What to Know About Visiting Zoo Atlanta in Winter

Zoo Atlanta Panda Bears

Some of Zoo Atlanta’s residents thrive in the winter time, and this may be the best time to see them running about! But that’s certainly not the case for all of the zoo’s animals. Here’s what you need to know before you visit Zoo Atlanta in the winter: 

Even if you’re not a big fan of the cold, it can still be worth your while to visit Zoo Atlanta in cold weather. For some people, winter may be the best days to go to the zoo. It’s never too cold to visit the zoo since they have plenty of cold weather animals that will be up and roaming about. There’s no reason at all for you to cancel your winter trip to the zoo, and I have plenty of reasons for you to make it your new favorite time to visit.

Wild Winter Days Discount

Zoo Atlanta knows that winter isn’t the most popular time for walking around outdoors and that some of its most popular animals are not cold weather animals, so it offers a Wild Winter Days discount. From January 7 – February 28, 2019, the zoo is offering 25% off admission for all guests. The zoo typically offers this discount every year in January and February.

Fewer Crowds and Easy Parking

Visiting the zoo in the winter is perfect if you don’t like dealing with crowds. You could walk half the park without running into another person. This also means you can get close to the habitats and not have to crane your neck just to catch a glimpse of an animal sighting. The parking lot was nearly empty, which was incredible because every other time I’ve been to the zoo we had to find street parking.

Cold-Weather Animals

Zoo Atlanta Tanuki

If you’ve only been to the zoo in the summer, then you’re not getting the full Zoo Atlanta effect! Some of my favorite animals are more active in the cooler weather.

  • Giant pandas: Their natural habitat is the snowy mountains of China, so all this snow that Atlanta has been getting is no problem for Ya Lun, Xi Lun, Lun Lun, and Yang Yang. Plus, the pandas have their indoor dayrooms where you can watch them tussling about as well.
  • Red panda: Idgie is a native of the Himalayas and she’s enjoying her newly renovated habitat.
  • Tanuki: I’ve only seen Loki and Thor come out in this winter trip to the zoo. Zoo Atlanta is the only accredited zoo in the US to have tanuki.
  • Alpacas: Tuscany, Warrior, and Smurf are never too cold in the winter with their fluffy fleece.
  • Elephants: The elephants are usually out year-round, and they can also be see in their in-door exhibit.
  • Flamingos: These birds are apparently very tolerant of weather conditions and will be found outside unless their pond freezes over.
  • Bald eagle: Sequoyah is a Georgia native and is coping just fine with this abnormal Georgia weather.
  • Scaly Slimy Spectacular: The indoor amphibian and reptile house is the perfect place to defrost and see animals from an array of climates.

What you won’t see in the winter are primates and monkeys who don’t come outside if it’s below 50 degrees. Other animals may still pop out from time to time, like the clouded leopard who is not usually fond of cold but was running all over its habitat for us, and the sun bears who we just barely missed poking around after being fed.

Savannah Hall Construction

Zoo Atlanta Elephants

Construction on Savannah Hall in the African Plains is taking place through all of 2018, so that affects the animals on view this winter as well, though I suspect many of them would not have been inclined to this weather anyway. Giraffes, ostriches, warthogs, and zebras will not be visible until 2019. Elephants will be visible until it’s time for their habitat to be transformed, and the lions will be visible throughout the construction.

I hope this helps plan your perfect winter trip to Zoo Atlanta! Give a wave to bears for me when you go!



When is your favorite time to visit the zoo? Let me know in the comments!


2 thoughts on “What to Know About Visiting Zoo Atlanta in Winter

  1. Pingback: Visiting Zoo Atlanta on a Rainy Day | Paige Minds The Gap

  2. Pingback: Winter in Atlanta | Paige Minds The Gap

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