Don’t let the weather stop you from visiting the zoo! Here’s everything you need to know about visiting Zoo Atlanta in the rain and how to make your rainy zoo visit a little brighter:
Rainy days and zoo visits are usually a recipe for disaster, but I actually love Zoo Atlanta in the rain! You can still experience the excitement of a trip to the zoo, even when the weather doesn’t cooperate.
Make the most of a rainy day at Zoo Atlanta using these tips!
Why You Should Still Visit Zoo Atlanta Even When It’s Raining
I love our Zoo Atlanta membership. Under the membership, we have free admission every day of the year, so we are happy to visit no matter what the weather, and I won’t let a little rain get in the way of me seeing bears. On our recent trip to the zoo, it was pouring at times, but we still had a great time.
So if you’re thinking, What if it rains when I’m at Zoo Atlanta?, then this post is for you!
The good news is, there’s no reason for you to cancel your zoo trip on a rainy day either, even if you don’t have a membership. (But you can get a great deal on visiting Zoo Atlanta with the Atlanta CityPass!) While rain isn’t always the best weather to visit the zoo, Zoo Atlanta is still open and in full swing during the rain.
Zoo Atlanta has Covered Viewing Areas and Indoor Habitats
A lot of the animals at Zoo Atlanta have covered viewing areas or even indoor habitats so that you can get out of the rain for a moment.
If the elephants aren’t out and about, you can find them inside and see them up close while also staying dry. The rhino has a similar indoor viewing area.
The Complex Carnivores area is covered, where you can see the clouded leopard and the tiger.
The Panda House has a covered area where you can view the four panda bears in three different areas.
The walkway by the red panda is partially covered, and the viewing area above the sun bears and tigers as well as the window viewing area of the lion’s den are covered to keep you dry.
Plus, the Zoo Animals Don’t Mind the Rain
Sure, the zoo animals are sheltered (I’m looking at you, panda twins), but they don’t really mind the rain. They’re out in the elements all the time, so a little rain is nothing new to them.
Zoo animals will still be outside and moving about in the rain. We saw plenty of animal activity, even in the hardest rainfall, and saw some animals that we hadn’t really seen moving about before, like the binturong.
The keepers still do their animal enrichment to encourage activity. And even if the animals are avoiding the rain, you can still see them bundled up in their shelters, like the red panda in his little treehouse.
Some animals, like the monkeys and apes, enjoy being able to splash around in the rain and you may be able to see them more than usual. One of the sun bears seems to be particularly fond of the rain as I always see one of them climbing about on any rain day that I’m there.
Plenty of Zoo Activities are Still Going On In the Rain
Unlike when you visit the zoo in the winter and the concessions are limited, the restaurants and concession stands are still open when it’s warm out and raining.
The kiosks that are fully exposed to the weather aren’t all going to be open, of course, but the zoo doesn’t completely shut down just because of a little rain.
Zoo Atlanta doesn’t list a formal rain policy on its website, and most events can still take place on a rainy day. If there is too much rain for an event, they’ll post about it on social media and send an email through their newsletter.
The rainy days that we’ve been there, the volunteers were out in full force ready to talk to and educate the few guests there about the animals and the Panda Bear Wild Encounter was still available.
Parking is a Breeze
Parking is a big deal in Atlanta! Going to the zoo on a rainy day means fewer people, which means you can actually park in the parking lot and don’t have to deal with street parking. And that is a major plus!
The City of Atlanta has a parking fee at both the Cherokee Avenue and Grant Park Gateway lots. So you’ll now have to pay for those prime parking spots.
Parking costs $3 per hour ($12 for the day). Zoo Atlanta estimates the average visit is about 3 hours.
What to Bring for a Rainy Day at Zoo Atlanta
- A panda umbrella for adults or an adorable kids’ panda umbrella
- Rain boots that come in all kinds of fun colors
- A classic yellow rain jacket (or any other color)
- A lightweight waterproof backpack to keep your camera and souvenirs dry
All in all, there are plenty of things that make visiting Zoo Atlanta on a rainy day worth it, and I definitely recommend it!
Visiting Zoo Atlanta in the Rain FAQ
Yes, Zoo Atlanta is still open and in full swing when it rains! Many of the zoo’s activities can still happen in the rain, and the animals don’t seem to mind the weather one bit.
Animals react to rain in all different ways, so it really depends on the species and the animal’s own personality. But during our visit, we saw plenty of zoo animals that were not hiding from the rain.
Most people will probably spend 1.5 to 2 hours going through Zoo Atlanta. If you want to go more slowly, stop for lunch, or let the kids play in the kids’ zone, you can expect to spend more like 4 to 5 hours at the zoo. It all depends on your pace and what animals are out!
Top Atlanta Tours
With so much to see, Atlanta can be overwhelming for any first-time traveler. To take some of the stress out of planning your visit, opt for a guided tour! Check out this list of the top Atlanta tours to help you make the most of your time in Georgia’s capital city.
- 90-Minute Guided Sightseeing Tour by E-Car
- Atlanta’s Black History and Civil Rights Tour
- Midtown Atlanta Food & Cocktail Tour
More Things Happening at Zoo Atlanta
Check out my other posts on Zoo Atlanta for more tips, no matter the weather!
Ready to visit Atlanta, Georgia? Plan your trip with these tips.
- Get Familiar With the City: Check out my Ultimate Guide to Atlanta to help plan your trip!
- Book Your Flight: Find the cheapest flights using Skyscanner, my favorite flight search engine.
- Find Accommodation: You can find top hotels in Atlanta using Booking.com.
- Save on Attractions: Save 44% on admission to Atlanta’s top attractions using the Atlanta CityPASS.
When is your favorite time to visit Zoo Atlanta? Let me know in the comments!