red panda encounter

Utica Zoo visitor feeding a Red Panda

Animal Encounters

Have you ever wanted to get up close and personal with some of the animals at the Utica Zoo? Well now you can! With our Animal Encounter packages, you can now make your Zoo visit extraordinary.

  • African Lions: Go inside our Cat building for a behind the scenes look at our Lions. See how our keepers use specialized training to feed and keep the cats healthy and happy. The Utica Zoo will provide you with an 8 x 10 of your encounter (photo for personal use only, no personal cameras allowed). Admission is included. $1,000
  • California Sea Lions: Go behind the scenes to visit our California Sea Lions and get your questions answered by their keeper. Bring your camera. Admission is included. $250
  • Red Pandas: Be on exhibit with our Red Panda as you go inside to feed him his favorite treat! Bring your camera. Admission is included. $125  This encounter is for 2 people. Red Panda Encounters will only be available until December 1st 2014. After this time, please watch for updates on when they will be available again.
  • Camels: Get behind the scenes and extra close to feed Nigel and Najla their favorite treat. Bring your camera. Admission is included. $75
  • Children’s Zoo Contact Yard: Be on exhibit with our Nigerian Dwarf Goats as you go behind the fence to get up close and personal. Bring your camera. Admission is included. $40

Email for availability and booking or call (315) 738-0472.

Each encounter (other than Red Panda) includes up to 5 people. Additional $25 per person after 5 people. Number of groups per day is determined by staff.

Zoo Keepers from the Utica Zoo feeding Camels.

Zoo Keepers from the Utica Zoo feeding Camels.



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

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.
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.
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.
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