guests pay by credit card, when possible, to reduce the handling of cash.
- All rental equipment (strollers, wheelchairs, and motorized scooters) will be disinfected before and after each use.
- Polar Playground and Shores Park will be available and frequently disinfected. Stings Wings N’ Playthings Playground will be temporarily closed.
- Food and beverage options will be available to our guests with altered and/or reduced menu offerings to expedite lines.
- Select outdoor locations will be open and utilize social distancing ground markers in their queue lines and waiting areas. Outdoor seating will be available, with tables located at least 6 feet apart from one another.
- Select gift shops will be open. Shops will limit the number of guests inside and utilize floor markings and barriers in checkout areas. The return policy will be currently suspended.
- Coin-operated machines such as penny presses, photo booths, and foot massagers will be closed.
- High-touched displays such as tumbled stones and bulk bin items will be removed.
- Do not touch merchandise unless they intend to purchase the item.