Spring River Zoo will welcome back visitors this month with a grand reopening featuring several new animals, a “pop-up” gift shop where newly designed zoo merchandise can be purchased, a scavenger hunt, a food truck and a chance to win a valuable zoo-related prize pack.
The “Passport to Adventure” reopening is planned for Saturday, Jan. 16, from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. The reopening will bring to an end the 10-month closure of the zoo following the COVID-19 outbreak. Admission is free, but visitors must sign up online to attend so zoo personnel can regulate the number of visitors at the zoo throughout the day as part of precautions regarding the pandemic.
Those attending the zoo’s reopening will have the opportunity to meet the latest animal additions to the zoo. Those include two wallabies, a beaver, an iguana, a parrot and the young elk born at the zoo this past summer while it was closed.
As visitors wander past the animal exhibits, they will find a “pop-up” site where they can purchase a variety of newly introduced Spring River Zoo merchandise, from T-shirts and sunglasses to water bottles and umbrellas to novelty toys. For those who can’t attend the reopening, the zoo merchandise can also be purchased on a regular basis at the Roswell Visitor Center Store downtown at the corner of North Main and Fifth streets.
The “Passport to Adventure” will include a scavenger hunt that will be open for families, couples, friends and individuals to participate beginning at the reopening and continuing through the end of February. Each “passport” will have clues to identify 15 specific animals in the zoo. The visitors who successfully complete the hunt and submit their answers will be part of a drawing that will select four winners. Each winner will get a zoo prize pack that includes zoo merchandise and city-branded items.
Those attending the zoo’s reopening will park in the lot off East College Boulevard and check in at the entry point adjacent to the parking lot. The parking lot off North Atkinson Avenue is no longer accessible to the public.
Following the grand reopening, Spring River Zoo will be open each Friday through Sunday from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. In order to keep the number of visitors in the zoo at any one time at a safe health level, visitors must make reservations online to plan a zoo visit. Prescheduled private tours will be offered on Thursdays between 10 a.m. and 4 p.m. Admission will remain free through February. Effective March 1, admission will be charged for entry to the zoo while use of the adjacent park will remain free. Zoo admission will be:
• Adults (ages 16 and older): Roswell Residents $5; Non-Residents $10
• Children (ages 4-15): Roswell Residents $2.50; Non-Residents $3.50
• Students (ages 16 and older), Seniors (ages 60 and older), Active Military and Veterans: $3
• Groups of 10 or more: $3 per person
• School-age groups (with reservation): $2 per person
Free admission to the zoo will be available to the following people and on these designated days:
• Children ages 3 and younger (anytime zoo is open)
• Friends of Spring River Zoo members (anytime zoo is open)
• First Saturday of each month for Roswell residents
• Every Friday for Seniors (60 and older)
• July 31 – Spring River Zoo Day
In preparation for the reopening, a volunteer cleanup day will be held at the zoo Saturday, Jan. 9, from 1 to 4 p.m. Anyone wishing to take part that day should sign up here.
PHOTO: Cashew (Cash) is one of two wallabies that are new additions to Spring River Zoo. The other is his brother Macadamia (Mac).