The zoo is NOW OPEN. Online reservations are required to visit. Review Niabi’s opening guidelines and make a reservation. (dismiss)
Welcome back to Niabi

Reservations required

Niabi Zoo is following the State of Illinois phase 4 guidelines for zoos.

To meet capacity requirements, all guests, including Niabi members and Zooseum passholders, must now reserve timed tickets prior to visiting. When you reserve your admission tickets, you can choose from two daily three-hour time frames:

9 a.m. – noon (last entry at 11 a.m.) Must exit by 12 p.m.
Noon – 3 p.m. (last entry at 2 p.m.) Must exit by 3 p.m.

All parking must also be purchased online in advance – this makes it possible for us to better monitor capacity limits and reduce touchpoints for guests and employees.

Fall Schedule

Starting September 14th-November 1st (last day of the season)

We will be closed on Mondays and open Tuesday-Sunday during the above hours.

Free Day Schedule

October 20-23

October 27-30

 

Reserve your tickets

Please read: ticketing details

Niabi members will not be charged for admission or parking, as usual, but tickets must still be reserved.

Tickets should be printed or available on a mobile device to be scanned by customer service upon arrival.

Tickets are non-refundable and non-transferable. No rain checks will be issued.

Early and late entries will not be accommodated. If you purchase the 9 am – noon ticket, the last entry will be at 11 a.m. If you purchase the noon – 3 p.m. ticket, the last entry is at 2 p.m.

Reentry is not permitted. Please make sure you have all personal items you need before entering the zoo.

Reciprocal benefits will not be valid at this time.

Safety first

Here’s what we’re doing:

  • Limiting the total number of people in the zoo to help maintain social distancing practices and follow capacity restrictions.
  • Installed additional hand wash stations and sanitizer stations.
    Implemented enhanced sanitation protocols.
  • Installed plexiglass “sneeze guards” at the registers in our gift shop.
  • Limited capacity and modified service in operating gift shops, some exhibits and certain attractions.
  • Placed markers on the ground to facilitate social distancing at exhibits and other areas where groups congregate.
  • Made modifications and restricted access to select exhibits due to the increased susceptibility of certain animal groups to COVID-19.
  • Suspended the use of highly touched items such as paper maps and coins for the Coins for the Conservation kiosk.
  • Distanced picnic tables and benches throughout the zoo.
  • Requiring face coverings for all employees and for guests waiting in line, inside all buildings and restrooms, and anytime groups or individual may be closer than 6 feet apart.

Here’s how you can help:

  • Please stay home if you are feeling ill and are showing symptoms of COVID-19, or if you have been exposed to someone that has.
  • Bring your face covering. They will be required while in line, inside all buildings and restrooms, on rides, during Giraffe feedings, certain outdoor exhibits and anytime groups or individual may be closer than 6 feet apart.
  • Masks will be available for purchase at each ticket counter. Guests who refuse to wear masks where required will be asked to leave.
  • Please be mindful of social distancing and stay at least six feet away from other groups of visitors.
  • Bring your own blankets for seating. Benches, picnic tables and concessions will be limited, but you are welcome to enjoy our many lawns around the zoo and pack your own picnic.
  • If you’re over 65 and have underlying conditions that make you susceptible to the COVID-19 virus, we ask that you consider postponing your visit at this time.
  • Please remain in your vehicle until your entry time has been reached. We ask that guest no congregate at the entrance.
  • Please ensure your entire party is present before entering the zoo.

What to expect when you're visiting Niabi

What’s open – what’s closed

Niabi is following State of Illinois phase 4 guidelines for zoos. See below for details on what’s open and what’s closed.

Open

  • Most outdoor animal exhibits (see details under ‘closed’)
  • Giraffe feedings (Thursday-Sunday)
  • Rides, including train (Everyday we are open) and carousel (Thursday-Sunday)
  • Festival lawn – great for picnicking!
  • Primary concession stand ( Open Thursday-Sunday/Hours 10 a.m.–2:45 p.m. – limited to prepackaged food and beverages)
  • Primary gift shop (Capacity: 12)
  • Koi deck (Koi feed must be purchased online in advance)
  • Scooter, stroller and wheelchair rental

Closed

  • Indoor exhibits at Biodiversity Hall, Reptile House, Giraffe Building (indoor giraffe/African primates) and the Discovery Center (previously Oceans)
  • Animal feeding areas including budgie and domestic animal feedings
  • Face painting stations
  • Gift shop located in the Biodiversity Hall
  • Playground
  • The Wild Paw concession stand (at the back of the Zoo)
  • Water fountains
  • ATM machine
  • Events and gatherings (Zookeeper & Naturalist chats, camps, classes, private animal encounters, etc.)

Frequently asked questions

Has the zoo reopened to the public?

Yes, the zoo is back open 7 day per week! However, to meet the State of Illinois capacity requirements, all guests, including Niabi members, must now reserve timed tickets prior to visiting.

When you reserve your tickets, you can choose from two daily three-hour timeframes: 9 a.m. – noon (last entry at 11 am) or noon – 3 p.m. (last entry at 2 p.m.). You can reserve your tickets here.

Do I have to wear a face covering to the zoo?

Yes, please bring your face covering. They will be required while in line, inside all buildings and restrooms, on rides, during Giraffe feedings, certain outdoor exhibits and anytime groups or individual may be closer than 6 feet apart for anyone 2 and up.

Masks will be available for purchase at each ticket counter. Guests who refuse to wear masks where required will be asked to leave.

Why do I need a reservation to enter the zoo?

In order to meet State of Illinois capacity requirements, we must limit the number of people who are on our grounds. In order to manage this, we’ve implemented a timed ticket system.

When you reserve your tickets, you can choose from two daily three-hour timeframes: 9 a.m. – noon or noon – 3 p.m. You can reserve your tickets here.

I am a member. Do I still need to make a reservation?

Yes – all guests, including Niabi members, FunBundle members and Zooseum pass holders must now reserve timed tickets prior to visiting so we can monitor capacity. When you purchase your tickets, you’ll need to log in with the email registered to your membership. All member households are registered in our system and will not be charged for tickets.

When you reserve your tickets, you can choose from two daily three-hour timeframes: 9 a.m. – noon or noon – 3 p.m. You can reserve your tickets here.

If you’re having issues creating your account email sbehrens@niabizoo.com.

Is my membership, FunBundle or Zooseum pass being extended since the zoo was closed?

Yes. Of course we will honor your membership.

  • Memberships expiring April, May, June, July 2020 will be extended until October 25, 2020.
  • Memberships expiring August 2020 will be extended until April 30, 2021.
  • Memberships expiring September 2020 will be extend until May 31, 2021.
  • Memberships expiring October 2020 – March 2021 will be extended until June 30, 2021.

Membership extensions above apply to FunBundle members.

All 2020 Zooseum Passes are being extended until October 2021.

If it rains, can I get a refund for my tickets?

No. Sorry, but at this time, refunds are not being issued due to inclement weather or any other reason.

I bought a ticket and now I can’t come, can I refund it or transfer it to another day?

No. Sorry, but at this time, tickets are non-refundable and non-transferable.

Can I make a reservation by phone?

No, not at this time.

Are gift shops and concession stands open?

Our primary gift shop is open with limited capacity and increased safety precautions such as sneeze guards at registers and increased sanitation practices. The gift shop in Biodiversity Hall is closed.

Our primary concession stand is open Thursday-Sunday from 10 a.m. – 2:45 p.m. but limited to prepackaged food and beverages. Please note that we are not selling fountain pops or reusable cups. This means we also cannot refill cups from previous seasons.

As always, guests are welcome to bring their own food and beverages (review our zoo rules for restrictions). Since picnic tables and benches are limited, we encourage you to bring your own blanket and take advantage of our many lawn areas. The secondary concession stand located near the reptile house will be closed until further notice.

Can I bring my own food and drink to Niabi Zoo?

As always, guests are welcome to bring their own food and beverages (review our zoo rules for restrictions). Since picnic tables and benches are limited, we encourage you to bring your own blanket and take advantage of our many lawn areas. The secondary concession stand located near the reptile house will be closed until further notice.

Are the train and carousel running?

Starting on August 5th the train will be running everyday and on August 8th the carousel will start running every Thursday-Sunday.

Are animal feeding experiences available?

Giraffe feedings are now open Thursday-Sunday.

The domestic animal area and feeding experience is closed.

The budgie aviary and feeding experience is closed.

The Koi pond and deck are open. Feed for the koi can be purchased online in advance and picked up at the admission gates. You can purchase your feed here.

I’m a Niabi Zoo member, are other zoos accepting reciprocal benefits?

Due to COVID-19, many zoos, aquariums and museums have suspended their reciprocal benefits in 2020, including Niabi Zoo. We highly recommend you contact any institutions prior to your visit to confirm their current participation status in the reciprocal program is active.

I have a membership at another Zoo that is a reciprocal partner with Niabi, can I reserve a ticket for free?

No. We’re sorry but at this time we cannot honor reciprocal benefits. General admission tickets can be reserved here.

What attractions and exhibits are open and closed?

Open

  • Most outdoor animal exhibits (see below for closures)
  • Festival lawn – great for picnicking!
  • Primary concession stand (Hours 10 a.m. – 2 p.m. – limited to prepackaged food and beverages)
  • Animal feeding areas including giraffe (Thursday- Sunday)
  • Rides including train (Monday-Sunday) and carousel (Thursday-Sunday)
  • Primary gift shop (Capacity: 12)
  • Koi deck (Koi feed must be purchased online in advance)
  • Scooter, stroller and wheelchair rental (Available as usual)

Closed

  • Indoor exhibits at Biodiversity Hall, reptile house, indoor giraffe/African primates building and the admin building exhibit (previously Oceans)
  • Animal feeding areas including budgie and domestic animals
  • Face painting stations
  • Gift shop located in the Biodiversity Hall
  • Playground
  • Rear concession stand
  • Water fountains
  • ATM machine
  • Events and gatherings (Zookeeper Chats, camps, private animal encounters, etc.)

I have some guest/carousel/train passes that are set to expire in 2020, can these be used at this time?

At this time, we can not accept these passes. However, we have extended any of the green passes that were suppose to expire in 2020 until June 30, 2021.

What are you doing to keep guests safe?

We have implemented many operational changes to ensure the safety of our guests, staff and animals:

  • Limiting the total number of people in the zoo to help maintain social distancing practices and follow capacity restrictions.
  • Installed additional hand wash stations and sanitizer stations.
  • Implemented enhanced sanitation protocols.
  • Installed plexiglass “sneeze guards” at the registers in our gift shop.
  • Limited capacity and modified service in operating gift shops, some exhibits and certain attractions.
  • Placed markers on the ground to facilitate social distancing at exhibits and other areas where groups congregate.
  • Made modifications and restricted access to select exhibits due to the increased susceptibility of certain animal groups to COVID-19.
  • Suspended the use of highly touched items such as paper maps and coins for the Coins for the Conservation kiosk.
  • Requiring face coverings for all employees and for guests waiting in line, inside all buildings and restrooms, and any time groups or individual may be closer than 6 feet apart.
  • Distanced picnic tables and benches throughout the zoo.
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