UPDATE: The Kansas City Zoo is reopen as of Saturday, May 16. See our post for more details about how they’re operating.
The Kansas City Zoo is one of the metro’s most popular destinations for family-friendly fun. There are some Kansas City Zoo discounts available year-round and the zoo also offers several special days where admission is discounted or even FREE. Friend of the Zoo memberships are a great way to save money if you plan to go several times through the year.
I haven’t found any readily available Kansas City Zoo coupons, but you can save a couple of dollars if you buy tickets in advance online. Read below for other ways to save in 2020 and take advantage of all that you can.
The best way to find out about ways to save at the Kansas City Zoo is to sign up for email updates from Kansas City on the Cheap and follow us on Facebook and Twitter. We’ll be sure to let you know about any new deals we find.
Kansas City Zoo Hours
The zoo is open nearly every day of the year with varying hours depending upon the month. The zoo is closed on Thanksgiving Day, Christmas Day and New Year’s Day.
- Daily: 9:30 – 4 p.m.
Memorial Day – Labor Day:
- Monday- Friday: 8 a.m. – 4 p.m.
- Saturday- Sunday: 8 a.m. – 5 p.m.
March, April, May, September and October:
- Monday-Friday: 9:30 a.m. – 4 p.m.
- Saturday-Sunday: 9:30 a.m. – 5 p.m.
Kansas City Zoo Admission
Tickets can be purchased in person at the zoo and are available online for a discount of $2 off per ticket.
- $18 – adults ages 12 and older ($16 when purchased online)
- $16 – seniors ages 55 and older and kids ages 3-11 ($14 when purchased online)
- FREE admission for children ages 2 and under
Discounts for Jackson and Clay County Residents
Residents of Jackson and Clay Counties can get half off the daily admission gate prices listed above by showing proof of residency. A driver’s license or utility bill will do the trick. You can only get these discounts when purchasing tickets in person at the zoo.
In addition to special appreciation days (read below), the zoo offers veterans and active duty or retired military service members $1 off general admission all year.
Friends of the Zoo Membership
The zoo is open year-round so, if you plan to go several times during the year, getting a Friends of the Zoo membership could give you a lot of savings and enjoyment. In addition to FREE admission for every visit to the zoo, you’ll get guest passes, discounts on concessions and special zoo experiences and reciprocal membership to more than 150 participating zoos and aquariums.
The premiere level memberships also include passes for the zoo’s train, tram, carousel, sky safari and boat.
Jackson and Clay County residents also get a discount on memberships– as much as $95 off.
Memberships expire a year from the purchase date, on the last day of the month they were purchased in. So, a membership purchased Aug. 10, 2020 would expire on August 31, 2021.
Daily Activities and Zoo Rides
A variety of daily activities take place regularly at the zoo that will add adventure to your trip. These include zookeeper talks, animal performances and stingray feedings. Some are FREE or have a small fee so you can make them part of your visit without having your budget go wild.
A tram, train, boat, sky safari and carousel will transport you throughout the zoo as you move from attraction to the next. You can pay as you go or opt for wristbands that offer a $1 to $5 savings per person.
Kansas City Zoo Discount or FREE Days and Special Events
There are some days throughout the year where FREE or discounted admission is offered at the zoo. We’ll add dates for 2020 as soon as they are announced.
The Kansas City Zoo also hosts a variety of experiences with the animals and special events. These are the ones that have been announced so far for 2020. We’ll add more as information becomes available.
Some events are FREE and included as part of your admission. Others have a cost. Check the links for details.
Select weekends: Penguin Marches
Select weekends: Cheetah Enrichment
Select Wednesday evenings: Yoga Night at the Zoo
Jan. 11-12: Tropical Weekend
Jan. 18-19: Penguin Awareness Weekend
Feb. 1-2: Butterfly Bonanza
Feb. 8-9: Will Zoo Be Mine?
Feb. 15: Teddy Bear Clinic
March 7-8: Photo Scavenger Hunt
March 14-15: St Patrick’s Day at the Zoo
March 28-29: KC Royals Day at the Zoo (admission savings)
April 4: Girl Scout Day at the Zoo (admission savings)
April 11-12: Easter Egg Safari
April 18: Party for the Planet (admission savings)
April 25-26: Meet Daniel Tiger
May: 2-3: Teacher Appreciation Weekend (admission savings)
May 10: Mother’s Day at the Zoo (admission savings)
May: 16-17: Endangered Species Weekend
Food and Drink Options
Restaurants and concession stands are available throughout the zoo so you can purchase BBQ, ice cream, chicken strips and whole list of other goodies.
Save yourself some money by bringing your own food and drink. You’re allowed to bring a small cooler or insulated bag into the zoo so you can tote along your favorite beverages.
The zoo has an outdoor area where you can enjoy a picnic lunch. Just be sure to save your receipt or get your hand stamped at the main entrance if you leave to eat and want to return to the zoo on the same day. Glass containers and alcohol are not allowed.
Making Your Zoo Visit Enjoyable
Here are a few tips for making sure you have a great day at the Kansas City Zoo:
- Consider the weather and make sure you dress accordingly as a lot of your time will be spent outside. Bring sunscreen and bottled water if it’s hot and sunny.
- Wear comfortable shoes. There are some riding options, but there’s also a lot of walking.
- The zoo covers a lot of ground so you may not get through it all in one day. Look at the zoo map and schedule of activities to help plan your visit.
- Bring a camera.
Kansas City Zoo Parking and Location
The Kansas City Zoo is in Swope Park with easy access from I-435 and 71 highways at 6800 Zoo Drive, Kansas City, MO.
Parking is always FREE at the Kansas City Zoo.
Weekly on Sunday and Saturday @ 9:30 am-5:00 pm (starting May 16, 2020)
Kansas City, MO 64132