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San Antonio Zoo – tickets, prices, discount, animals to see, train ride

Edited by: Rekha Rajan
Fact checked by: Jamshed V Rajan


Set in 56-acres, San Antonio Zoo in Texas is home to more than 700 species of animals and birds. 

With numerous wildlife exhibits and experiences, it is a great half-day outing for animal-loving families.

In this article, we share everything you must know before buying your San Antonio Zoo ticket. 

How to reach San Antonio Zoo

The San Antonio Zoo is located in Brackenridge Park, just north of the city center.

It is 5.5 km (3.5 miles) from Downtown San Antonio.

Address: 3903 N. St. Mary’s Street, San Antonio, Texas. 

If you plan to drive to the zoo, it is best to fire up your Google Map and follow the directions

San Antonio Zoo parking

San Antonio Zoo’s parking garage is located in between the zoo and Will Smith Zoo School.

Parking at the garage is free during zoo hours.

There are many other parking areas in and around Brackenridge Park (see map below). 

San Antonio Zoo's parking

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San Antonio Zoo hours

San Antonio Zoo opens at 9 am every day but its closing time differs – from Monday to Thursday, it closes at 5 pm, and from Friday to Sunday, it closes at 7 pm.

The last entry is one hour before closing. 

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Best time to visit San Antonio Zoo

The best time to visit San Antonio Zoo is as soon as they open at 9 am.

Early in the morning, animals are most active and visible, and as the temperatures go up, they recede to shaded areas and become hard to spot. 

After 11 am, the queues at the counters and the exhibits get longer. 

When you start early, you can first finish exploring the exhibits, drop in at one of the restaurants in the zoo for lunch, and head back home. 

On weekends and public holidays, San Antonio Zoo tends to draw a large number of people.

Check out the best things to do in San Antonio, Texas.

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How long does San Antonio Zoo take

If you are visiting with kids, you will need at least three hours to explore San Antonio Zoo.

Children hang around longer at the animal enclosures, attend feeding sessions and keeper talks, pose for photographs, etc. 

If you stop for lunch in one of the restaurants in the zoo, you need one more hour.  

If you are a group of adults in a hurry, you can see all the animal exhibits at San Antonio Zoo in 90 minutes. 

Note: Families who visit the San Antonio Zoo are also interested in SeaWorld San Antonio. Besides numerous animals, they also have fascinating rides. 

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San Antonio zoo tickets

When you purchase San Antonio Zoo tickets online, you get to skip the lines at the zoo’s ticket counters. 

Besides, at the counters, they accept only credit or debit cards.

There are two types of tickets visitors can purchase – the Standard Admission and the Fun Day Tickets. 

Standard Admission ticket

Experience all of what San Antonio Zoo has to offer with a standard admission ticket. 

Children under three years can enter for free.

Ticket price on weekdays

Adult ticket (12+ years): $19.94
Child ticket (3 to 11 years): $15.75

Ticket price on weekends

Adult ticket (12+ years): $24.99
Child ticket (3 to 11 years): $20.99

Fun Day ticket

Besides entry to the San Antonio Zoo, the Fun Day Ticket also gets you a train ride, a carousel ride, and entry into a seasonal animal experience.

Adult ticket (12+ years): $26.99
Child ticket (3 to 11 years): $23.99

Check out our list of the top five Texas zoos.

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Animals at San Antonio Zoo

San Antonio Zoo has a collection of over 3,500 animals representing 750 species.

As soon as you enter the zoo, you see a flock of Caribbean Flamingos, and right next to them, an excited group of Red Ruffed Lemurs and Black and White Lemurs.

As you walk through the entry point, you reach the Bear Corner exhibiting Spectacled Bear and Black Bear.

Next, you reach the Cat Grotto, home to small cats like the Caracal, Clouded Leopard, and Black-footed Cat.

Savanna is the next enclosure, which besides housing the Giraffes, also has birds and Zebras. 

Giraffes feeding sessions happen in Savanna.

Outpost Amazonia is home to more than thirty species of tropical animals, including Jaguars, an Ocelot, Monkeys, Sloth, Bats, etc. 

Tiny Tot Nature Spot is designed for kids up to five years. The youngsters can dig, climb, splash, etc., but get dirty as they discover nature’s wonders.

At the Big Cat Valley, guests come face to face with majestic lions. 

Kid seeing a wild cat
Image: Sazoo.org

The Gibbon Forest, with its ropes and vines, helps to create a naturalistic environment for the gibbons to climb and play around. 

At the Africa Plains, visitors can see Rhinos, Storks, and other hoofstock roam around.

At Africa Live, guests are amazed by the underwater views of Hippos and Nile Crocodiles. 

You can walk around and explore the rest of the habitat to see animals such as Okapi, African Wild Dogs, Dwarf Mongoose, Colobus Monkeys, Nile Crocodile, and many varieties of fish. 

The Friedrich Aquarium is an old exhibit (inaugurated in 1948) and is home to fresh water and saltwater creatures. 

At the Hixon Bird House, one encounters birds from all parts of the world, including the deserts of the American southwest, coastal beaches, the South American rain forest, the jungles of Asia, and the African bush.

The Reptile House has some of the most exciting animals on the planet, such as snakes, turtles, lizards, etc. 

Feeding Aldabra Giant Tortoise
Image: Sazoo.org

Amphibia exhibit is home to lots of frogs, toads, salamanders, and caecilians from Texas and worldwide.

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Experiences at San Antonio zoo

Besides the animal exhibits, the San Antonio Zoo offers many other wildlife experiences. 

Giraffe Feeding

The Savanna enclosure is home to San Antonio Zoo’s three giraffes, Cosmo, Alan, and Brayden, and it is here that the Giraffe feeding happens. 

Giraffe feeding at San Antonio Zoo

Giraffe Feeding tickets cost $5 per person, and each guest gets two leaves of lettuce to feed the animal.

The feeding happens from 10.30 am to 1 pm and from 2 pm to 4.30 pm, daily. 

Image: Tripadvisor

Butterfly Garden

The Butterfly Garden is home to hundreds of butterflies belonging to 30+ different species, flying around freely within the exhibit.

Entry into our Butterfly House costs $3 per person and is not included in the regular San Antonio Zoo ticket.

This colorful exhibit is open from 10 am to 1 pm and from 2 pm to 5 pm.

It is closed from November to February, because of winter. 

Flamingo Mingle

Flamingo Mingle at San Antonio Zoo
Image: 10best.com

Flamingo Mingle is an excellent opportunity for the whole family to meet the pink birds.

You can purchase Flamingo food at the ticket booth in Zootenial Plaza for $4 per person.

The experience is open from 10 am to 2 pm, daily. 

Kangaroo Krossing

Kangaroo Krossing is an opportunity to get up close and learn more about Kangaroos while feeling like you are in Australia. 

Kangaroo Krossing costs $8 per person, and you can purchase the tickets at the habitat near Hixon Bird House.

The experience is available from 10 am to 5 pm. 

Lory landing

The Lory Landing is an Australian rainforest environment, with hundreds of brightly colored, playful, and curious lorikeets. 

Families with kids love this experience, where you also get a chance to feed them nectar. 

You can purchase cups of nectar from the nearby Lory Cafe for $3 per person.

Lory Landing is open from 10 am to 4 pm. 

San Antonio Zoo’s train

San Antonio Zoo's train
Image: Sazoo.org

San Antonio Zoo’s train is also known as the San Antonio Zoo Eagle and has been active since 1956.

During the zoo hours, it goes around the zoo, along the tracks skirting the banks of the San Antonio River.

Along its 3.2 km (2 miles) long ride, it stops at Witte Museum, Kiddie Park, Japanese Tea Gardens, etc. 

The train is not part of the regular San Antonio Zoo tickets. 

The train tickets cost $5 for all visitors three years and above, and you can buy them from the Train Depot Shop located next to Starbucks.

Zootennial Carousel

With its 60 stunning, hand-painted animals, San Antonio Zoo’s carousel is an instant hit with both kids and adults. 

The carousel costs $3 per person, and you can purchase the tickets at the nearby ticket stand.

Image: Sazoo.org

An adult must accompany children under 3.5 feet (42 inches) on the ride.

Behind the Scenes Encounters

San Antonio Zoo offers four unique behind-the-scenes encounters with animals. 

All these encounters start from Outpost Amazonia (you must reach 15 minutes in advance) and last 20 to 30 minutes.

OkapiFridays, Saturdays, and Sundays at 2 pm$39.99
HipposFridays, Saturdays, and Sundays at 11.15 am$39.99
RhinosFriday, Saturdays, and Sundays at 1.15 pm$39.99
Aldabra TortoiseDaily at 10.30 am$20

*Cost per person

Breakfast Encounters

San Antonio Zoo offers three fascinating breakfast encounters, where you dine with your favorite animals.

All the breakfast encounters with animals cost $24.99 for adult (12+ years) and $19.99 for kids (3 to 11 years).

This cost is over and above the regular San Antonio zoo entry ticket.

Kangaroo8.30 to 10 am, on Sundays
Giraffe8.30 to 10 am, on Saturdays and Sundays
Hippos8.30 to 10 am, select Saturdays

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San Antonio Zoo map

With more than 750 species on 56 acres to be explored, carrying a map of the San Antonio Zoo is highly recommended if you are visiting with kids.

With a map handy, you won’t waste time finding your favorite animal enclosures, and in the process, get exhausted.

Besides helping in navigating the habitats, having the San Antonio zoo’s layout, also helps identify visitor services such as restaurants, restrooms, kids parks, souvenir shops, etc.

You can either download the map or bookmark this page for later.

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Food at San Antonio Zoo

San Antonio Zoo has three main restaurants – Beastro Restaurant, Longnecks Bar and Grill, and Riverview Restaurant.

Beastro Restaurant offers a stunning view of the zoo’s wildlife carousel and lake and serves delicious burgers, pizza, and dessert. 

Longnecks is an African-inspired open-air cafe with a good view and classic American food.

Riverview restaurant serves family favorites such as burgers, sandwiches, salads, and ice cream.

Outside food or drink is not allowed into the zoo. 

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Dress code at San Antonio Zoo

San Antonio Zoo strictly enforces a dress code to ensure a family-friendly atmosphere. 

They recommend proper attire, including shirts and appropriate footwear at all times.

Visitors are not allowed to get in wearing clothing or tattoos with offensive language or graphics.

Offensive language includes – profanity, pornography, graphic violence, support for drug use, gang symbols, promotion of discrimination against any group.

# Tripadvisor.com
# Wikipedia.org
# Sazoo.org
# Yelp.com

The travel specialists at TheBetterVacation.com use only high-quality sources while researching & writing their articles. We make every attempt to keep our content current, reliable and trustworthy.

Other Zoos in Texas

# Dallas Zoo
# Houston Zoo
# Austin Zoo
# Fort Worth Zoo

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