Blank Park Zoo
Blank Park Zoo

Open 9 am - 4 p.m.

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Blank Park Zoo's Reopening Strategy

Blank Park Zoo's Reopening Strategy

Since the nonprofit Blank Park Zoo temporarily closed on March 17, we have been planning and working to reopen the Zoo in a responsible manner.  We collaborated with our colleagues at other zoos across the country to develop best practices. We have learned -- what has worked and what has not -- from others that have had the opportunity to reopen. While we currently cannot give you a day that we will open, we wanted to communicate our current plan, subject to change, for phase one of YOUR Zoo’s reopening.

  • To control the capacity of the number of guests at Blank Park Zoo, we will be adopting a timed-ticket format. Guests will need to purchase tickets in advance at for a specific date and time to visit Blank Park Zoo. Members will still receive free admission, but will need to reserve tickets in advance through the website. Any previously purchased and valid general admission ticket will need to be exchanged in advance for a timed ticket. We will announce the opening of the ticket website a few days before we open. A timed-ticket reservation will be required for admittance without exception. Watch a video on how to purchase tickets by clicking here.
  • The path throughout Blank Park Zoo has been reconfigured to become a one-way Safari Trail. This will ensure guests will not cross paths and help with distancing requirements. Painted animal prints on the path will help visitors maintain a proper distance from other guests.
  • We realized that some experiences have many touch points and are not social distance friendly. These include the indoor Discovery Center, Kid’s Kingdom animal contact area, playground, camel ride, train ride, carousel ride, sea lion demonstration, parakeet feeding, and feed a giraffe experience. These areas will be closed during the initial phase of reopening.
  • We will strongly encourage all guests age two and older to wear a mask and we will require all Zoo staff to wear masks.
  • Last month, we communicated with all our members that we have automatically extended the expiration of current memberships by one month. To show further recognition of our members, we will open Blank Park Zoo for ‘members only’ a couple of days prior to inviting the public. Member ticket reservations will begin at 10 a.m. on May 21 for May 22 and beyond. Blank Park Zoo will be open for member's only Friday, May 21 and Saturday, May 22. General public ticket sales will begin on Friday, May 22 for Sunday, May 24 and beyond.
  • We have examined all of our cleaning protocols and have increased the frequency of disinfecting our facility per CDC and IDPH guidelines.
  • Blank Park Zoo's hours will be 9 a.m. - 4 p.m., daily with the final admission to the Zoo occurring at 3 p.m.
  • Click here to read our Enhance Reopening Measures FAQ.

We want to thank you for being a supporter of Blank Park Zoo during this challenging time and we hope you have enjoyed the webcams, videos, social media memes and the Zoo Lights drive-through display while the Zoo has been closed. As you can imagine, we have lost a significant amount of revenue during this crisis. The Zoo depends on operations to care for the animals at a cost of approximately $19,000 per day.  At this time, there is an urgent need, so please consider a donation to help with the care of the animals at YOUR Blank Park Zoo by clicking here.

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