Membership FAQs

When will I get my membership card?

Your membership card should arrive within a week of your order, depending on mailing time. If you purchase your membership at the Zoo, you will receive your card and materials on the spot.


Can I visit before I get my card?

Sure! Please bring a photo ID and stop at the admissions window to verify your purchase. Note: this works at the Dakota Zoo only, you will still need your physical membership card to visit reciprocating zoos.


What if I don't want to order online?

You may purchase your membership:

  • At the Zoo admissions window during regular Zoo hours.

  • At the Membership Hut. Located just outside the Zoo entrance, the “Hut” is open Saturdays and Sundays from 10am to 4pm from first full day of season through the end of June, weather permitting.

  • By mail. Simply print the online membership form, complete it and mail with your check or credit card information to:

Dakota Zoo
Attn: Memberships
602 Riverside Park Road
Bismarck, ND 58504


How do I make changes to my online order?

Online orders are generally processed on the same day they are received. If you need to make a change, please call our membership director at (701) 223-7543 ext. 6 as soon as possible. If you prefer, you can send an e-mail with your name and order date and changes to


Can I purchase a membership for more than one year?

No, we do not sell memberships for multiple years.


Do members receive discounts on merchandise at the Zoo?

Yes! Dakota Zoo members receive a 10% discount in the Antler Trading Post.


How do I get to the Dakota Zoo?

Click here for directions.


What are the Zoo's hours/prices?

For Dakota Zoo hours click here.

For Prices click here. 


Can I transfer my membership to someone else?

No. Memberships are nontransferable and are valid only for the persons whose names appear on the card, and their dependent children under age 18 living at home, and/or grandchildren.


Can I lend my card to a friend or family member?

No. See above.


Can I still visit if I have misplaced my membership card?

Yes! Please present a photo ID at the admissions window and our staff will confirm your membership status.


Why am I asked to show photo ID when I use my membership card to visit the Zoo?

As a non-profit non-tax supported organization, which relies on memberships and admissions for the bulk of our funding, we must prevent unauthorized use of our membership cards. For that reason, we reserve the right to ask for photo identification to verify the identity of persons presenting membership cards for admission.


Is my membership good at other zoos?

Yes! Your Dakota Zoo membership can be used for free or reduced price admission at over 180+ participating AZA Accredited Zoos and Aquariums throughout North America. 

The ability to visit over 180 zoos and aquariums throughout North America at free or reduced rates is one of the biggest benefits of your Dakota Zoo membership, and we urge you to take advantage of our reciprocal program whenever you travel.

Just a reminder, if you are planning to visit reciprocal Zoos, you must have your membership card with you. Reciprocal facilities do not have access to our membership records and will have no way of establishing the validity of your membership without seeing your card, and in most cases a photo ID.

Also, please note that reciprocal privileges are a voluntary agreement between zoos and are subject to change without notice. We suggest that you call ahead before visiting to verify a particular zoo's reciprocal policy.

In the past, some zoos have accepted telephone verification of membership, however, most now require us to fax a letter of verification. As we have limited administrative staff with numerous duties (such as animal care), we will no longer be able to provide fax or telephone verification of membership for entry into reciprocal facilities. This is an official reminder to carry your membership card if you wish to take advantage of the reciprocal program.

If you can't find your membership card and need a replacement, please contact our Marketing Director at 701-223-7543 x6. Also please allow mailing time for the card to reach you.


What is AZA Accreditation?

The Dakota Zoo is accredited by the Association of Zoos and Aquariums.

Founded in 1924, the Association of Zoos and Aquariums (AZA) is a nonprofit 501c(3) organization dedicated to the advancement of zoos and aquariums in the areas of conservation, education, science, and recreation. Look for the AZA logo whenever you visit a zoo or aquarium as your assurance that you are supporting an institution dedicated to providing excellent care for animals, a great experience for you, and a better future for all living things.