Beginning Memorial Day, May 26, people will be able to visit the Spring River Park and Zoo an hour earlier than in the past. The free-admission zoo will open at 9 a.m. each of its weekly six days of operation.
Opening an hour earlier will offer visitors additional time to stroll through the zoo during the cooler morning hours of the spring and summer, the time of day when some of the animals tend to be more active. During that first open hour each day, visitors will also have more opportunities to see zoo staff feeding the animals.
Once the revised hours of operation kick in, the zoo will follow these hours throughout the year:
April 1-Sept. 30, 9 a.m.-6 p.m.; closed Tuesdays for maintenance
Oct. 1-March 31, 9 a.m.-5 p.m.; closed Tuesdays for maintenance; closed Christmas Day
The zoo concession stand, selling snacks and drinks, as well as tickets for the train rides and classic carousel rides, will be open every Friday, Saturday and Sunday from 11 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. The train and carousel operate those days. The last ride on each happens at 5:30 p.m.
New to the zoo are donation tubes of various colors that visitors will find at different locations in the zoo. Anyone wishing to make a donation can drop money into the secure tubes and it will be collected by staff. All donations go directly to the zoo to help fund projects to improve and maintain the zoo.
There is also a new fish-sculpture water play feature that children can climb on. They will also be able to enjoy a water spray from it once the installation of the mist system is complete.