We’re excited to welcome everyone back to the Gladys Porter Zoo.

While the Zoo was closed, staff worked diligently on a comprehensive reopening plan. With the helpful advice of City health officials, new measures have been put in place to help ensure the safety of the Zoo’s guests, employees, and animals. As part of that plan we have made significant changes to the ticketing and entry process, as well as our daily operations.

We’ve extended our hours for the holidays.  We’ll be open from November 23 – November 29 from 9:00 a.m. – 5:00 p.m. and we will open again from December 18 to January 3, 2021 from 9:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m.

For the days in between we will have the following hours of operation.  The Zoo  is open Friday afternoons from 1:00 p.m. until 5:00 p.m., visitors can stay on Zoo grounds until dusk and Saturday and Sunday from 9:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m.

We will have limited capacity so reservations are recommended for all guests, including Gladys Porter Zoo Members.  We will accept walk-ups as long as the time slot is not sold out.  If it is full, you might have to wait a few minutes until the next time slot, approximately 10 to 15 minutes.

Check out our helpful informational videos below.





  • Practice social distancing, please stay 6 feet away from other guests and staff
  • Wear facial covering when others are present  This does not apply to children 5 and under or those with specific medical issues
  • Follow one-way route through the Zoo
  • Be mindful of “Food Free Zones”


  • Sanitation of public doorways, indoor flat surfaces, and railings has been tripled
  • Additional hand sanitizer stations will be maintained throughout the park, as product is available
  • Buildings will be open with 25% occupancy limit
  • Playground is closed
  • Signage to wash hands frequently with soap for at least 20 seconds
  • Zoo staff is required to wear masks
  • Employees showing signs of illness will not be allowed at work

In addition, during this first phase of reopening, the public will be able to access most areas of the Zoo. On Saturday and Sunday indoor facilities will be open with a 25% building occupancy and close at 4:00 p.m. with the exception of the bathrooms.  The activities and facilities that are unavailable include the playground (except for Martha’s Cove, the water feature, which will remain open), Small World and goat yard, stingray, Galapagos tortoise and flamingo feeding opportunities, South Texas Discovery Education Center, Butterflies, Bugs & Blooms, Komodo dragon exhibit, keeper chats and shows and all enclosed viewing windows.  Although these viewing alcoves will be closed off, guests will still be able to view the animals from other vantage points around the exhibit.

Thank you for your patience and understanding during this time! Should you have any questions regarding this matter, please check out our Frequently Asked Questions page or contact the Zoo office at (956) 546-7187 or membership office via email at or call (956) 546-7187 x343 or x344.


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