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Austin Zoo Ticket, Prices, Guided Tours, Animals, Habitats, What to Expect and More

Nestled in the heart of Texas, Austin Zoo is a beloved local attraction that offers a fun and educational day out for visitors of all ages. 

Spread across 22 acres of beautiful grounds, the zoo is home to over 300 animal species worldwide. 

If you’re looking for things to do in Austin with kids, a day at the Austin Zoo should definitely be on your list.

This article shares all the information you need about Austin Zoo tickets, prices, hours, what to see, animals, keeper talks and more.

Table of Contents

A Quick Glance at Austin Zoo

Opening Hours: 9.30 am to 5 pm

Time Required: 2 to 3 hours

Best Time to Visit: 9.30 am to 12 pm

Year Opened: 1990

Ticket Prices: $19

Must Try: Capybara, Galapagos Tortoise encounter, Zoo Keepers Chats Discovery Encounter

Location: 10808 Rawhide Trail, Austin, TX 78736, United States | Get Directions

Where To Get Austin Zoo Tickets

The Austin Zoo no longer offers tickets for purchase at a physical counter. 

Instead, visitors are encouraged to buy their tickets online.

Purchasing tickets online saves time and ensures you can plan your visit in advance. 

You can conveniently select the date and time of your visit, helping you avoid waiting in long lines. 

After purchasing your tickets online, you’ll receive them via email. 

Simply show your digital ticket at the zoo’s entry for a hassle-free and cost-effective experience. 

Austin Zoo Ticket Prices

The Austin Zoo entry ticket costs $19 for visitors between 13 and 59 years old. 

Senior citizens above 60 years, students and military personnel get a discounted ticket at $18. 

Children between two and 12 years old also get a reduced-price ticket to Austin Zoo, which costs $16. 

Infants below two years old get free admission to Austin Zoo.

In addition to the regular admission ticket, you can also choose the Austin Zoo and Aquarium combo ticket.

This ticket offers entry to both attractions at a discounted price of $42.

Austin Zoo Entry Ticket 

Experience the captivating world of the Austin Zoo by securing your tickets online. 

This unique animal sanctuary offers an extraordinary journey, and online tickets ensure you avoid long waiting lines at the entrance while saving time and money. 

Explore the stories of over 300 rescued animals from 100 diverse species.

When you purchase your entry ticket online, your digital passes will be delivered to your email, making entry hassle-free. 

With this ticket, you can embrace the charm of this tranquil setting, meet big cats, birds, and bears, and even take a scenic train ride along the adjacent canyon. 

Your visit to Austin Zoo promises an unforgettable day with furry and scaly friends in a beautiful, oak tree-dotted countryside.

Ticket Prices

The tickets to Austin Zoo cost $19 for adults between 13 and 59 years and $16 for children of two to 12 years.

The Austin Zoo tickets are priced at $18 for seniors above 60, students and military on valid identification proof.

Infants below two years old can enter the zoo for free.

AgeTicket Price
Adult ticket (13 to 59 years)$19
Senior Citizen ticket (60+), Student, Military Personnel$18
Child ticket (2 to 12 years)$16
Infant ticket (up to 2 years)Free

Austin Zoo + Austin Aquarium Ticket 

Austin Zoo + Austin Aquarium Ticket 
Image: Tiqets.com

Another popular ticket option for the Austin Zoo is the zoo and aquarium Combo ticket. 

Most families visiting the zoo also visit the Austin Aquarium. 

Frequent travelers opt for the Austin Aquarium + Austin Zoo combo ticket for two major reasons: 

  • The combo tickets offer upto 10% discount on individual entry ticket 
  • It saves the time and energy you would spend going through individual ticket counters or purchasing separate tickets. 

The combo ticket is a good choice for all visitors who are traveling on a budget and yet wish to visit both attractions. 

It’s the perfect way to experience the best of Austin’s wildlife, so grab your combo ticket and dive into a day of animal encounters and aquatic wonders!

Combo Ticket Price: 

The Austin Aquarium + Austin Zoo combo ticket costs $42 per visitor between 17 and 59 years).

Children and senior citizens get additional age-based discounts, while infants below two years get free entry to the zoo and aquarium. 

Austin Zoo Hours

The Austin Texas Zoo hours change based on the season to accommodate the number of visitors. 

From February to October, during the peak tourist and summer months, the Austin Zoo is open from 9.30 am to 5 pm on weekdays. 

On weekends in this period, the timings are extended until 6 pm. 

From November to January, the Austin Zoo’s operational hours are set to 9.30 am to 4 pm on weekdays and 9.30 am to 5 pm on weekends. 

The Austin Zoo closes early on specific dates for private events. 

The zoo is also closed for Thanksgiving and Christmas.

Austin Zoo Keeper Chat timings

Experience a deeper connection with the amazing animals at the Austin Zoo through our engaging Keeper Chats. 

These informative sessions provide insights into the lives and behaviors of the creatures in our care. 

Here’s a schedule of our Keeper Chats so you can plan your visit accordingly:

Zoo Keeper ChatsSchedule 
Porcupines10 am on weekdays
Parrots11 am on weekdays
Alligators1 pm on Monday and Friday
Reptiles/ Discovery Center1 pm on Tuesdays to Thursdays
Primates10 am on weekends
White Tiger Zeluma11 am on weekends
Galapagos Tortoises12 pm on weekends
Black Bears1 pm on weekends

Best Time to Visit Austin Zoo 

Best Time to Visit Austin Zoo 
Image: Facebook.com(Atxzoo)

The best time of day to visit the Austin Zoo is in the morning, ideally between 9.30 am when it opens and 12 pm. 

This allows you to see the animals when they are most active, especially during their morning feedings. 

Many animals nap during the hot afternoons. You can also beat the crowds and heat this way.

Plan your Austin Zoo visit on a weekday, if possible, to avoid the busiest days. 

Weekends attract larger crowds, especially Saturdays. 

But, If weekends are your only option, early morning is best.

Weekdays, especially Tuesdays to Thursdays, tend to be less crowded. 

Spring and fall are peak seasons to visit the Austin Zoo thanks to mild weather that is perfect for walking around. 

Fewer crowds also make it easier to enjoy exhibits. 

If planning a summer visit, come early before noon, to avoid intense heat. 

Winters are pleasant due to Austin’s mild climate.

Look out for special zoo events when planning your visit. 

Seasonal events like Boo at the Zoo for Halloween and Zoo Lights for Christmas add extra entertainment. 

Peak baby animal season is spring, when you can see lion cubs, baby kangaroos and more. 

Try to avoid major holidays as crowds spike.

How Long Does It Take to Tour the Zoo

Austin Zoo houses animals from all continents except Antarctica. 

A typical self-guided zoo tour takes about 2-3 hours to complete at a leisurely pace. 

You can cover the entire zoo grounds comfortably in half a day.

Pick up a map at the entrance to plan your route to make the most of your visit. 

Be sure to leave time for snack breaks and rest stops. 

Wear comfortable walking shoes, as there is a lot of walking involved between animal enclosures. 

Strollers and wheelchairs can be rented at the entrance.

How to Reach Austin Zoo

The Austin Zoo is a beautiful zoo in the Hill Country area, located on the southwest side of Austin near Highway 290 West and Circle Drive. 

Address: 10808 Rawhide Trail, Austin, TX 78736. Get Directions

To find your way there, open Google Maps and start driving. 

If you’re coming from Downtown Austin, it’s about 15 miles away, and it’ll take you around 22 to 25 minutes to get there. 

Just keep going on Highway 290 West past the “Y” in Oak Hill for about 2.5 miles, and you’ll see it. 

The best part is there’s plenty of parking available, and it won’t cost you a thing!

Austin Zoo Map

It’s a good idea to grab a map of the Austin Zoo before you start exploring, especially since there are over 300 animals to see. 

The map shows you where the animals are and helps you find other things like bathrooms, parks, and gift shops. 

Having the map is especially helpful if you’re with kids because it saves time and energy wandering around looking for things. 

You can download or ask for a map when you enter the zoo.

Habitats and Animals in Austin Zoo

Covering over 22 acres, Austin Zoo is home to various animals worldwide. 

Here is an overview of the main exhibits and activities you can enjoy during your visit:

African Safari Exhibit

Get up close to African wildlife in the zoo’s sprawling African safari area. 

You will spot reticulated giraffes, Grevy’s zebras, African elephants, rhinos and ostriches. 

You can feed carrots and lettuce to the friendly giraffes from an elevated deck. 

Don’t miss the daily giraffe feeding show.

Asian Forest Sanctuary

Witness Amur tigers and Malaysian sun bears in recreated Asian jungle habitats in this section. 

Other highlights include siamang gibbons swinging on vines overhead and Reeve’s muntjac deers.

Wild Australia

Meet Australia’s iconic wildlife like kangaroos, wallabies, emus and cassowaries in this area designed to mimic their natural outback habitat. 

You can feed and pet the free-roaming kangaroos.

Primate House

Get eye-to-eye with gorillas, chimpanzees, gibbons, lemurs and more of our primate cousins at this indoor exhibit. 

Watch them swing, climb and interact in their thoughtfully designed enclosures.

Rainforest Aviary

Be mesmerized by free-flying tropical birds like macaws, toucans and parrots inside this indoor rainforest garden. 

You can feed nectar to lories and see endangered golden lion tamarins here.

Reptile House

From giant Galapagos tortoises to Chinese alligators, you’ll find diverse reptile species in the house designed to replicate their natural habitats at this house. 

The zoo’s herpetologists give live demos.

Get Eye-to-Eye with Majestic Giraffes

One of the highlights of Austin Zoo is hand-feeding lettuce and carrots to the resident reticulated giraffes from an elevated deck in the African Safari section. 

You can get as close as touching distance to these gentle giants and look them right in the eye. 

Try to catch the daily giraffe feeding show, where the keepers share fascinating facts about the animals.

Walk with Colorful Birds in the Rainforest Aviary

Step into a tropical world as you walk through the indoor rainforest aviary, home to exotic bird species like macaws, Amazon parrots, toucans and lories. 

Listen to the chirps and squawks as these free-flying birds swoop around you. 

You can even feed nectar to the friendly lories perched on branches.

Pet and Feed Roaming Kangaroos

Don’t miss visiting the Australian Outback section, where you can get up close with kangaroos, wallabies and emus just like in the wild. 

Buy a cup of food at the entrance to hand-feed the kangaroos and pet these iconic marsupials. 

Try to spot joeys peeking out from their mother’s pouches.

Watch Playful Monkeys Swing Overhead

Be entertained by the antics of spider monkeys, chimpanzees, gibbons and lemurs as you walk through the Primate House. 

Observe how they swing from branches, tumble, climb and interact. 

The indoor tropical setting with mesh nets allows an intimate yet safe experience.

See Massive Galapagos Tortoises

Stop by the Reptile House to check out giant Galapagos tortoises, Chinese alligators, cobras and vipers, and geckos in their recreated habitats. 

The zoo’s herpetologists conduct live educational demos.

Animal encounters in Austin Zoo

Austin Zoo offers some unique animal encounter experiences that allow visitors to get up close with exotic species for an extra memorable day. 

From feeding giraffes to meeting giant tortoises, these guided adventures create once-in-a-lifetime memories. 

Here are two of the most popular animal encounters at Austin Zoo.

Capybara Encounter

Capybaras are the world’s largest rodents and are incredibly social animals. 

In this encounter, you get to go to the capybara habitat behind the scenes and interact with these gentle giants.

A keeper will provide you with some ‘capybara cuisine’ like fresh veggies, fruit and even cracked corn to hand-feed these hungry fellows. 

You can pet and take photos with the capybaras as they munch on their treats. 

Since they love water, you may also see them swimming and playing in their small pool.

The capybara encounter lasts 30 minutes and is limited to 4 participants at a time to ensure an intimate experience. 

Both children and adults will enjoy bonding with these lovable creatures. 

Galapagos Tortoise Encounter

A highlight of many visits to Austin Zoo is observing its oldest residents – the giant Galapagos tortoises.

In this special encounter, you get to go behind the scenes to the tortoise habitat for an up-close meeting with these gentle giants that weigh up to 500 pounds!

A zookeeper will provide a fascinating insight into the lives of Galapagos tortoises as you watch them lumber around and munch on fresh veggies. 

You’ll get to pet their shells, observe their slow movements and snap some amazing selfies. Since they can live over 100 years, they are the true celebs at Austin Zoo!

Being entirely land-based reptiles, Galapagos tortoises don’t mind being picked up. 

The zookeeper may even place a medium-sized tortoise in your lap, allowing you to form a real bond and admire their wrinkled necks and legs. 

General Information for Encounters

  • The encounters occur daily during normal zoo hours and the timings vary throughout the day. 
  • Book spots online in advance as they sell out fast, especially on weekends.
  • Each encounter lasts 30 minutes and takes place in a small group of four participants for an intimate experience. All participants must book a spot.
  • The encounters are suitable for all ages. An adult must accompany children under 12.
  • Wear closed-toed shoes and keep your hands washed before and after the encounter. Do not touch eyes, mouth etc., to remain safe. Follow all instructions provided by the keepers.
  • Photography and videography are allowed during the encounters to capture the memories.
  • The encounters are held outdoors in the animals’ habitats. Dress according to the weather to stay comfortable.
  • Check the Austin Zoo website for current pricing, availability and age policies before booking. Discounts are available for annual pass holders.

Austin Zoo Train Ride

The Austin Zoo train ride is a popular attraction among visitors of all ages. 

This 20-minute scenic journey takes you around the zoo, offering a unique view of the animals from the comfort of your seat. 

As the train moves past different animal habitats, the conductor shares interesting facts, making it a fun learning experience. 

It’s an easy way to explore, with stops at various exhibits, allowing you to hop on and off at your leisure. 

Relaxing and educational, the ride introduces the animals’ habits, their care at the zoo, and how we can all contribute to their conservation. 

This train mimics a 1900s steam locomotive and features an old-fashioned steam whistle and open-air seating, adding to the nostalgic adventure.

Animals You Can See on the Train Ride

The Austin Zoo train ride passes by many of the zoo’s animal enclosures so that visitors can see various animals on their ride. 

Some of the animals that visitors can see on the train ride include:

  • African lions
  • Bengal tigers
  • Cougars
  • Black bears
  • Ring-tailed lemurs
  • Porcupines
  • Galapagos tortoises
  • Capybaras
  • American alligators
  • Leucistic Texas rat snakes
  • Longhorns
  • And many more!

FAQs About Austin Zoo

  1. What are the opening hours of the Austin Zoo?

    The Austin Zoo’s opening hours vary seasonally. 

    From February 1 to October 31, it’s open on weekdays from 9.30 am to 5 pm and on weekends and holidays from 9.30 am to 6 pm. 

    During the winter (November 1 to January 31), the zoo is open daily from 9.30 am to 5 pm, except on Thanksgiving and Christmas Day when it’s closed.

  2. How much does it cost to visit the Austin Zoo?

    Visitors between 13 and 59 pay $19 to get into Austin Zoo, while kids from two to 12 years old pay $16. 

    Seniors 60 or older, students, and military with valid ID pay $18. 
    And if your little one is under two years old, they can go in for free!

  3. Can you visit the Austin Zoo and Aquarium together?

    Yes, you can visit the Austin Zoo and Aquarium together.
    Buy the Austin Zoo and Aquarium combo ticket online at a discounted price of $42.

  4. How long does it take to go through Austin Zoo?

    It takes around 2 to 3 hours to go through the Austin Zoo.

  5. Does Austin Zoo have Capybaras?

    Capybaras are one of the most popular animals at the Austin Zoo.

  6. Does Austin Zoo have a white tiger?

    You can spot quite a few white tigers at the Austin Zoo.

  7. Does the Austin Zoo have lions?

    Yes, the Austin Zoo has lions and several other animals.

  8. What animals can I expect to see at the Austin Zoo?

    Visitors to the Austin Zoo can expect to see diverse animals, from big cats and birds to bears. 
    The zoo is a sanctuary for over 300 animals, representing approximately 100 species.

  9. Is there a map available to navigate the zoo?

    Yes, there is a map available to help navigate the zoo. 
    Maps can be obtained at the entrance or on the official Austin Zoo website.

  10. Are there feeding times or shows scheduled for specific animals?

    The zoo frequently schedules feeding times and shows for specific animals. 
    Check with zoo staff or refer to the zoo’s website for the day’s schedule.

  11. Can I bring my own food and drinks to the zoo?

    Yes, you are allowed to bring your own snacks and beverages at the zoo.

  12. Is the zoo wheelchair accessible? Are there strollers or wheelchairs available for rent?

    The zoo is wheelchair accessible, and wheelchairs and strollers are available for rent on a first-come, first-served basis.

  13. Can I take photos and videos inside the zoo?

    Visitors are encouraged to take photos and videos inside the zoo for personal use. 
    Professional photography and drone usage require prior approval.

  14. Are there educational programs or guided tours available for visitors?

    The zoo offers educational programs and guided tours. 
    Visitors can schedule educational programs in advance, and the zoo staff provides valuable insights during guided tours.

  15. Is there a gift shop where I can purchase souvenirs?

    The Austin Zoo has a gift shop where visitors can purchase souvenirs and support the zoo by buying merchandise.

  16. Can I bring my pet to the zoo?

    No, pets are not allowed inside the zoo.

  17. How can I support the Austin Zoo through donations or volunteering?

    To support the Austin Zoo through donations or volunteer work, visit their official website for more information on how to contribute.

Featured Image: Facebook.com (Atxzoo)

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