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12:44 PM

Cool Zoo and Lazy River Opens June 16 for 2021 Season

Cool Zoo and the Gator Run lazy river, Audubon Zoo's popular water attractions, will open for the 2021 season on a Wednesday through Sunday schedule beginning Wednesday, June 16.  

This year, unlike years past, Audubon will offer two sessions each day for guests to enjoy Cool Zoo while visiting Audubon Zoo. These two daily sessions allow Audubon to manage capacity limitations, provide room for physical distancing, and comply with CDC guidelines. At 1 PM each day, between sessions, Cool Zoo will close to allow Audubon staff ample time to clean all shared equipment and surfaces. The two sessions are 10 AM – 1 PM and 2 PM – 5 PM. 

“We are very excited to welcome our guests back to Cool Zoo and once again offer them a way to stay cool while visiting the Zoo,” said Audubon Nature Institute Vice President of Guest Services Daine Appleberry. “We are working hard to make sure our guests have fun, but also stay safe when enjoying our attractions.” 

Starting August 7, the water park will return to weekends-only through Labor Day, September 6, when the water park will close for the 2021 season. 

Regular admission to Cool Zoo, including Gator Run, is $8 for Audubon Nature Institute Members and $10 for non-Members, plus Audubon Zoo admission. Cool Zoo tickets must be purchased online. For more details, about tickets and the 2021 season schedule click here

Cool Zoo includes all its visitor-favorite features: the alligator water slide, the spider monkey soaker, water-spitting snakes, and shady spots for grownups. Back for its sixth year, the Gator Run lazy river offers Zoo visitors the option to cool down by floating atop an inner tube along a course that measures 750 feet in length. Three-feet-deep and 10-feet-wide, the lazy river features two sand beaches and water cannons that can be used to shower visitors as they float by. 

Gator Run includes showers, restrooms, lockers, outdoor seating, a private area for nursing mothers, and the "Gator Bites'' concession stand, serving a menu of pizza and other food and beverage items. 

Rafts are included in the admission price for Gator Run. Anyone under 48 inches will need a life jacket supplied by Audubon Zoo. 

Outside food and drinks are welcomed in Cool Zoo and Gator Run, but the size of coolers and ice chests cannot exceed 28 quarts. Glass containers and disposable straws and lids are not permitted for the safety of our animals. Audubon reserves the right to search coolers. 

2021 Cool Zoo/Gator Run Operating Schedule: 

Wednesday, June 16, 2021 – Sunday, August 1, 2021  

Weekly operation (Wed. – Sun)  

10 AM – 1 PM & 2 PM – 5 PM  

Saturday, August 7, 2021 – Sunday, September 5, 2021  

Weekends only (Sat. & Sun)  

10 AM – 1 PM & 2 PM – 5 PM  

Monday, September 6, 2021  

Labor Day (final day)  

10 AM – 1 PM & 2 PM – 5 PM 

Audubon Nature Institute

Audubon Nature Institute operates a family of museums, parks and research facilities dedicated to celebrating the wonders of nature. Through innovative live animal exhibits, education programs, and scientific discovery, Audubon makes a meaningful contribution to preserving wildlife for the future. Audubon Nature Institute flagships include Audubon Park, Audubon Zoo, Audubon Aquarium of the Americas, Entergy Giant Screen Theater, Audubon Butterfly Garden and Insectarium, Audubon Louisiana Nature Center, Freeport-McMoRan Audubon Species Survival Center, Woldenberg Riverfront Park and Audubon Wilderness Park. Ron Forman is President and CEO of Audubon Nature Institute.