‘How To’ Visit The Zoo Over The Holiday Weekend

July 2, 2010

The Houston Zoo can promise a “naturally wild” experience with each visit, but for the July 4 Independence Day weekend, they’d like to make things a bit tamer.

Holiday heat and holiday traffic can be a bear.  The zoo has gathered some tips in the Frequently Asked Questions below that will help with visits to the zoo over the holiday weekend.

Q: Is the Fourth of July a free day at the Houston Zoo?

A: The Fourth of July is no longer a free day at the Zoo. However, our guests can buy discount tickets in advance of their Zoo visit at any Fiesta Mart grocery store in the greater Houston area.  Visit the courtesy booth of any Fiesta Mart in the Houston area to purchase an adult Zoo admission for $9 and a child Zoo admission for $6.  For more information, visit the Houston Zoo on-line at http://www.houstonzoo.org/hours/.

Q: On busy holidays I can never find a place to park. Is there an alternative to parking in Hermann Park?

A:  Parking is limited in Hermann Park.  However, off-site parking is available just a short walk from the Zoo’s Medical Center gate at Memorial Hermann Medical Plaza, 6400 Fannin.  The garage charges for parking, but Saturday and Sunday rates are just $6 per car.  For more information, visit the Houston Zoo on-line at http://www.houstonzoo.org/directions/.

Q: What if I don’t want to drive? Does METRO serve the Houston Zoo?

A:  Both METRORail and METRO buses are good alternatives to navigating the holiday traffic.  And you can save $1 off your adult Zoo admission when you present any METRO bus or METRORail ticket at the Zoo admission booth (one offer per person).

METRORail stations at Fannin and Cambridge and Fannin and Sunset serve the Zoo as well as 5 METRO bus lines. For a METRORail schedule visit the Zoo on the Web at http://www.houstonzoo.org/directions/ for links to METRO rail and bus schedules.

Q: What’s the best time to visit the Houston Zoo?

A:  Our animals are most active and the crowds are usually smaller first thing in the morning (Zoo gates open at 9 a.m.) or late in the afternoon, especially in the heat of the summer.  This time of year the Zoo closes at 7 p.m. (last ticket sold at 6 p.m.).

Q: Can we bring our own refreshments when we visit the Zoo?

A: Absolutely! But please don’t bring glass bottles, alcoholic beverages or straws.  And please pack out what you bring into the Zoo.

Q: Do you have any other suggestions for a summertime Zoo trip?

A:  Always check the weather forecast before you come.  But don’t let a little rain keep you away.  The Houston Zoo includes several indoor exhibits – the Tropical Bird House, the Reptile House, the Kipp Aquarium and the Natural Encounters Building.

Wear comfortable clothing, especially loose fitting light fabrics (especially in summer) and shoes that are suitable for walking.

Take your time and enjoy your stay.  By spending a little extra time at each exhibit you’ll give our animals an opportunity to demonstrate natural behaviors such as grooming, courting and scent-marking.

Parents can add to their child’s Zoo experience with simple but engaging games and exercises.  For example, pick a letter of the alphabet and see how many animals you can find whose names start with that letter.

InstantNewsWestu Staff

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