Know Before You Go: Spring Break At The Zoo

Planning a Hampton Roads staycation for spring break this year? Here’s what to know before making your plans to visit the Virginia Zoo! 

The Zoo will be requiring advance reservations and timed-entry tickets from March 30 through April 7, 2024. These measures help ensure a great visitor experience from parking, eating at the restaurant, riding the train and even visiting our newborn Siamang! Both Zoo members and non-members** are required to reserve tickets in advance. No onsite tickets will be available, and admissions will be limited. Reserve tickets here.

When you arrive at the Zoo, be sure to check signs in the plaza for a list of the day’s special activities! Each day, we will have programs like keeper chats, educator chats and pop-up animal ambassador encounters, and on Wednesday, April 3, you can take a guided Wild Walk tour through the Zoo at 10 a.m.! Pre-registration is required for the walk; Sign up here.

Want to make all-week plans for your child? It’s not too late to sign them up for the Zoo’s Spring Break Safari Camp, where 1st-5th graders will explore the animal kingdom and become Spectacular Species Protectors! Camp runs from April 1-5. Sign up ASAP here!

Follow these tips to have the best visit possible during spring break:

  • Tickets MUST be reserved online before visiting! Have them pulled up and ready to show before you reach the gate.
  • Arrive within the hour-long window of your timed-entry ticket for your ticket to be considered valid. For example, if you purchased tickets for 12:30 p.m., be sure to arrive between 12:30 p.m. and 1:30 p.m. The latest possible time to enter the Zoo will be 3 p.m.
  • Anticipate larger crowds of people than usual and the potential for increased wait times.
  • Carpool or use a rideshare service when possible, as parking may be limited. We will have overflow parking across the street if needed, so budget a few extra minutes for walking to and from your car just in case.
  • Outside food and drinks are not allowed, with the exception of reusable water bottles. Please enjoy a meal or a snack from our African Village Restaurant or Beastro, where you can also refill your water bottle!
  • Leave all pets at home, unless they are a service animal. This does not include emotional support animals.
  • Please be kind and courteous of others, respecting our animals, employees, volunteers and other guests at all times. Out of respect to the animals’ well-being, do not attempt to feed the animals, cross any barriers, throw items in exhibits, tease/chase the animals or bang on exhibit glass.

**Individuals with a disability recognized by the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) qualify for free admission, along with one companion. Individuals in this category do not need to reserve advanced tickets for spring break and can simply let the ticket booth know they’d like the ADA discount upon arrival.