Visitor Info & Zoo Rules
Our goal is to provide our community a safe and fun environment where you can come connect with each other and experience amazing wildlife. While many of your favorite rides and animal interactions are open, for the safety of our team, guests and animals some attractions may be closed during our modified operations. Those attractions include:
- Wallaroo Petting Zoo & Pony Barn
Additionally, while still open for your enjoyment, some animal habitats may have temporary extended barriers to ensure a 6 foot distance between guests and certain species.
We appreciate your understanding as we continue our commitment to be place where you can get wild safely! We hope to see you soon!
ZooTampa is open from 9:30am to 7pm from March 13th through March 21st, with live musical performances starting at 2pm for Music in the Wild.
Regular operating hours are 9:30 am - 5:00 pm, 7 days a week.
Christmas Eve hours are 9:30am to 4:00 pm
ZooTampa is closed on Thanksgiving and Christmas Day, and may have extended hours for special events.
Health & Safety Update
With safety as our top priority, the Zoo has implemented a comprehensive plan that highlights the safe return of guests leveraging our Zoo’s unique design, open air setting, one-point entry and highly trained staff. Here are a few key things to know before arriving:
- The park is operating at a reduced capacity. Reservations are not required but are highly recommended for all guests, and are the only way to guarantee your entry. Click here to make reservations or buy tickets
- ZooTampa is principally an outdoor fresh-air experience; therefore, when outside, guests who maintain proper social distancing are not required to wear facemasks. Even so, every guest entering the zoo is strongly encouraged to wear a mask, and ZooTampa will provide disposable masks free of charge for anyone who needs one. Read our mask policy for more info
- Guests will be informed of indoor venues where masks are required which currently include: retail shops, bathrooms, restaurants (except while seated for dining) and Manatee Mangrove. Additionally, masks are required during our Signature Encounters, Giraffe Meet & Greet, Expedition Africa Safari Tram Ride & while in the tram queue line.
- Masks and appropriate Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) will be worn by all employees based on their job responsibilities and in adherence to state or local regulations and guidance.
- Employees and guests are instructed to stay home if they have a fever, cough, shortness of breath, or other signs of illness.
- Our one point of entry for guests allows the security and safety team to conduct noninvasive temperature checks utilizing thermal cameras. Guests or employees confirmed to have a temperature over 100.4°F will be denied entry to the property and will be directed to seek appropriate medical care.
- Guests and employees are advised to practice physical distancing by standing at least six feet away from other individuals not traveling with them while moving around the Zoo. Visual markers have been placed around the zoo and additional staff are assigned to supervise compliance. Groups will be limited to no more than 10 people.
- Touchless transactions and grab and go meals are available and encouraged.
Zero Tolerance Policy
The safety of our guests, employees and animals is a top priority. ZooTampa has a zero tolerance policy for aggressive behaviors along with well-defined and effective consequences for violators. Consistent with this policy, any type of acts or threats of physical violence, including intimidation, harassment and/or coercion will not be tolerated. Additionally any discrimination on the basis of race, color, religion (creed), gender, gender expression, age, national origin (ancestry), disability, marital status, sexual orientation, or military status will not be tolerated. Violators will be immediately reported to the Tampa Police Department and prosecuted to the fullest extent of the law. We will do everything possible to create and preserve an environment where everyone can feel physically and emotionally safe to enjoy our zoological park.
From the East (Orlando & Atlantic Coast):
Take I-4 West to I-275 North, Exit 48 (Sligh Ave). Turn left (west) on Sligh Ave, cross N. Boulevard. Zoo entrance is on right.
From the North:
Take I-75 South to I-275 South, Exit 48 (Sligh Ave). Turn right (west) on Sligh Ave, cross N. Boulevard. Zoo entrance is on right.
From the South:
Take I-75 North to I-4 West to I-275 North, Exit 48 (Sligh Ave). Turn left (west) on Sligh Ave, cross N. Boulevard. Zoo entrance is on right.
From the West (Gulf Beaches):
Take I-275 North, Exit 48 (Sligh Ave). Turn left (west) on Sligh Ave, cross N. Boulevard. Zoo entrance is on right.
The Zoo is serviced by HART Bus Routes 41 and 45.
Parking at ZooTampa is free for all guests. Zoo Members get access to preferred parking, subject to availability.
Reentry is allowed with wristband. Ask the attendant at the Zoo exit for a wristband before exiting the park.
Safety & Security
Know Before You Go
For your safety at ZooTampa at Lowry Park, we have enhanced security procedures, which may result in slight delays while entering the park. As a part of this process, we ask for your understanding and cooperation.
- All bags, backpacks, and packages will be subject to inspection prior to entering the park
- As a reminder, the following items are not permitted to be brought into ZooTampa for the safety of our animals and our guests: any type of explosive or weapon, knives or other sharp objects, straws, large coolers, alcoholic beverages, marijuana, illegal drugs, clothing likely to create a danger or disturbance, Segways, hoverboards, two-wheeled, self-balancing electric vehicles, shoes with wheels, drones, and any hazardous items or materials.
- Please leave any unnecessary articles secured within your vehicle to expedite your entry into the park.
- ZooTampa is not responsible for fire, theft, damage or loss of vehicle including articles left within.
ZooTampa at Lowry Park offers a variety of delicious food for guests at several restaurants and concession stands throughout, but understand that guests may need to bring outside food for special dietary needs. Acceptable and prohibited food items are listed here. For the convenience of our guests, there is a picnic area located outside the park near the main parking lot. For information on concessions for special dietary needs please read below.
More information on ZooTampa rules and guidelines please see our Frequently Asked Questions.
- Bottled water (max 20oz bottle, sealed) one per guest
- Small snacks for young children.
- Baby food/baby formula
- Soft-sided insulated bags no larger than 8.5” wide x 6” high x 6” deep (limit one per child)
- Pre-purchased empty ZooTampa souvenir cups
- Any food required for medical purposes and medically-indicated nutritional supplements
- Prepared or packaged food or meals
- Glass or any open containers or water bottles filled with beverages
- Hard-sided coolers of any size.
- Soft-sided coolers larger than 8.5” wide x 6” high x 6” deep
- Coolers, suitcases, and bags with wheels
Special Needs & Assistance
ZooTampa strives to ensure all guests have a safe and enjoyable experience. Our Guest Services staff is pleased to assist guests requiring special assistance. Contact us prior to your visit by email or at 813-935-8552 ext 0.
Hearing Impaired Guests
American Sign Language interpretation can be provided at live shows and Signature Encounters with a minimum of two weeks notice. Every effort will be made to provide interpreting services with less than two weeks notice, depending on availability. Written scripts are available and can be provided upon request. Please contact our Guest Services team in advance of your visit by email or at 813-935-8552 ext 0.
Gluten-Free & Special Dietary Needs
Gluten-free, vegetarian, and vegan menu options are also available at Zoo restaurants upon request. Please ask a Food and Beverage team member for assistance.
Guests with special dietary needs, please contact Guest Relations at 813-935-8552 ext 0.
Only ADA service animals are permitted inside ZooTampa at Lowry Park. This includes trained service animals and service animals-in-training, but does not include pets or emotional support animals (ESAs).
Service animals are limited to dogs and miniature horses that have been individually trained to do work or perform tasks for the benefit of an individual with a disability. Service animals must remain harnessed or leashed at all times. If these devices interfere with the service animal’s work or the guest’s disability prevents them from using these devices, then the service animal must be under the guest’s complete control at all times.
We pride ourselves on providing broad access by service animals throughout our park, but because sensitivities can vary with our animals, guests with service animals are encouraged to check with Guest Relations on the day of visit to determine if access to any specific Zoo area is restricted on that day. Service animals are restricted from entering the Koala photo encounter area.
Guests are responsible for the clean-up and for controlling their service animal’s behavior. Guests will be asked to remove service animals if these guidelines are not followed.
ZooTampa does not offer pet boarding facilities
The Zoo’s pathways, facilities, and exhibits are designed to provide all visitors an enjoyable experience. Our front parking lot, entryway and walkways are enhanced to provide easy navigation for all of our guests.
All of the Zoo’s restaurants have wheelchair-accessible entrances. Family restrooms, which accommodate wheelchairs or companions, are located adjacent to the Garden Grille restaurant (near the front gate), Wallaroo Station and the Safari Africa plaza.
Reserved spaces are available for disabled guests in the front lot, with ramp access to the main entrance. On days of peak visitation, when the designated spaces are full, Zoo parking lot security will try to assist vehicles carrying disabled guests.
ZooTampa is committed to providing guests a safe and enjoyable experience. Due to different pathway configurations and terrain, as well as extended family groups that include small children and strollers, we regret that we cannot permit the use of two-wheeled, self-balancing electric vehicles such as Segways and hover boards. We are pleased to offer other forms of personal transportation, including electric convenience vehicles and standard wheelchairs.
Wheelchairs, ECVs, & Strollers
Personal wheelchairs, ECVs, and strollers are welcome inside ZooTampa. Additionally, a limited quantity of manual wheelchairs, ECVs, and strollers are available for rent inside the Zoo on a first come, first served basis. Due to the popularity of these rentals, we are unable to guarantee availability or reserve equipment.
Wheelchair, ECV, & Stroller Rentals
For rentals, please ask for assistance upon entering the Zoo or visit the Guest Services kiosk. Rental fee plus a held photo ID as a deposit are required to rent a wheelchair, ECV, or stroller. Rental fees listed below include tax, and are subject to change without notice.
Manual Wheelchairs: $12
The Zoo has established a partnership with the Center for Autism & Related Disabilities (CARD) at USF to improve our capacity to serve children diagnosed with autism spectrum disorders and related disabilities. As a result, the Zoo has been designated an “autism-friendly business.”
The Zoo has visual aids at the front gate (limited availability), which can be borrowed at the guest’s request for assistance. We are also happy to provide an Autism-friendly version of the Zoo map and additional sensory friendly materials like sensory friendly tips and social stories about Visiting the Zoo and Animal Encounters.
ZooTampa is committed to providing an environment that is safe and secure for guests, employees, volunteers and the animals in our care. ZooTampa prohibits any person from using or operating any drone or UAS on or above the Zoo campus, including parking facilities and back areas. Exceptions must receive written authorization by the Zoo's management team and must follow all rules and regulations of both the Zoo and the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA).
This policy applies to all persons on the ZooTampa campus including guests, employees, and volunteers, as well as individuals who are operating a drone outside of the Zoo property limits but flying over its campus.
Persons in violation of ZooTampa's drone policy are identified as trespassers and will be referred to and dealt with accordingly by law enforcement officers, including but not limited to criminal charges and fines.