Audubon Zoo’s popular water attractions, Cool Zoo and Gator Run lazy river, will reopen on June 16 for the 2021 season, Audubon Nature Institute announced in a release.
This marks the first time Cool Zoo will reopen after being closed for a year due to the pandemic.
This year, the attractions will open on a Wednesday through Sunday schedule until Aug. 7, after which the water park will return to a weekends-only schedule. The water park is scheduled to close for the 2021 season on Labor Day, Sept. 6. For more details about tickets, cabana rentals, and the 2021 season schedule click here.
This year, unlike years past, Audubon will offer two sessions each day from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. and from 2 p.m. to 5 p.m. for guests to enjoy Cool Zoo while visiting Audubon Zoo. Audubon said these two daily sessions allow staff to manage capacity limitations, provide room for physical distancing, and comply with CDC guidelines.
Each day, between sessions at 1 p.m., Cool Zoo will close to allow Audubon staff ample time to clean all shared equipment and surfaces, officials said.
“We are very excited to welcome our guests back to Cool Zoo and once again offer them a way to stay cool while visiting the Zoo,” said Audubon Nature Institute vice president of guest services Daine Appleberry. “We are working hard to make sure our guests have fun, but also stay safe when enjoying our attractions.”
Cool Zoo includes all its visitor-favorite features: the alligator water slide, the spider monkey soaker, water-spitting snakes, and shady spots for grownups. Back for its sixth year, the Gator Run lazy river offers Zoo visitors the option to cool down by floating atop an inner tube along a course that measures 750 feet in length. Three-feet-deep and 10-feet-wide, the lazy river features two sand beaches and water cannons that can be used to shower visitors as they float by.
Gator Run includes showers, restrooms, lockers, outdoor seating, a private area for nursing mothers, and the “Gator Bites” concession stand, serving a menu of pizza and other food and beverage items.
Rafts are included in the admission price for Gator Run. Anyone under 48 inches will need a life jacket supplied by Audubon Zoo.
Outside food and drinks are welcomed in Cool Zoo and Gator Run, but the size of coolers and ice chests cannot exceed 28 quarts. Glass containers and disposable straws and lids are not permitted for the safety of our animals. Audubon reserves the right to search coolers.
Regular admission to Cool Zoo, including Gator Run, is $8 for Audubon Nature Institute Members and $10 for non-Members, plus Audubon Zoo admission. Cool Zoo tickets must be purchased online. For more details, about tickets and the 2021 season schedule click here.
2021 Cool Zoo/Gator Run Operating Schedule:
June 16, 2021 – Aug. 1, 2021, weekly operation (Wed. – Sun), 10 a.m. – 1 p.m. and 2 p.m. – 5 p.m.
Aug. 7, 2021 – Sept. 5, 2021, weekends only (Sat. & Sun), 10 a.m. – 1 p.m. and 2 p.m. – 5 p.m.
Monday, September 6, 2021, Labor Day (final day), 10 a.m. – 1 p.m. and 2 p.m. – 5 p.m.
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