Play the classic Utica Zoo song! 

About The Utica Zoo

Mission

The mission of the Utica Zoo is to foster public understanding and appreciation of wildlife species and their ecosystems through education, conservation and recreation.

Vision

The Utica Zoo will be a place that inspires an understanding of and appreciation for animals and nature to the level that we move people to care.

History of the Utica Zoo & Utica Zoological Society

The Utica Zoo has served the region for over 100 years. Located in Roscoe-Conkling Park, the zoo is part of a recreational complex made possible by the donation of land from Thomas R. Proctor in 1909. He had a dream that a park could do as much for South Utica as Central Park was doing for New York City. He hired a famous landscape architect, Frederick Law Olmstead, who had designed Central Park, to plan the roads and scenic walkways in Roscoe Conkling Park. The Zoo has grown from its small beginnings with three fallow deer in 1914, to its present collection of over 200 animals. Of the 80 acres of land set aside for the zoo’s use, 40 are presently developed.

The Zoo property is owned by the City of Utica, and until 1964, was operated by the Parks Department. In order to ensure the Utica Zoo’s continued existence, the Utica Zoological Society assumed full management of the zoo in 1964.  The first professional zoo director was hired in 1966. One year later, Marlin Perkins officiated at the opening of the Children’ s Zoo. The society was chartered as an educational institution by the New York State Educational Department in 1968. In 1973, the education department was established with the appointment of a curator to carry out its programs.

The first building, completed in 1920, is currently named the Wildlife Building and houses the administrative offices, auditorium, reptile exhibits and the zoo’ s kitchen.  In 1981, the Animal Care Center was added to the Wildlife Building for the quarantine and veterinary facilities. The first building made exclusively for animal use was completed in 1927 and still houses the primate collection. Other major exhibits include the Lion exhibit and the California sea lion exhibit (finished in 1986).

The Utica Zoo is a regional facility and a sparkling gem for the Mohawk Valley. The zoo receives annual support from Oneida County and an annual operating grant from the Natural Heritage Trust (a state agency).  The remainder of the budget is raised by the Society. Admissions fees, society membership, special events such as Wine in the Wilderness, Brewfest & Spooktacular, the gift shop, the Adopt an Animal program, animal feed sales, stroller rentals, pavilion rentals and donations complete the operating budget income. Major capital improvements are funded through specific fund drives, major grants and other contributions and sponsorships.

ONEIDA COUNTY SEAL COLOR

 

 

 

Hours and Admisson

April 1 to October 31: Open 10AM until 4:45 PM
November 1 to March 31: Open 10AM, admission/gift shop closes at 3PM & Zoo gates close at 4PM

Admission 4/1- 10/31 11/1- 3/31 & Group
Child 3-12 $4.75 $2.50
Adult 13-61 $7.75 $4.25
Senior 62+, Military, College w/ ID $6.75 $3.50

Upcoming Events

Dec
23
Tue
10:30 AM Zoo Adventures – Holiday Special
Zoo Adventures – Holiday Special
Dec 23 @ 10:30 AM – 11:30 AM
Zoo Adventures - Holiday Special
Join us for a special holiday Zoo Adventures. Story, craft and of course, animals! Free for Members, $5.00/ child for non-members, adults free.
Dec
27
Sat
10:30 AM Dangerous Defenses – Zoo Explorer
Dangerous Defenses – Zoo Explorer
Dec 27 @ 10:30 AM – 11:30 AM
Dangerous Defenses - Zoo Explorer
Dangerous Defenses-December programs will focus on the different ways animals keep themselves safe. Antlers and Horns and Prickly Thorns! Animals protect themselves in an amazing array of ways. Join zoo educators as we learn about animal defenses. We will meet a few of our education animals and tour the zoo. This program is free with your admission and recommended for ages 5 and up.
Dec
31
Wed
11:00 AM Happy Zoo Year
Happy Zoo Year
Dec 31 @ 11:00 AM – 1:00 PM
Happy Zoo Year
On New Years Eve (Wednesday, December 31st) the Utica Zoo will be celebrating “Happy Zoo Year” from 11 to 1 pm in the Auditorium. Madagascar the movie will be shown on a projector screen. Kids will be able to participate in arts & crafts, and animal meet & greets. There will be a Hot Chocolate toast at Noon with free cookies on the side. Regular Winter Admission. Free for Members. The Utica Zoo is open on New Years Day.
Jan
8
Thu
10:30 AM Zoo Adventures – Over and Under ...
Zoo Adventures – Over and Under ...
Jan 8 @ 10:30 AM – 11:30 AM
Zoo Adventures - Over and Under the Snow
Join our monthly preschool program as we explore the world of animals through storybooks! Each session includes a story, animal meet and greet, snack, and activity. The cost is $5.00 per child for members and $10.00 per child for non-members. Child admission included and Adults are free. The class meets in the auditorium at 10:30am.

View Calendar

Zoo Blog

  • Santa takes a photo with a child at the Utica Zoo Holiday Hoot.
    Holiday Hoot 2014

    December 14th, 2014 – The Utica Zoo welcomed Santa Claus and visitors to the annual Holiday Hoot today. Children were able to get their pictures taken with Santa by Whitesboro Fun Pix, and also let Santa know what they wanted for Christmas. Chuck E. Cheese stopped by to give tokens to kids, and take photos as well. Docents and educational staff brought out animals that the whole family could interact with. The mild temperatures made it a perfect day to walk around the Utica Zoo and see all the animals on exhibit. Children participated in arts and crafts in the Auditorium. Visitors enjoyed hot chocolate and coffee, along with free cookies and candy. People brought gifts for our animals from Read More

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