Community Access Programs at Reid Park Zoo

The Reid Park Zoo, and all other AZA-accredited zoos, are much more than “living museums.”   They are vibrant, beautiful destinations with an urgent mission.   It’s important to the Reid Park Zoo that you come and visit, and they’ll help you do it.

Why?   Because just by visiting, you’ll be helping to support conservation efforts and sustainable living.   This will be even more significant when the Pathway to Asia expansion becomes a reality, because there will be many more endangered species you’ll be supporting simply by coming to the Zoo to see them.

Reaching Out to the Community

The Zoo has many community outreach programs, partnering with charities and non-profits, because they understand that doing good for community means doing good for the animals and the environment!      You probably already know that thousands of schoolchildren visit the Reid Park Zoo for free every year, and you may have heard about special events the Zoo offers.  

One example is Dream Night.  It’s a free evening at the Zoo just for children with any kind of healthcare or mobility challenges along with their families.  Nobody needs to worry about accessibility or stigma.  RPZ partners with the Desert Museum to host Dream Night in alternating years.   It’s a wonderful, well-attended event, and creates treasured memories for the families who attend, but also for the Zoo staff and volunteers.   

But what about something for individuals or families?   Maybe you don’t have a whole morning or afternoon to go to the Zoo or chaperone a field trip for one of your children.     Maybe you don’t feel you can afford the tickets.   Maybe you’re differently abled and worry that you might not be able to get around comfortably.  Maybe you just need a quick pick-me-up during your lunch hour.  

The Reid Park Zoo has you covered

Can you visit the Zoo FOR FREE?

Yes!   Take advantage of the Pima County Public Library’s Culture Pass Program.   Go to your local library, and see how you can get free tickets to visit the Zoo.   The Zoo donates about 6,000 of these free tickets every year.   Right now, due to Covid restrictions, you’ll need a reservation to enter the  Reid Park Zoo at a certain time. Go to the website for more information on the Culture Passes and all the other community-access programs of the RPZ.

Dollar Day

In conjunction with Reid Park’s Family Festival in the Park, the Zoo offers $1 admission.  (This program has been paused due to Covid – but they plan bring it back soon!)  Stay tuned.  

What if you receive SNAP or WIC assistance?

The Reid Park Zoo has very low admission prices for such a wonderful place and especially compared to other accredited zoos in the U.S.      But if you receive food assistance, this can help make a Zoo visit even more affordable.  Just show your EBT card to the front gate, and you’ll be eligible for a $4 discount on up to 7 tickets.  That means you can buy an adult ticket for just $6.50, a child for just $2.50, and a senior for just $4.50.  No charge for those under 2 .

What if you’re differently abled?

You should go to the Zoo!   The Reid Park Zoo meets all ADA guidelines.   If you don’t like big crowds, they can advise you of the best times to visit.  There are stroller and wheelchair rentals.   The RPZ allows trained service animals to accompany you (except inside the aviaries, where lots of birds are just walking around).   The website even has a map to identify areas where the sensory experiences (sounds, smells, and so on) might be a bit more intense.

How can you visit The Reid Park Zoo if you only have a short break or are stuck at your computer?    

How about checking out the ZooCams?  You can see Giraffes, lions, elephants and even lemurs and grizzlies!    See their real-time behaviors during the day –  and all you have to do is log into the Zoo’s website and watch for as long as you like.  The website also offers lots of information about each of the animals you’re seeing.

These programs to help you connect to the Reid Park Zoo are an important part of a greater good the Zoo pursues every day.  They’re committed to welcoming as many Tucsonans as possible, spreading the word about conservation, and continuing to provide world-class care to the animals in their charge.  But these animals need help from all of us.    Go to the Zoo and be a part of it!

4 Comments

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  1. We are so fortunate to have Reid Park Zoo as part of our community. Their community outreach is truly a gift. I have had the opportunity to participate in Senior Days, Free Days, Summer Safari and a variety of other programs. I always learn something new in regards to conservation and animal care. I can’t wait to see what the new Asian Expansion has to offer. Thanks RPZ!

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    • Thanks so much for visiting the website, Deborah. We agree – a visit to the Zoo is always delightful – and the education part is happening before we know it.

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  2. Reid Park Zoo is a gem. I have heard several attendees indicate how well cared for the animals and vegetation appear. Conservation and expansion of Reid Park Zoo helps biodiversity, which is important to us all. Efforts by Reid Park Zoo, including expansion and comfort for existing animals as well as new, endangered species are one part of these goals. Public education and accessibility to a pleasant environment where conservation is a major goal will help us all.

    Marsha Schlanger, RPZ docent

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