Opening May 9 - 10am-6pm (weather permitting)
Saturday, May 9th at 10:00 a.m., the Dakota Zoo will officially open for the 59th season! Visitors will notice two brand-new trains, several new arrivals in the baby animal department and some obvious safety measures that are designed to protect them, zoo staff and the animals.
Safety measures being undertaken include:
Admissions - signs will be present to remind guests to practice social distancing, encourage patrons that are 65+ and/or vulnerable in some way to covid-19 to please wear a mask. Visitors that are ill or have a fever will be asked to return another day.
Gift Shop - a strict mask use policy will be in place for the time being for anyone entering the gift shop and the number of patrons allowed in the store at one time will be limited to 10. (We will have masks available at the gift shop for a nominal price.)
Trains - the two brand-new trains will be operating and extensive work has been performed to establish separate “pods” to allow riders to remain isolated from others.
Concession Stand - concessions will be available with a scaled down menu offering easily prepared and pre-packaged foods and beverages. (The ice cream parlor will open at a future date.) Social distancing signs will remind guests to stay safe during their waiting in line.
Restrooms - restrooms will be operational and guests will be encouraged to practice social distancing and use the facilities one person at a time.
Indoor Facilities - some indoor facilities will remain closed for the time being and open at a future date.
Animal Protection - some animals have been shown to be susceptible to coronavirus. Zookeepers are wearing masks when working around those species and some guardrails have been bolstered to protect the animals.
Disinfecting Practices - key areas will be disinfected several times daily.
Given the spacious grounds of the Dakota Zoo (90 acres), the facility can provide a safe place for visitors to spend time outdoors and enjoy animals and nature. We ask that all visitors heed the signs and practice social distancing as they visit.