What Will Be Different When the Zoo Reopens Friday

Those eager to see their favorite animals at the Pittsburgh Zoo and PPG Aquarium can do so with new rules.


The Pittsburgh Zoo and PPG Aquarium will reopen Friday with a new timed-ticket system and other health safety guidelines. Tickets are available as far as two weeks in advance. 

With a timed-ticket purchase, visitors can enter the zoo within a 30-minute window, though they don’t have to leave by a certain time. The hours are 9:30 a.m. to 6 p.m. Members get in free while tickets for nonmembers are $17.95 for adults, $16.95 for seniors and $15.95 for children.

“We’ve worked it out that they’re timed so far apart that it works out with the limited capacity,” Brittany Balandis, the zoo’s director of marketing and communications, told the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette.

The opening aligns with Allegheny County’s move to the Green phase, which Gov. Tom Wolf says allows for entertainment venues to open at 50% occupancy.

Staff at the zoo will wear masks and visitors are encouraged to as well. Hand sanitizer will be provided and the zoo will have social distancing markers and transparent barriers to help visitors who don’t arrive together to maintain a 6-foot distance.

“Zoo staff will be continuously cleaning the property throughout the day, focusing additional attention on high touch points throughout the park including restrooms,” the zoo says in a statement.

Some attractions will be closed, including the zip line, log ride, tram service and playgrounds.

Today marks the final scheduled day of the Zoofari Drive-Thru fundraiser, where visitors could listen to a guided audio tour as they drove through the park. Funds from the effort contributed to the zoo’s Emergency Operating Fund.

Categories: The 412