Alerts

December daytime admission note: We will not be opening the Medical Center Gate or running shuttles to offsite SE Extension lot parking during daytime admission on December weekends. There will be overflow parking and shuttles to Zoo Lights as planned; check the Directions to Zoo Lights page for all the details.

‘Tis the season for holiday parties! We apologize that the following buildings will close just a bit early at 4 p.m. for private parties:

  • Reptile and Amphibian Building: December 13
  • Natural Encounters: December 8, 9, 10, 12, and 16
  • Gorilla Arrival Building: December 15 and 16
  • Kipp Aquarium: November 29, December 8, 10, 12, 13, 15, 16, and January 6
  • Twiga Cafe: December 9 and 15

Today's Shows, Feedings, and Talks

Catch a sea lion show, see the elephants' bath, or maybe even touch a snake or an armadillo! We have more than a dozen Meet the Keeper Talks every day. Times vary; scroll to the bottom of this page to see Today's Schedule.

TXU Energy Presents Zoo Lights
November 28, 2017 - December 13, 2017

November 18, 2017 – January 14, 2018
Member Preview Nights November 15 & 16
Closed November 17 & 27, December 14, 24 & 25

The Houston Zoo is transformed into a winter wonderland! TXU Energy Presents Zoo Lights celebrates its sixth year as one of Houston’s most well-loved holiday traditions. Sip hot chocolate as you stroll through the beautiful Houston Zoo grounds and take in the sights and sounds of the season – including more than two million lights! Fifteen miles of earth-friendly LED lighting illuminate our ancient oak trees and decorate the paths to light your way.

Sights to delight you include our Texas-themed area presented by TransCanada. Other features include the Holiday Train Village presented by Macy’s, the Enchanted Forest, and Candy, the interactive talking zebra, presented by H-E-B.

More Information and Tickets

Animal Encounter: Giraffes
December 14, 2017

We want you to get eye-to-eye with our giraffe herd, so climb the stairs behind-the-scenes and join the keepers for a feeding opportunity. Learn all the skills it takes to care for these beautiful animals of the African savanna.

Animal Encounters are experiences you can schedule to add an extra-special memory to your Zoo visit. This exclusive encounter is limited to just twelve people per encounter. (If you have fewer than twelve in your party, you may be joined by other registrants, not to exceed twelve persons total.)

Thursdays from 1:00 – 1:45 p.m.
Members $125 per person
Non-Members $150 per person

Reserve your spot today – these tours book quickly! You must register for this experience in advance.
Find Out More About This Animal Encounter

Camp Zoofari for Adults: Canines and Claws
December 15, 2017

Take a break from the stress of the holidays and spend your morning with a few of the sharp toothed and long clawed mammals at the Houston Zoo. Join us to learn some wild fun facts, take part in enriching their day, and meet a keeper that has the joy of working with brown bears, cheetahs and the king of the jungle.

More information and Tickets

Photo Day at the Houston Zoo
December 16, 2017

Join us for Photo Day!
Saturday, December 16, 2017
7:30 a.m. – 9:00 a.m.

Join us for Photo Day with the elephants! Guests will have the opportunity to take stunning photos of our Asian elephants during their most active part of the day. If you are itching to take photos of amazing creatures you cannot find anywhere else, then Photo Day is for you!

More Information and Tickets

Zoo Sprouts! Terrific Tigers
December 16, 2017

9:30 - 10:30 a.m.
This program is for ages 2 to 3 years

Zoo Sprouts - More Information and Registration

Zoo Sprouts is an educational program for kids to discover our Zoo and its amazing animals! We have three tracks tailored for different age groups; ages 18-23 months, 2 to 3 years, and 4 to 5 years. Programs are between 30 and 60 minutes and are an excellent way to enhance your Zoo visit with hands-on learning.

These events fill up well ahead of time; choose your program and book now to reserve your space.

TXU Energy Presents Zoo Lights
December 15, 2017 - December 23, 2017

November 18, 2017 – January 14, 2018
Member Preview Nights November 15 & 16
Closed November 17 & 27, December 14, 24 & 25

The Houston Zoo is transformed into a winter wonderland! TXU Energy Presents Zoo Lights celebrates its sixth year as one of Houston’s most well-loved holiday traditions. Sip hot chocolate as you stroll through the beautiful Houston Zoo grounds and take in the sights and sounds of the season – including more than two million lights! Fifteen miles of earth-friendly LED lighting illuminate our ancient oak trees and decorate the paths to light your way.

Sights to delight you include our Texas-themed area presented by TransCanada. Other features include the Holiday Train Village presented by Macy’s, the Enchanted Forest, and Candy, the interactive talking zebra, presented by H-E-B.

More Information and Tickets

Closing Early on Christmas Eve
December 24, 2017

The Zoo will close early on Christmas Eve at 3 p.m. with last entry at 2 p.m. We will be closed on Christmas Day. There is no Zoo Lights on Christmas Eve or Christmas Day.

Closed on Christmas Day
December 25, 2017

The Zoo will be closed on Christmas Day. There is no Zoo Lights on Christmas Day.

Camp Zoofari
December 26, 2017

This year, we will be offering school break camps for campers ages 4-14 during the holidays in November, December and January. Each camp will be an individual, single-day experience, around a theme of the week. Each day will have different opportunities and experiences. You can send a camper for just one day or the entire week!

Find Out More and Register

Camp Zoofari
December 27, 2017

This year, we will be offering school break camps for campers ages 4-14 during the holidays in November, December and January. Each camp will be an individual, single-day experience, around a theme of the week. Each day will have different opportunities and experiences. You can send a camper for just one day or the entire week!

Find Out More and Register

Zoo Sprouts! Lovely Lions
December 27, 2017

9:30 - 10:30 a.m.
This program is for ages 4 to 5 years

Zoo Sprouts - More Information and Registration

Zoo Sprouts is an educational program for kids to discover our Zoo and its amazing animals! We have three tracks tailored for different age groups; ages 18-23 months, 2 to 3 years, and 4 to 5 years. Programs are between 30 and 60 minutes and are an excellent way to enhance your Zoo visit with hands-on learning.

These events fill up well ahead of time; choose your program and book now to reserve your space.

Camp Zoofari
December 28, 2017

This year, we will be offering school break camps for campers ages 4-14 during the holidays in November, December and January. Each camp will be an individual, single-day experience, around a theme of the week. Each day will have different opportunities and experiences. You can send a camper for just one day or the entire week!

Find Out More and Register

Camp Zoofari
December 29, 2017

This year, we will be offering school break camps for campers ages 4-14 during the holidays in November, December and January. Each camp will be an individual, single-day experience, around a theme of the week. Each day will have different opportunities and experiences. You can send a camper for just one day or the entire week!

Find Out More and Register

Zoo Sprouts! Lovely Lions
December 30, 2017

9:30 - 10:30 a.m.
This program is for ages 4 to 5 years

Zoo Sprouts - More Information and Registration

Zoo Sprouts is an educational program for kids to discover our Zoo and its amazing animals! We have three tracks tailored for different age groups; ages 18-23 months, 2 to 3 years, and 4 to 5 years. Programs are between 30 and 60 minutes and are an excellent way to enhance your Zoo visit with hands-on learning.

These events fill up well ahead of time; choose your program and book now to reserve your space.

Subscribe to our E-News
December 31, 2017

Subscribe to our e-newsletter, and get the latest info on upcoming events, animal births and arrivals, and all the news from the Houston Zoo!

More info and Subscribe Form

Camp Zoofari
January 2, 2018

This year, we will be offering school break camps for campers ages 4-14 during the holidays in November, December and January. Each camp will be an individual, single-day experience, around a theme of the week. Each day will have different opportunities and experiences. You can send a camper for just one day or the entire week!

Find Out More and Register

Camp Zoofari
January 3, 2018

This year, we will be offering school break camps for campers ages 4-14 during the holidays in November, December and January. Each camp will be an individual, single-day experience, around a theme of the week. Each day will have different opportunities and experiences. You can send a camper for just one day or the entire week!

Find Out More and Register

Camp Zoofari
January 4, 2018

This year, we will be offering school break camps for campers ages 4-14 during the holidays in November, December and January. Each camp will be an individual, single-day experience, around a theme of the week. Each day will have different opportunities and experiences. You can send a camper for just one day or the entire week!

Find Out More and Register

Camp Zoofari
January 5, 2018

This year, we will be offering school break camps for campers ages 4-14 during the holidays in November, December and January. Each camp will be an individual, single-day experience, around a theme of the week. Each day will have different opportunities and experiences. You can send a camper for just one day or the entire week!

Find Out More and Register

TXU Energy Presents Zoo Lights
December 26, 2017 - January 14, 2018

November 18, 2017 – January 14, 2018
Member Preview Nights November 15 & 16
Closed November 17 & 27, December 14, 24 & 25

The Houston Zoo is transformed into a winter wonderland! TXU Energy Presents Zoo Lights celebrates its sixth year as one of Houston’s most well-loved holiday traditions. Sip hot chocolate as you stroll through the beautiful Houston Zoo grounds and take in the sights and sounds of the season – including more than two million lights! Fifteen miles of earth-friendly LED lighting illuminate our ancient oak trees and decorate the paths to light your way.

Sights to delight you include our Texas-themed area presented by TransCanada. Other features include the Holiday Train Village presented by Macy’s, the Enchanted Forest, and Candy, the interactive talking zebra, presented by H-E-B.

More Information and Tickets

Join the Action for Apes Challenge
April 30, 2018

Spring 2018 - Contest ends April 30, 2018

The Action for Apes challenge is an annual contest hosted by the Houston Zoo to see which school or community organization can recycle the most handheld electronics by the end of APE-ril. By recycling these used items such as cell phones with the Houston Zoo, you help protect animals like chimpanzees and gorillas that live in areas where cell phone materials are mined.

Any local school, business, organization, or scout group can participate.

Find Out More and Join the Challenge


Featured Events






Zoo Map
Need help getting around the Zoo? Print this handy map and bring it with you, or just take a look at it.
View the Zoo Map

Daily Schedule

TIMES ARE UPDATED EVERY MORNING
Meet the Keeper Talks are generously sponsored by Phillips 66

Monday December 11, 2017
10:00 Elephant Bath at the Elephant Barn
10:30 Meet the Keeper Talk at Reptile House
10:30 Meet the Keeper Talk in the swap shop at Children’s Zoo
11:00 Spark Team Presentation at the Houston Texans Enrichment Zone in the Children’s Zoo
11:00 Meet the Keeper Talk at Rhinos
11:00 Giraffe Feeding Platform in African Forest (Dependent on Weather/Giraffes)
11:30 Meet the Keeper Talk at Carnivores
11:30 Meet the Keeper Talk at Kipp Aquarium
12:30 Meet the Keeper Talk at Chimpanzees in African Forest
1:00 Meet the Keeper Talk at Natural Encounters
1:30 Meet the Keeper Talk at Sea Lions
1:30 Meet the Keeper Talk at Elephants
1:30 Meet the Keeper Talk at Giraffes in African Forest
2:00 Giraffe Feeding Platform in African Forest (Dependent on Weather/Giraffes)
2:30 Meet the Keeper Talk at Birds of the World
3:00 Toro’s Training Camp at the Houston Texans Enrichment Zone in the Children’s Zoo
3:30 Meet the Keeper Talk at orangutans in Wortham World of Primates
4:00 Meet the Keeper Talk at Natural Encounters