With nearly 1,000 animals, comprehensive daily programming, and cafés/restaurants with locally sourced, sustainable food, there’s so much to do at the Calgary Zoo that it’s hard to know where to start. That’s why we’ve put together a guide for planning your perfect visit! We’ll cover all the must-see spots and activities, so you don’t have to worry about a thing:
1. Get here early. We recommend arriving at 9 a.m., right when the zoo opens. Not only is it an enchanting feeling to be one of the first visitors in the zoo, but quiet mornings are also when some of our animals are most active which can result in some pretty unique animal encounters.
2. Don’t Skip Canadian Wilds. That first hour at the zoo, when it’s quiet and calm, is the perfect time to explore our Canadian Wilds. You’ll feel like you’re on a tranquil walk through nature, with no-one around but the majestic animals that call Canada home.
3. Check out Animal Snackers. Every morning at 10 a.m., our knowledgeable Interpreters lead an Animal Snackers program where you can learn all about the incredible animals at the zoo and how we care for them. Check out the schedule here!
4. Venture into Panda Passage. As you probably know, pandas stick to their own schedule. So, while the zoo opens at 9 a.m., our pandas prefer a 10 a.m. start. [To provide the best care possible for the pandas and maintain a routine that suits them best, Panda Passage opens at 10 a.m. each morning.] After Animal Snackers wraps up, head over to Panda Passage and experience the iconic pandas in all their glory.
5. Take a stroll through ENMAX conservatory. Don’t wander too far once you leave Panda Passage. Just a few steps away is the ENMAX Conservatory where you can find your zen and enjoy a relaxing stroll through our beautiful gardens.
6. Penguin Walk. 11 a.m. Everyday. Outside Penguin Plunge. Need we say more?
7. Grab a bite. Let’s be honest, you’re going to need a break from all that cuteness after Penguin Walk. Take a recess from the adorable animal overload and head over to Kitamba for lunch. With locally sourced and sustainable food, it’s the perfect place to refuel for an afternoon of zooing around.
8. Catch the afternoon Animal Snackers. Trust us, after visiting the morning Animal Snackers program, you’re going to want more. Luckily for you, our afternoon Animal Snackers program runs every day at 1 p.m. with a whole different cast of animals including lions, hippos, Komodo dragons and more!
9. Learn what it’s like to care for our intelligent, playful primates. At 3 p.m., make sure to head over to the TransAlta Rainforest for Caring for Gorillas, a daily program where we share all the details on our dynamic gorilla troop, their diet, enrichment and overall welfare.
Pro tip: If you have an old cell phone, bring it with you to recycle and help save wild gorilla habitat!
10. Don’t forget to stop by the gift shop! On your way out, don’t forget to pop into the gift shop where your purchases further support wildlife conservation!