The Oklahoma City Zoo will host Sales Tax Appreciation Day today, with guests getting free admission. This year marks the 29th anniversary of the eighth of a cent dedicated sales tax being passed by Oklahoma City residents for the Oklahoma City Zoo and Botanical Garden.
Passed by Oklahoma City citizens in 1990, the sales tax has made numerous capital improvements possible at the zoo, including Great EscApe, Cat Forest/Lion Overlook, Oklahoma Trails, the Children’s Zoo, the Elephant Habitat, the Joan Kirkpatrick Animal Hospital and the new Sanctuary Asia habitat.
This summer, the zoo amphitheatre concerts will be:
• Today — Young The Giant + Fitz & the Tantrums
• July 28 — Alice Cooper/Halestorm
• Aug. — Bush/Live
• Aug. 23 — Casey Donahew
The zoo amphitheatre is adjacent to the Oklahoma City Zoo. For more information, visit thezooamphitheatre.com.
Other events hosted by or for the zoo include the following:
• World Chimpanzee Day — 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. July 14; activities free with regular admission; call 425-0262.
• American Red Cross blood drive — 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. July 20, OKC Zoo’s Rosser Conservation Education Center; donors get a large bag of OKC Zoo Poo compost, plus one voucher for free zoo admission; visit redcrossblood.org.
• Smokey Bear's 75th birthday party — 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. July 26, Big Rivers building; activities free with regular admission.
• Bowling for Rhinos — 6 to 9 p.m. July 27, Heritage Lanes, NW 122nd and North Pennsylvania in Oklahoma City; registration starts at 5 p.m.; proceeds benefit rhino conservation in Asia and Africa; see details on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and okczoo.org
• International Cat Day — 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Aug. 8; activities free with regular admission; call 425-0262.
• World Elephant Day — 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Aug. 12; activities free with regular admission; call 425-0262.
• Capture the Wild photo contest — applications accepted by Oklahoma Zoological Society through July 31
• Summer Savings Adventure Sweepstakes — entry open through July 31; visit ok4saving.org/SSA.
• OKC Zoo summer camps — now through Aug. 9; ages 4-15; full-day: 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. Monday-Friday; half-day (ages 4-5): 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. Monday-Friday; call 425-0218 or visit okczoo.org/camps.
The OKC Zoo also hosts monthly education programs. Pre-registration is required in advance:
• July 12, 19: Cub Club — Leaping Lizards
• Aug. 8, 15: Cub Club — Incredible Insects
• Sept. 12, 19 — Cub Club — Gorgeous Gorillas
For more information, call 425-0218.
• Fall homeschool orientation — 1 to 3 p.m. July 27; registration required; call 425-0218.
• Family Zoo'd Overnight — 7 to 9 p.m. Aug. 9; ages 18 and up.
• School's Out Day Camp — 8:30 a.m. to 5:15 p.m. Aug. 15; ages 4-11; registration required.
The zoo is also hosting ongoing events, which include the following:
• Binocular Borrow program — participation free with admission
• Eye Spy Safari — participation free with admission
• Camel rides — 9 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. weather permitting; $6 at camel ride area.
The OKC Zoo also offers daily opportunities for guests to engage with its animal keepers called “Ask A Keeper.” The free, informal chats allow guests to ask questions about the zoo’s wildlife. The schedule includes:
• 10 a.m. — Wallaby, Children’s Zoo
• 10:30 a.m. — Galapagos tortoise, Island Life
• 11:30 a.m. — Big Rivers Aquarium, Oklahoma Trails
• 1:30 p.m. — Great Escape
• 2 p.m. — Asian Elephant Presentation, Sanctuary Asia, elephant pavilion
• 2:30 p.m. — Red panda, Sanctuary Asia
• 3 p.m. — Southern cassowary, Sanctuary Asia
The OKC Zoo also provides Wild Encounters that provide peeks at what happens behind the zoo scene. They are available daily and come with a souvenir lanyard. Participants must be age 6 or older. For more information, call guest services at 425-0262.
Located at the crossroads of Interstates 44 and 35, the Oklahoma City Zoo is a member of the Association of Zoos and Aquariums, the American Alliance of Museums, Oklahoma City’s Adventure District and an Adventure Road partner. Hours of operation are 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. daily. Regular admission is $11 for adults and $8 for children ages 3-11 and seniors ages 65 and over. Children 2 and under are admitted free.