toucan on perch

Reopen FAQ

You’ve asked, we’re answering! Here are some of the frequently asked questions regarding the Zoo’s reopening. Still don’t see what you’re looking for? Shoot us an email at


Can I buy tickets at the Zoo?

For a limited time, the Zoo will require ticket reservations from every guest and member who visit. Children under the age of 2 do not need a ticket or reservation. To reserve your ticket, click here.

Why do I have to buy my tickets in advance? 

To abide by regulations set by the Governor for Phase III of Virginia’s reopening, the Zoo must limit attendees to 30% of its capacity. In order to do this, the Zoo is instituting timed ticketing and allowing a certain number of people in per time slot. To help us abide by these regulations, we’re asking all guests to buy tickets in advance.

What reservation times are available?

Reservations will be limited and spaced 1-hour apart to allow visitors to maintain physical distance. The first group will be scheduled at 9:30 am and the last at 2:30 pm to allow for ample visit time. You will have one hour from the start of your reservation to enter the Zoo.

How long can I visit the Zoo?

On average, guests spend around two hours inside the park. After you enter the Zoo during your reserved one-hour entry time, you may stay as long as you like; the Zoo closes at 4:30 pm.

Can I buy a ticket over the phone?

To reserve a time slot over the phone, please call us at (757) 441-2374, ext. 0. 

Are discounts or coupons available online for admissions reservations? 

We are unable to accept coupons or honor some admissions discounts at this time for online ticket reservations so we can manage the park capacity with advanced reservations. For individuals with ADA-recognized disabilities and companions, please call us to reserve tickets.

I can no longer attend during the time slot I reserved. Can I get a refund?

To make changes to your reservations, please call us at (757) 441-2374, ext. 0.

How can I upgrade my admission ticket to membership if I decide to join during my visit?

To upgrade your admission ticket to a membership, please call us at (757) 441-2374, ext. 0.


Do members have to get a reservation?  

Online reservations are required for ALL guests, including members, during this time to control capacity and minimize lines.  

To reserve your tickets, click here. Choose a member date and entry window, login, enter the adults and children in your group and you will automatically get the number of free tickets covered by your membership. Upon arrival at the Zoo, you will need your photo ID and emailed reservation confirmation or membership card. 

I need my membership cards reprinted. How do I do that? 

The Membership Office is currently operating with limited hours and may not be able to print physical membership cards. All members are sent emails periodically with a temporary membership card that will show your new expiration date. 

Please email us at if you have not received your temporary virtual membership card via email. 

Will my expired membership card work? 

Yes, the barcode will still work and show your current membership in the system. 

Are discounts available for memberships? 

For all of our membership discounts, you can send a copy of your ID as verification to and your phone number. When staff are in the office they will give you a call to process your membership payment over the phone.  

How can I use a gift card to purchase my membership? 

To use your gift card to purchase a membership, please visit the office in person or call us at (757) 441-2374, ext. 0. 

Your system won’t recognize me as a member. How do I reserve my FREE ticket? 

Please email us at with your member number and correct email address so we can see what’s wrong with your account and correct any information. 

Are member swaps still happening? 

We are currently working with our swap partners to assess alternative dates as reopenings are planned. Please check the Zoo’s website as swaps will be posted to the events calendar and Member perks page.


What do I need to bring? 

Ticket holders: Please bring a printed reservation confirmation or show us the emailed reservation confirmation from your mobile phone. 

Members: Please bring either your physical membership card or the temporary membership card that was emailed to you. Your reservation will be visible when we scan your card.  

When should I arrive? 

Please arrive within the 1-hour window that’s on your reservation confirmation. If you’re early, please wait in your car until your scheduled entry time. For example, if your ticket is at 1 pm, you have until 1:59 pm to enter the Zoo.

What if my ticket is for 1 pm and I’m running late. What do I do?  

No worries! You will have one hour from the start of your reservation to enter the Zoo. With a reservation for 1 pm, you will be allowed into the zoo up until 1:59 pm.

What if I want to spend longer than 2 hours at the Zoo?  

We recommend a visit of around 2 hours, but your ticket will not expire once you are inside the Zoo. You will have until 4:30 pm to visit, when the Zoo closes for the day.


Do I have to wear a mask? Will I be policed for improper social distancing?  

For the safety of you, all our guests, our staff, and our animals, we ask that guests, ages 5 and up, wear masks upon entering the Zoo, when indoors, when within six feet of Zoo staff or other guests and in designated "Mask Zones." These are marked by orange signs throughout the Zoo. Children under 5 are exempt from wearing a mask. Zoo and staff and volunteers are trained in customer service and safety procedures.

What is closed? 

Some exhibits and amenities are currently closed (World of Reptiles). Water Plaza Fountains and Contact yards (the Zoo Farm area and Australia yard) are also closed. Visit for the current status of exhibits and amenities.

Will the restrooms be open?

Restrooms will be open and doors will be propped open to limit contact surfaces. The Zoo’s contracted custodial team will ensure all restrooms are cleaned frequently throughout the day.

Can I come in, leave and re-enter?  

There will be no re-entry. Please plan accordingly. 

What is your cleaning regime for the public areas? 

An increased cleaning protocol has been put in place. Virginia Zoo staff, volunteers and custodial team will patrol the Zoo grounds and wipe down all contact areas (e.g., handrails, benches, handles, etc.) each time they pass. Some high-touch areas have been roped off or closed and others are noted with signage.