Home / Local Stories  / Play: Things to do with your kids  / Outdoor Fun  / Elmwood Park Zoo Reopens (with Social Distancing) June 26

Elmwood Park Zoo Reopens (with Social Distancing) June 26

Tickets go on sale this Wednesday, and doors open Friday! Here’s what you need to know before you go.

With guidelines loosening in Pennsylvania, Elmwood Park Zoo is preparing to reopen its doors this week! The zoo will open its outdoor exhibits on Friday, June 26, and admission is limited to timed tickets purchased in advance to assure a limited number of guests. No tickets will be available at the gate.


In addition to requiring advanced tickets, there will be additional modifications and rules EPZ is putting in place in order to keep everyone safe while visiting animal friends.


To allow for proper social distancing, guests are required to follow new traffic flows throughout the zoo designated by arrows and paw prints. They also ask that all guests over the age of 2 wear a mask, and that guests stay 6 feet away from others.


To help with that, the zoo is setting a maximum capacity of 300 people. They will be closely monitoring this as people enter and exit. So they ask that you arrive at the zoo entrance only at the designated on your ticket. Early arrivals will not be accommodated, and you should stay inside your car or wait in the designated waiting area until the entry time stated on your ticket.


When you buy your ticket online, you will have a 30-minute window to enter the zoo from your chosen entry time. If you miss your entry time, email the zoo ( zoo@elmwoodparkzoo.org ) to exchange your tickets for another day, and so they can release that time slot for someone else.


All staff, volunteers, and interns must wear face masks and appropriate PPE. They will also have temperature checks prior to the start of their shift and before entering the buildings. The zoo has also hired multiple new custodial positions dedicated to the sanitization of high traffic areas, including the zoo entrance and all surfaces. Bathrooms will be cleaned every half hour, and will have a maximum capacity posted on the door.


There will be no re-entry once you have entered the zoo, so make sure you have everything you need before you check in!


That includes some extras like water, snacks, and your own stroller. For the time being, strollers and scooters will not be available for rental. Also, all water fountains and food vendors will be closed (and seating will be limited), so plan accordingly. You will find new hand sanitizer stations throughout the zoo, especially in high contact areas.


In addition to food service, all indoor exhibits and rides are closed, including Trail of the Jaguar, the Butterfly Train, and the Nature Shop (though you can still shop online). The Quiet Space will be closed, and Sensory Packs are currently unavailable.


Feeding experiences are also closed, as well as play areas like the Thomas Kimmel Playground and Percussion Garden. Treetop Adventures is closed, as well.


One thing that will be open, however, is Summer Camp! Camp groups will be separated into smaller groups of 10-12 campers each, with updated safety guidelines in place to protect everyone.


Elmwood Park Zoo is located at 1661 Harding Boulevard in Norristown. The zoo will reopen on Friday, June 26 for advance timed ticket holders only. Tickets go on sale beginning Wednesday, June 24. The zoo will be open Monday through Friday from 11 am—5 pm, and weekends from 10 am—5 pm.


Every weekday from 10—11 am and on weekend days from 9–10 am, the zoo will be opening one hour early for Yearly Members. Even for members, however, advanced timed tickets are required at all times. Tuesday mornings from 9—10 am are reserved for seniors and those defined by the CDC as vulnerable or at-risk.



Photograph courtesy of Visit Philadelphia.


Contributing Writer