The Little Rock Zoo is accredited by the American Zoo and Aquarium Association. A visit is a lot of fun and the zoo is getting better everyday. It’s a great place to spend the day outside communing with nature and visiting the animals. Kids love it (adults do too) and every time you visit you’re helping them build a bigger and better zoo. With fun special events. educational opportunities and new exhibits, including penguins, you can’t go wrong at the Little Rock Zoo.
If you haven’t been to the Little Rock Zoo in a few years, you’ll see a lot of changes. Many of the exhibits have been opened up to give the animals more room, and some animals like the bears and lions, have been given exhibits that allow people up close and personal views.
You’ll also find visitor amenities like the cafe and gift shop have become bigger and better. They make new improvements to visitor services every year.
Latest exhibits include the African Savannah, with zebra and crowned cranes, the dik dik yard, the red river hogs and there’s a fun new bird show every weekend in the summer. There is an African penguin exhibit. It’s a very elaborate exhibit and one of the better penguin exhibits I’ve seen. The newest exhibits are the cheetah exhibit that opened in 2012 and the newly remodeled Arkansas Heritage Farm, which opened in 2016.
Chances are, if you visit on a weekend, you’ll get an up close and personal encounter with at least one animal. During the weekends, Zoo Docents (volunteers) are normally on hand to introduce you to some of their animal friends. You might even see zoo animals in other places around the city. The Little Rock Zoo education animals do parties, educational programs for youth groups and clubs and more. You can also schedule programs at the amphitheater and children’s birthday parties. Contact the education department at 501-666-2406 ext. 124 for more information on pricing and how to get the Little Rock Zoo to your organization.
Admission, Parking, Hours:
Admission is $12.00 for adults, and $9 for children under 12 or adults over 60. There is a $2 parking fee per car. Little Rock Zoo memberships are available. You may park on the lot across from the main entrance.
The Little Rock Zoo is open from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. 7 days a week, except for Christmas, New Year’s Day, and Thanksgiving. The zoo also closes for the Razorback game when it is at War Memorial Stadium, as parking for guests is impossible on game days.
In the spring, the zoo gets very crowded so to avoid the rush come early or late. In the summer, head to big cats first and go early to see more animals (animals have indoor access so they will go where it’s cool). The animals are most active in early winter when it’s cool but not too cold.
The Little Rock Zoo has two sections towards the back of the zoo that are easy to miss and complicated to get to. Bears is on the right. Don’t miss that section! The grizzly bear exhibit is great, and the Little Rock Zoo has representatives from most bear species around the world. Small carnivores is on the right, and features some neat, smaller species including a fossa (your kids have probably heard of it). You have to double back to see both.
I often get inquires about the petting zoo. The Little Rock Zoo once had a petting zoo/Children’s Farm with small goats. Currently, in the remodeled Arkansas Heritage Farm, you can feed and pet the goats through a barrier, but you cannot go inside with them. The Heritage Farm has some neat species that are used on farms throughout the world, including chickens, jungle fowl and heritage turkeys. The Little Rock Zoo partnered with Heifer International to make this educational experience possible. If you are visiting from out of state and looking for things to do with your family, Heifer’s Global Village downtown is something to check out too.