Open 363 Days a Year: Closed on Thanksgiving Day and Christmas Day.
1 Utica Zoo Way, Utica, NY 13501.
Having trouble with GPS? Try our neighbor’s address: 220 Memorial Parkway, Utica, NY 13501 and follow the “UTICA ZOO” signs.
Free Parking: Free parking in two large lots for your convenience
Payment: Cash, Check, Discover, American Express, Visa & Mastercard accepted. Please note: There will be a $25 service charge for all returned checks.
Food & Drink: Our concession stand, Polly’s by O’Connors, is open from 10 am to 3 pm every day. Offering a variety of options, including healthy choice options, Polly’s has a regularly rotating menu of different items. Cold and hot drinks and ICEEs also available.
Visitors are invited to bring their own food and drink items to enjoy while on Zoo Grounds. We ask that items containing allergens(peanut butter, gluten, etc) are not brought into the Playground area, located below the Rotary Pavilion deck.
Pavilions and Picnic Tables: Want to bring your own lunch? No Problem! Enjoy one of our 3 Pavilions: Rotary, Eagle View and Zebra View or one of the numerous picnic tables available throughout the Zoo. Please take care to clear any food or refuse from your eating area. We also ask that you do not feed our roaming peacocks; they are on special diets and outside food can cause health issues.
NO ALCOHOLIC BEVERAGES ARE PERMITTED ON ZOO GROUNDS.
Drink Vending Machines: One located in the Sinnott Education Center and the other is in the Main Barn in the Children’s Zoo. Snacks and candy for sale in the Gift Shop. There are also several water fountains throughout the zoo grounds.
ATM on-site: Located right outside the Sinnott Education Center. Part of the proceeds goes to the Utica Zoo.
Strollers and Wheelchairs: We have brand new safari strollers (two-seaters) that you can rent for $4 for the day. We also have single seat strollers available. Two wheelchairs are available at no charge. You may call ahead to reserve a wheelchair.
Peacocks: You may encounter one or more Peacocks while on Zoo Grounds. These animals are allowed to roam the Zoo and are well-known members of the Zoo family. Please do not be alarmed if you see these animals outside of exhibit space. We kindly ask that no one feed, chase, taunt, or otherwise harm our Peacocks. If you encounter a Peacock in the parking lot area, please alert the Gift Shop.
Daily Feedings and Keeper Talks: check the sign at the gate for additional talks and feedings.
*Note: Schedule subject to change. Check at Gift Shop for a daily schedule.
Feeding Animals: Bring extra quarters (or get some at our Gift Shop) to feed the Goats, Sheep, Alpaca, and Chickens in the Children’s Zoo. We ask that you do not feed any other animals within the zoo grounds; including exhibit animals, peacocks, squirrels, chipmunks, rabbits, and birds.
Play Area: Children’s playground located in the Children’s Zoo.
Photo Policy: Guests are welcome to take photos and/or videos for personal use. By entering the zoo, you grant permission for the Utica Zoo to use your image for promotional purposes. Permission is required for commercial photo use and access. Please check the Utica Zoo Photo Policy for more information.
Positioning: When you approach the animal exhibit, consider where you will photograph the exhibit. Many exhibits have large amounts of frontage and some spots could be better than others. Also, take into consideration what the animal is doing and where they are positioned within their exhibit.
Perspective: Many photographers find that getting down to the level of the animal provides a more pleasing perspective. This can also help eliminate any distracting background elements.
Shooting through exhibit fences/netting: One of the more frustrating parts of photographing animals inside exhibits is contending with the fence or netting of their exhibit. Look for openings between posts or near gates. Some exhibits, such as our Bactrian Camel exhibit, do not have any fences or netting to impede your view. For exhibits that have fence or netting, we suggest using a zoom lens. Get as close to the fence as you can without crossing the outer visitor barrier. Wait for the animal to move away from the fence or net, and use a wide aperture. Many times, the fence or net will be so out of focus you will not even realize it is there.
Moving Animals: Animals can be unpredictable and can be in motion. Animals such as our Mexican Wolves and Arctic Fox are almost constantly in motion. Use a fast shutter speed and/or a shutter priority mode. We also suggest shooting in burst mode to capture numerous opportunities for a clean shot.
Be Patient: Animals are very aware and will generally stop their natural activity when people approach their exhibit space. We suggest spending more time than usual at the animals you are looking to photograph to allow them to be their natural selves. You can also be treated to unique behaviors and interactions once they become accustomed to your presence.
Consider the Context: While we strive to provide the most natural habitats we possibly can, there will sometimes be non-natural elements to contend with. Look for angles or perspectives that can remove these elements. We also never want to photograph an animal with fencing, netting, or any other non-natural element covering or impeding the animal’s face.
Respect: The most important part of utilizing our animals for your photography is to maintain respect. Be mindful of those around you and always observe and respect all barriers and boundaries. DO NOT use food, treats, or any other item to attempt to lure an animal closer to you. Any visitor found to violate any of these standards will be asked to leave the Zoo grounds. Please review the Utica Zoo Photo Policy and be aware that permission is required for any commercial access. The sale or profit of any photograph captured on Utica Zoo grounds is not permitted.
Utica Zoo is home to the World’s Largest Watering Can. Verified by the Guinness Book of World Records.