Explore the San Antonio Zoo and Unleash Your Wild Side

Are you planning an unforgettable family getaway to San Antonio? Look no further than the iconic San Antonio Zoo, a century-old sanctuary nestled in the heart of this vibrant city. With its diverse array of exhibits, interactive experiences, and captivating annual events, the zoo promises an adventure like no other. And what better way to complement your visit than by staying at The Emily Morgan Hotel, a luxurious retreat in downtown San Antonio, just a short drive away from this remarkable wildlife haven?


Tracing the Roots of San Antonio Zoo, a Century-Old Sanctuary

The San Antonio Zoo has been a beloved institution in the city for over a century, with roots dating back to 1914. Originally a small menagerie with a modest collection of animals, the zoo has undergone a remarkable transformation, evolving into a world-class facility dedicated to conservation, education, and animal welfare.

Over the years, the zoo has played a pivotal role in preserving endangered species and promoting sustainability initiatives. From its early days of housing a few exotic creatures to its current status as a sanctuary for over 8,500 animals representing 779 species, the San Antonio Zoo has embarked on an incredible journey, captivating visitors of all ages with its commitment to protecting the natural world.

Exploring the Zoo's Diverse Exhibits for an Exotic Safari in the Heart of Texas

Lion lying in the grass at the zoo.

Step into the San Antonio Zoo, and you’ll be transported to a world of wonder and discovery. With its extensive animal collection featuring species from every corner of the globe, the zoo offers an immersive experience like no other.

Prepare to embark on an exotic safari as you explore the zoo’s meticulously crafted exhibits. From the majestic African Plains, where lions, zebras, and giraffes roam, to the lush Asian Forest, home to the elusive red pandas and colorful tropical birds, each exhibit transports you to a different habitat, providing a glimpse into the diverse ecosystems that make up our planet.

Get Up-Close and Personal with Unforgettable Encounters at San Antonio Zoo


At the San Antonio Zoo, the experiences go beyond mere observation. Prepare for unforgettable encounters that will bring you closer to nature’s wonders than ever before.

Kangaroo Krossing

Kangaroo Krossing is an interactive walk-through exhibit that allows guests to get up close with kangaroos and wallabies.

  • Visitors can stroll along the walkway and observe these iconic Australian marsupials hopping and lounging around you.
  • There are opportunities to purchase kangaroo food from dispensers to hand-feed them.
  • This is a popular attraction, so arrive early as entry is on a timed basis to avoid overcrowding.
  • Be sure to follow all posted rules about not touching or chasing the kangaroos for their safety.

Giraffe Feeding


One of the zoo’s most popular attractions is the giraffe feeding experience, where you can come face-to-face with these gentle giants and hand-feed them their favorite treats. It’s a moment you’ll never forget, as you connect with these magnificent creatures on a deeper level.

  • Feeding times are scheduled a few times per day – check times when you arrive.
  • Purchase a cup of romaine lettuce leaves from the giraffe feeding stand near their exhibit.
    Stretch your arm up to allow the giraffes to take the lettuce right from your hand with their long tongues!
  • This allows you to get an up-close look at these magnificent creatures while they eat.

Flamingo Mingle

This walk-through aviary is home to a flock of bright pink Caribbean flamingos. As you stroll along the winding path, the flamingos will be all around you, wading in their pond.

  • Snap great photos of their vibrant feathers and amusing poses.
  • Learn about flamingo behavior and biology from the educational signage.
  • A peaceful, tranquil experience that gives you an immersive look at these unique wading birds.

Lory Landing

This is a walk-through lorikeet aviary filled with hundreds of vividly colored birds.

  • Purchase a cup of nectar from the staff and the curious lorikeets will land on you to drink it!
  • The outgoing birds won’t hesitate to perch on your arm, cup, hat or stroller to sip the sweet nectar.
  • It’s an up-close interactive experience with these striking Australian parrots.
  • Be prepared for the lorikeets to fly closely around and even land on you!

Butterfly Rainforest


Step inside this lush tropical rainforest environment that’s home to thousands of free-flying butterflies.

  • The climate-controlled glass enclosure mimics the temperature and humidity of a real rainforest.
  • Wander along the pathways as colorful butterflies flutter all around you.
  • Observe the butterflies sipping nectar, basking in the sun, and emerging from their chrysalises.
  • It’s a serene, living museum showcasing the beauty and life cycle of these delicate creatures.

For those seeking an even more immersive experience, the zoo offers behind-the-scenes tours that provide a rare glimpse into the inner workings of animal care and conservation efforts. Led by knowledgeable guides, you’ll have the opportunity to witness firsthand the dedication and expertise that goes into ensuring the well-being of the zoo’s residents.

San Antonio Zoo's Annual Events and Festivities

The San Antonio Zoo is more than just a destination; it’s a celebration of nature’s grandeur. Throughout the year, the zoo hosts a vibrant calendar of events and festivities that add an extra layer of excitement to your visit.

Eco Life Fest in Spring

In the spring, the Eco Life Fest takes center stage, promoting environmental awareness and sustainable living practices. With educational exhibits, eco-friendly vendors, and engaging activities, this annual celebration is a testament to the zoo’s commitment to preserving our planet for future generations.

Annual Zoo-La-La! A Taste of San Antonio

The Annual Zoo-La-La! A Taste of San Antonio is a popular food and wine festival held yearly at the San Antonio Zoo. This evening event celebrates the city’s rich culinary heritage by featuring cuisine from many of San Antonio’s top restaurants, food trucks, and caterers.

Guests can stroll around the zoo grounds sampling delicious bites, sipping wines, craft beers, and cocktails from local purveyors. The zoo’s exhibits provide a unique backdrop as attendees enjoy live music performances and interactive animal encounters.

In addition to the food and drink offerings, Zoo-La-La highlights local artists and vendors selling handmade crafts and goods. A portion of the event proceeds benefits the San Antonio Zoo’s conservation and education efforts.

Annual Zoo Run

runner tying her shoe laces
The Annual Zoo Run is a fun and family-friendly running event held each year at the San Antonio Zoo. This chip-timed race allows participants to get some exercise while experiencing the zoo in a unique way.

The event features different distance options to accommodate all fitness levels, including a shorter kids run for the little ones. The course winds through and around the zoo grounds, giving runners a behind-the-scenes glimpse of the animal exhibits and lush landscapes.

Participants are encouraged to come dressed in their best animal-themed costumes to add to the festive atmosphere. After the races, there are fun animal encounters, kids’ activities, and vendors at the finish line celebration.

A portion of the registration fees goes towards supporting the zoo’s conservation and education efforts. The Annual Zoo Run is a great way for the local community to support the San Antonio Zoo while promoting an active, healthy lifestyle surrounded by the sights and sounds of wonderful wildlife.

Zoo Lights in the Winter

During the holiday season, the beloved Zoo Lights event transforms the park into a dazzling wonderland, with millions of twinkling lights and festive displays that will fill you with joy and wonder. It’s an experience that creates lasting memories for families and friends alike.

Other Special Events

But that’s not all – the zoo also hosts a variety of special events and temporary exhibits throughout the year, ensuring that every visit is a unique and captivating experience. From animal encounters to cultural celebrations, there’s always something new and exciting to discover at the San Antonio Zoo.

The Emily Morgan Hotel - One of the best hotels near the San Antonio Zoo

Exterior view of The Emily Morgan hotel with the Alamo in the foreground.

While the San Antonio Zoo offers an unparalleled wildlife adventure, your experience can be elevated even further by choosing the perfect accommodations. Enter The Emily Morgan Hotel, a historic and luxurious retreat located in the heart of downtown San Antonio, just a short drive away from the zoo and other iconic attractions.

With its prime location, The Emily Morgan Hotel provides the ultimate convenience for families and travelers visiting the San Antonio Zoo. After a day of exploring the zoo’s wonders, you can return to the comfort and luxury of this exceptional hotel, where you’ll find an array of family-friendly amenities and packages designed to enhance your zoo experience.

But the advantages of staying at The Emily Morgan Hotel extend far beyond its proximity to the San Antonio Zoo. This historic gem, steeped in Texas charm and elegance, offers a perfect balance of comfort and convenience, ensuring that your entire San Antonio adventure is nothing short of extraordinary.

The hotel is also close to the Pearl District, next door to The Alamo, and at the heart of many outdoor activities and summer events

Book Your Stay at the Emily Morgan Hotel

So, what are you waiting for? Book your stay at The Emily Morgan Hotel today on our website or calling by (800) 824-6674. Embrace the opportunity to create lasting memories with your loved ones, immerse yourself in nature’s grandeur, and support the zoo’s vital conservation efforts – all while indulging in the unparalleled hospitality that The Emily Morgan Hotel is renowned for.

San Antonio Zoo FAQs

black bear

The following FAQs are provided on the site for your convenience; however, for the most up-to-date information on zoo pricing and hours of operation, please visit the official website of the San Antonio Zoo for more information.

The San Antonio Zoo is typically open from 9:00 AM to 5:00 PM daily, with last admission at 4:00 PM. Please check the calendar on the official San Antonio Zoo website for up to date hours.

General admission prices for the San Antonio Zoo are:

  • Adults (12 and older): $24.99
  • Children (3-11): $18.99
  • Seniors (65+): $21.99

Please check the official zoo website for current ticket pricing or to purchase tickets.

Visitors have multiple parking options conveniently located near the San Antonio Zoo. There are public parking areas available within Brackenridge Park and its surrounding areas. Additionally, the zoo has introduced a new Zoo Parking Garage, strategically positioned between the zoo entrance and the Will Smith Zoo School. This dedicated parking facility offers complimentary parking for guests during the zoo's operating hours, providing a hassle-free and streamlined parking experience for your visit.

The San Antonio Zoo is located at 3903 N. St. Mary's Street, San Antonio, TX 78212, in the Brackenridge Park area.

You can reach the San Antonio Zoo by car (via Highway 281), public transportation (VIA Metropolitan Transit bus routes), or rideshare services. View driving directions to the zoo from our hotel.

The San Antonio Zoo is located approximately 3.5 miles (or a 10-minute drive) from the famous San Antonio River Walk. View directions here.

The San Antonio Zoo spans over 56 acres (approximately 0.088 square miles) of land.

It generally takes around 3-4 hours to walk through and see all the exhibits and animal displays at the San Antonio Zoo.

The San Antonio Zoo is home to a diverse collection of animals, including lions, tigers, elephants, giraffes, bears, primates, reptiles, birds, and many more species from around the world.

The San Antonio Zoo houses over 8,500 animals representing 779 different species.

The San Antonio Zoo's train ride, called the Brackenridge Eagle, takes about 20-25 minutes for a full loop around the zoo.

The San Antonio Zoo is owned and operated by the San Antonio Zoological Society, a non-profit organization.

Lory Landing is a walk-through aviary at the San Antonio Zoo where visitors can hand-feed and interact with colorful lorikeet birds.

Visitors are allowed to bring small coolers, bottled water, and outside food into the San Antonio Zoo. However, glass containers, straws, and alcoholic beverages are not permitted. Please check with the official zoo site for current policies.

The San Antonio Zoo celebrated its 100th anniversary in 2022, making it over 100 years old. It was founded in 1914 and opened to the public in 1922.