The Ultimate Guide to Visiting the Cheyenne Mountain Zoo

by | Jul 1, 2023 | Colorado | 0 comments

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The Cheyenne Mountain Zoo is located in Colorado Springs and is the most unique zoo in America. It is such a fun place to visit with kids and it is a can’t miss place to visit if you are visiting Colorado! Being a family based in Colorado, I always recommend visiting this zoo when people come to visit. 

 

 

 

 

Things to Know Before You Go:

The first thing to know is that the zoo has timed tickets to enter. You can purchase these tickets ahead of time on their website https://www.cmzoo.org/. I recommend booking your tickets in advance online as they can fill up quickly especially in the summer. You must arrive within a half hour of the time listed on your ticket.

 

The zoo is located at 6714 ft above sea level. Be sure to bring lots of water if you are not used to the altitude. Also, since the zoo is located on the side of mountain, there is a lot of walking uphill. It’s also a good idea to wear decent shoes as the zoo is quite spread out too.

 

Parking is free which is great. The parking lot can get busier later in the day so it can be more difficult to find parking. The staff do a great job of helping people find parking on busier days. My advice would be to go earlier in the day. We always arrive before 10:00am when we visit and have never had any issues finding parking.

 

There are lots of places to sit and eat at the zoo so I would also recommend packing a picnic lunch as the food inside is pretty expensive. We had eaten at a few of the restaurants inside the zoo and while the food is good, it is on the expensive side. We almost always pack a lunch especially with the kids.

 

If visiting with kids, make sure you can easily push your stroller uphill. I have seen lots of people visiting that seem to have trouble pushing their strollers uphill. I personally even struggle sometimes with my double stroller when my 3 year old doesn’t feel like walking.

 

If you are Local:

If you are local to the Colorado Springs area, I would highly recommend getting a membership to the zoo. The family membership pays for it self in a few visits and my family loves going as much as we want. You still need to reserve tickets online ahead of time but I have never had issues reserving tickets for the times I want. During the winter, it is very easy to reserve tickets. During the summer, it is a good idea to reserve your tickets a few days in advance to guarantee the time and day you want to visit.

 

 

Where is Cheyenne Mountain Zoo located:

The zoo is located at 4250 Cheyenne Mountain Zoo Road. This is in the southwest corner of Colorado Springs. We live in the northern part of the city and it takes us about a half hour to drive here. The city of Colorado Springs is fairly easy to get around so no matter where you stay, the zoo will not be too far out of the way.

 

 

What time does the zoo open:

The Cheyenne Mountain Zoo is open 365 days a year. This makes it a great place to visit year round and the weather in Colorado is usually pretty mild most of the year. The zoo is open from 9am-5pm most days of the year. There are special events that the zoo hosts which means that the zoo will close early on certain days. Be sure to check their website before you visit to verify when they are open on the day you want to visit. 

 

If you are a member, there are certain days when members can get in an hour earlier. If you are an early riser or have kids that are up early, this is a great time to visit! The crowds are minimal and you have an hour to enjoy the zoo before it is open to the public. 

 

What does your ticket include:

Your ticket includes admission to the zoo and all of the animal exhibits. The one thing that most people don’t know is that your ticket also includes entry to the Will Rodgers Shrine. If you wish to visit the shrine, you do have to drive up to the top but it is not very far from the zoo entrance. In my opinion, it is totally worth the drive up to the shrine if you have time. The views from the top are incredible. 

Things to do during your visit at the zoo:

1. The first animals you are likely to encounter are the giaffes. I always recommend feeding them as this is one of the best experiences at the zoo. The kids absolutely love it and you get so up close and personal with the giraffes. You can buy 1 feeding for $3 or 2 feedings for $5. Make sure to bring cash with you as this will save you any fees for using an ATM. There is an ATM located near the giraffes if you forget!

 

2. There are other animal feedings throughout the day as well. Two other very popular animals are the rhino and elephant feedings. They are avaliable only during specific time windows so be sure to check their website if this is something you want to do.

 

3. Another animal encounter that is very popular is the budgie feeding. This is open all day long and it costs $1 per stick of seed. This is located in the Australian walkabout exhibit and is a super fun experience to do with kids. 

 

4. Enjoy walking around the entire zoo and take in all the views from being on the side of a mountain! I can never get over the amazing views this zoo has to offer. 

 

5. You can enjoy getting up close and personal with some goats. They offer feedings throughout the day and you can go inside their pen and pet or brush them if you would like. My 3 year old loves to go in and brush the goats each time we go. 

 

6. If visiting with kids, there is a merry-go-round that is located near all the food places and picnic areas. The cost is $2 per ride. My kids love going for rides after we eat lunch. If you are local and your kids love merry-go-rounds, I would suggest getting a punch pass. You can purchase them at the merry-go-round and they save you a little money. Another bonus is that when you use the entire punch pass you get a percentage off at one of the food venues in the zoo. 

 

7. Another thing that is near the picnic tables and food places is a small, grassy hill. My kids love running up and down the hill and it is a great place to take a break from seeing all the animals. 

 

8. There is a fun sky ride that you can also ride for an additional fee. It is open almost every day in the summer (weather permitting) and then just weekends during the off season. It is an open chair lift ride and it gives you great views over the zoo. When you get to the top, you will have amazing views as well! 

 

 

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