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Zoo News Blog

What you didn’t know you needed to know

Photo of Zoo's main entrance with Centennial signage

You’ve likely visited Houston Zoo as a child and again as an adult. BUT, we bet there are probably a few hidden gems you didn’t know about. From discounts to behind-the-scene animal experiences, we’ve got the 411 for you! 

Animal Encounters 

Giving an elephant a bath, feeding a gorilla and tortoise are just a couple of things that YOU can do when you book an animal encounter!  Our Animal Encounters are unique opportunities to meet our zookeepers and get up close to your favorite animals.

Make your next Zoo visit memorable and learn more about the different encounters you can experience.  


Types of Discounts 

Hey, we understand the stress of trying to plan a family trip on a tight budget. The Zoo already offers Flex Pricing to help you plan a day that fits your budgeting needs! We also offer a variety of discounts that you may be eligible for. For example, if you’re a Lone Star card holder, you are able to purchase up to two adult and three child tickets at the Lone Star discount rate, which covers SNAP & WIC benefit recipients. Other members of your group will need to purchase a ticket at regular admission price. Note: You MUST present valid Lone Star benefit card for entry.

From college student to military discounts, you can learn more about the different types of discounts that you may be able to use during your next Zoo visit. 


Fun Fact

At the Zoo, you can see both the largest AND smallest otter species in the world! The Giant River otters are five feet long and weigh up to fifty pounds. Our giant river otters are located at the entrance of our South America’s Pantanal exhibit.  

The Asian small-clawed otters weigh less than ten pounds and use their paws with human-like proficiency. You can spot both our Asian small-clawed otters at the Carruth Natural Encounters building. 

Check out the daily schedule to learn more about our otters and our different animals during a Meet the Keeper Chats.  



Birthday Surprise!  

If you’re celebrating a birthday at the Zoo, make sure you ask for a birthday button when you arrive to scan in your tickets. With the special birthday button, you’re able to get a free ride on the Wildlife Carousel. Present your button to the carousel attendant and enjoy the ride! 


Now that you’ve learned a thing or two, make sure to head on over to buy your tickets and start planning a Zoo trip for the family! Every time you visit Houston Zoo, your ticket purchase goes towards saving animals in the wild.