Go on an adventure with your child around the Zoo at the 16th Annual Kids Appreciation Day presented by H-E-B and News Center 23. Kids Appreciation Day coincides with National KidsDay, which is a day set aside each year to celebrate and honor America’s children by spending meaningful time with them.

Every child receives a special passport which takes them on a scavenger hunt around the Zoo where they will visit themed activity stations focusing on health and wellness, safety, animal conservation and enrichment.  Once their passport is fully stamped, they will be eligible to enter a drawing for back-to-school prizes.

In honor of Kids Appreciation Day, the Zoo will also giveaway goodie bags to the first 1,000 children that complete their passports!  The draw-string backpacks will be stuffed with H-E-B Buddy School supplies, such as a box of crayons, safety scissors, glue stick, spiral note book, paper, folder and pencil sharpener, courtesy of H-E-B.

Event is free with regular paid admission or Zoo membership.  Admit one child free with paid adult coupons are available for pick-up at H-E-B Stores Valleywide and select Metro PCS stores in Brownsville.  Special thanks to all our generous sponsors, H-E-B, Metro by T-Mobile, McDonald’s, Brownsville Public Utilities Board, Russo’s New York Pizzeria – Brownsville, Rodeo Dental & Orthodontics, Tropical Smoothie Cafe and KVEO!


12:00 p.m. – Passport Office Opens

12:30 p.m. – Book Reading

1:00 p.m. – Zoo Keeper Chat & Enrichment: Russell Aquatic Ecology Center

1:00 p.m. – Book Reading

1:30 p.m. – Animal Presentation by Students Teaching Students

2:00 p.m. – Zoo Keeper Chat & Enrichment: Russell Aquatic Ecology Center

2:00 p.m. – Animal Presentation by Students Teaching Students

2:30 p.m. – Book Reading

2:45 p.m. – Zoo Keeper Chat: Gorillas

3:00 p.m. – Zoo Keeper Chat

3:00 p.m. – Zoo Keeper Chat: Caribbean Flamingos

3:15 p.m. – Zoo Keeper Chat: Orinoco Crocodiles

3:30 p.m. – Book Reading

4:00 p.m. – Last Opportunity to Drop-off Door Prize Entry Form

4:15 p.m. – Door Prize Raffle


Once your child’s passport is full of stamps, they are eligible to win some awesome door prizes courtesy of some of our great community partners.

  • Backpack full of school supplies
  • Bicycle and helmet
  • Tickets to Schlitterbahn Beach Waterpark
  • Gift Cards
  • And more!

Plus, parents of school- age children can also take advantage of our back-to-school expo that will be located in our special events building.


Learn all about the primates of the rain forest while participating in various games and activities.  During Kids Appreciation Day, some of the activities, crafts and games include:

Snack Time by H-E-B – Make yourself a healthy treat to take on your trek throughout the Zoo.  Learn how to make a healthy snack by H-E-B’s own Dietician. 

Snap a Selfie with H-E-B Buddy – Win unlimited visits to the Gladys Porter Zoo for a year!  Snap a selfie with H-E-B Buddy using the hashtag #KidsAppreciationDay and post to any social media platform to enter.  Five winners will be randomly selected from those who submitted selfies with H-E-B Buddy.  Contest ends at 6:00 p.m. on August 3, 2019.  Winners will be announced on Monday August 5, 2019.

Face Painting & Temporary Tattoos – At this station, kids can get the design of their choice painted or tattooed on their cheek or hand. 

Monster Mural – Kids always enjoy coloring.  Our custom bug themed mural is 7.5 feet wide by 2 feet tall.


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