Tips for Visiting
To make the most out of your Sacramento Zoo visit, take a look at some of our tips! Even if you are a zoo member or have been to the zoo before, we think you will find them helpful.
Our Top Ten Tips
Want to avoid crowds and school groups?
Plan your visit for non-holiday Mondays, Saturday or Sunday mornings, or most weekdays after 1 pm (by that time, most visiting school groups have left).
Visit in winter.
You’ll have the place to yourself! The animals enjoy the cool temperatures and are more active throughout the day.
Warmer days in March and October are great at the zoo.
We’re not as crowded, and school groups’ reservations are low. When it’s wet, you can still go wild!
Check your watch!
Don’t miss our wildlife stage show and keeper chats. Check the calendar before your visit.
Mornings are usually great times to see many animals, especially when it is hot!
Many are just starting their day like you, and are often active in the cooler morning times than in the hot Sacramento heat of summer.
Wear comfortable shoes!
Even our 14 acres can seem like a lot of ground to cover.
Know before you go.
Look at the zoo map and plan your day.
Where can I park my car?
Parking is on-street and free throughout Land Park.
Wagons and wheelchairs.
The zoo is stroller and wheelchair accessible. Wagons and wheelchairs are available for rent through the Zoofari Market gift store.
Visiting from in town?
SacRT Bus Route #11 stops in front of the zoo all week.
SacRT Bus Route #106 stops in front of the zoo Monday through Friday during peak hours.
Need to come and go?
Once you enter the zoo, you can exit and reenter if you get your hand stamped. There is a stamp kiosk by the exit.
Stuff to leave at home:
Rollerskates, rollerblades, skateboards, scooters, bicycles, radios, boomboxes, tape or CD players, and pets are not allowed in the zoo. Call ahead about service dogs at 916-808-5888.
Give your lungs a rest.
Smoking and vaping are prohibited all over the zoo.
Food can be purchased at Kampala Café or Savannah Snacks. They offer everything from hamburgers to veggie burgers, ice cream to fries and much more!
Young children can enjoy more than just the animals.
Ride the train and Conservation Carousel or climb the Kilimanjaro Climb rock wall for an extra fee. The playground is also a favorite of our youngest visitors.
Souvenirs to take home!
Don’t forget to stop by the Zoofari Market during your visit to pick up unique gifts! The photo booth and penny machine are always fun for everyone.
Please do not feed the animals.
Our animals have specific diets and nutritional needs and we request that you please not feed them. Because some animals are under strict diets for medical reasons, it is vitally important that this policy is followed.
Animals do not like to be teased!
For the welfare of our animals, we ask you not to tease, whistle or yell at the animals at the zoo. Please do not throw food or any other items into the animal exhibits.
You can’t lose, even if they snooze.
Especially on warm afternoons, many of our animals like to nap. Wait for several minutes or check out our indoor Reptile House.
Want to see animals up-close?
Glass exhibits offer great views – check out the Reptile House, chimpanzee exhibit, African lion, giant anteater, North American river otter, meerkat, aardvark and Wolf’s guenon exhibits. For the animals’ safety please do not touch the glass! After the stage show, stick around to get up close to the Animal Ambassadors. The zoo also offers exclusive Behind-the-Scenes Tours!
Look sharp and be patient.
In winter, look for animals warming up in sunny areas. During hot weather, check out the shady spots in an exhibit – the animals will probably be there. Be patient and look carefully at all areas of the exhibit. The animals you are looking for might be concealed by trees, sitting in the shade of a cave or even right in front of you, camouflaged!
Fun Facts & Trivia
How much do you know about the zoo and all the animals? Find surprising facts to impress your friends!
- The Reptile House was built in the shape of a snake and opened in 1970.
- The Sacramento Zoo began as the William Land Park Zoo in March 1927. It consisted of approximately 40 animals housed on four acres of land.
- In 1942, the zoo budget was $150 for one year! In 2015, the zoo budget was more than $6 million for one year.
- The Sacramento Zoological Society was formed in 1956 to encourage educational opportunities and fundraise for zoo expansion.
- Approximately 50,000 school children visit the Sacramento Zoo annually.
- The Sacramento Zoo exhibits nearly 500 animals, featuring over 120 species of carnivores, birds, reptiles, ungulates and primates.
- Approximately 1,745 volunteers donate more than 42,000 hours of expertise and hard work annually.
- The total yearly animal food budget is over $150,000—almost $50,000 is spent on fruits and vegetables which are delivered twice a week.
- Herkimer, the desert tortoise is the oldest resident at the Sacramento Zoo – he was born the same year that the zoo opened. Joey, our oldest male chimpanzee turned 56 in 2019.
- The pink color of flamingos comes from the food they eat.
- Lions are the only social cat, living in social groups called prides.
- Anteaters in the wild can eat up to 30,000 insects in one day.
- Chimpanzees are one of the few non-humans that use tools. Chimps use sticks to draw termites out of termite mounds and use rocks and branches to crack palm nuts.
- The giraffe has the same number of vertebrae in their neck as a human – seven!
- Giraffes give birth standing up! That’s a 6-foot drop for the baby.
- A full-grown orangutan has the strength of eight men.
- Kangaroos are the best jumpers of all mammals and can jump over 30 feet in one hop, 6 feet high, with a speed up to 40 mph.
- No two zebras look alike. Each has a different stripe pattern.
- Gibbon pairs vocalize together, called “duetting”. These songs help bond the pair as well as advertise their location to other gibbons.
- Dart frogs come in a range of bright colors. These bright patterns tell potential predators, “I’m toxic. Don’t eat me.”
- Ruffed lemurs are the only primates that make nests for their infants instead of carrying them.
- Aardvarks can protect themselves from predators by digging a hole and covering themselves within minutes.
- Anteaters are able to detect insects with their powerful sense of smell which is 40 times stronger than that of a human’s.
- Giant anteaters do not have teeth; instead, they have tongues that can reach as much as 2 feet in length!
- The first female zookeeper was hired in 1975 at the Sacramento Zoo. Today, over 65% of keeper staff are female.
- In 1975, Sacramento Zoological Society membership was 260. Today, there are around 10,800 member households
- The Sacramento Zoo covered 11 acres in 1975 and covers 14.4 acres today.
- Total front gate revenue for the zoo in 1975 was $87,903. Total gate receipts in 2014 were $2,761,313!
- Total zoo attendance in 1975 was 414,119. Total zoo attendance in 2016 was 532,322