General Info

Due to the animals we have in our care potentially having adverse reactions to outside animals, pets are not allowed on zoo grounds.

However, service animals ARE permitted. A service animal – as defined by the ADA (Americans with Disabilities Act) – is “an animal, usually a DOG, that is individually trained to perform specific tasks for the benefit of a person with a disability. Service animals are working animals, not pets. . . animals that provide ONLY emotional support (“therapy animals”) and companion animals are NOT service animals under the ADA.” 

Utica Zoo staff is permitted to ask what tasks a service animal is trained to perform. Our staff will NEVER ask a visitor about their specific disability.

Additionally, leaving pets in your vehicle while visiting our park is not permitted. Anyone found to have left an animal in their car will be asked to leave.

Strollers are available for rent at the main gate. However, there is a limited supply, so they are rented out on a first come, first served basis.

We do have a few non-electric wheelchairs available at no charge. Just request one at our ticket window when you arrive and we can wheel one out to you. We do have a limited number of these wheelchairs, but you may call ahead to reserve one. 

No firearms, knives, or other weapons are permitted on zoo property. Any persons found with a weapon on Zoo grounds will be asked to leave and/or be reported to the appropriate authority.

Thanks to the generosity of Richard and Martha Widdicombe and the expert craftsmanship of Joel Grimaldi and his team at Metal Logix, our gorgeous sign welcomes more than 100,000 visitors per year to the Utica Zoo and many hundreds of thousands of motorists passing by on the Memorial Parkway. Due to its location and eye-catching design, we receive many requests for special messages or advertisements on a near-daily basis.

However, the Utica Zoo is unable to accommodate these requests. Graphics on our sign are reserved for zoo related business, current event sponsors, or daily messaging. While we do realize that certain events may warrant a special circumstance, we are still unable to make exceptions due to the overwhelming number of requests we receive. We sincerely apologize for any inconvenience our policy may cause.

Utica Zoo is open 363 days a year. We close on Thanksgiving and Christmas. We open at 10am and are open until 4:30pm. We MAY close early on days when we host our large annual premiere events such as Brewfest and Wine in the Wilderness. 

You are welcome to take photos and/or video for personal use only; commercial photography requires permission from the Marketing department. Please review the Utica Zoo Photo Policy for any questions. On occasion, we will photograph or take video of visitors for educational or promotional purposes. Entry to the zoo grants permission for use of these images.

For the safety of our guests, animals, and employees, laser pointers are prohibited on zoo grounds unless used inside by event staff for meeting purposes.

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Cash, checks, Discover, American Express, Visa & Mastercard accepted. PLEASE NOTE: There will be a $25 service charge for all returned checks. 

Invoicing for group purchases by organizations available upon request.

Yes. Our ATM is located right inside the Gift Shop.

Rain checks and refunds will not be issued.

Visitor Experience

For the safety of all visitors and the animals, children under the age of 16 must be accompanied at all times by an adult 18 years of age or older.

Changing facilities are in our restrooms. We also offer a family restroom inside our Auditorium. Note: The Auditorium may be closed due to Zoo Camps or other events.

 All “Lost and Found” items are kept for 30 days in our Gift Shop.  Talk to our Visitor Experience staff there if you believe you lost an item on zoo grounds. If it has been turned in, we will get it for you. If if hasn’t been turned in, we will write down your contact information so we can reach out to you if it gets turned in at a later date/time. Once an item is brought to our “Lost and Found,” it will be discarded after 30 days. The Utica Zoo will not mail items and is not responsible for lost or stolen items. 

Due to mechanical, health, weather, or other safety conditions, we may have to close certain areas or attractions. We will do everything we can to re-open as soon and as safely possible.

Go to the main gate to find our visitor experience staff for services such as admission & membership purchases, change for feed machines, separated guest assistance and information for guests with disabilities.

We do allow breast feeding on Zoo Grounds wherever you feel most comfortable. However, if you want more privacy to breastfeed, feel free to ask one of our staff members and they will be happy to direct you!

Smoking and/or electronic cigarettes/vaping is not permitted on Zoo grounds. However, you may smoke OUTSIDE THE ZOO GATES in designated areas ONLY. Failure to comply will be cause for removal from the zoo. Your cooperation is appreciated.

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Our concession stand Polly’s by Kookie’s Q is OPEN daily from 11am until 4pm beginning in May through Labor Day! After that it will be open ONLY on weekends through the end of October. The concession stand WILL BE CLOSED November 1 through Spring (except on special occasions). 

We also do have a selection of snacks – such as chips and ice cream – as well as cold drinks inside our giftshop.

Visitors are invited to bring their own food and drink items to enjoy while on Zoo Grounds. We ask that items containing allergens (peanut butter, gluten, etc) are not brought into the Playground area, located below the Rotary Pavilion deck.

Food and non-alcoholic beverages are permitted within zoo grounds. Please do not feed the animals due to possible health hazards.

We do have 2 vending machines! One is located near our Mini Barn in Backyards and Barnyards, and the other is located near the Sinnott Education Center. 

We do have a few water fountains on zoo grounds! One is shaped like a lion and can be found down in Backyards and Barnyards, and the other is a dual water fountain that can be found near our restrooms. 

These Water Fountains are closed for the Winter Months!

Yes. Coolers are permitted with outside food and non-alcoholic beverages at the Utica Zoo. We have plenty of picnic tables and 3 pavilions. Pavilions are first come, first served and may be rented for group events.

In Case of Emergencies

If you are separated from someone, please ask an employee for assistance. We will respond and initiate emergency protocols to reunite lost persons.

First Aid kits are strategically placed and marked throughout the zoo and are intended to be self-administered.  Please ask employees for locations.

Please report lost children to any staff member. We will respond and initiate emergency protocols. If you are separated from your child, experience has shown most are quickly found in the same area where the child was lost. The Zoo is prepared to involve law enforcement whenever the situation dictates.

If there is any sort of emergency, please inform our nearest staff member so that we can enact one of our many emergency protocols. These protocols are designed to help those in need and keep all of our visitors, staff, and animals safe in the process. 

Interested in Our Upcoming Events?

The Utica Zoo will be closed at 1:00pm on 8/3 for BREWFEST and will reopen with normal hours on 8/4!