50th Anniversary - Celebrate 50 years with a trip through time

50th Anniversary

This year, we celebrate 50 years of creating warm family memories and compassion for wildlife. Since 1969, the Zoo has helped to inspire thousands of people to pursue careers in animal care, education and a variety of sciences — and stirred millions more to show compassion toward animals, the environment and to appreciate having a Zoo in their community. We at the Zoo are deeply proud of the role we play, the differences we make within our community and of the collective impact AZA-accredited organizations are having worldwide

Join us as we celebrate 50 fantastic years! There’s lots of stories to share, things to do, sights to see, and new animals to meet as we head in 2019! Below, learn more about the celebration fun we have waiting for you.


With a half-century of fun to explore, we have lots of exciting Zoo milestones to share. Click below to choose a year and see what Zoo exploits, historical events and pop culture phenoms were happening at the time. Try selecting your year of birth for extra fun!


On Jan. 31, 2019, the Zoo kicked off its 50th year with a grand celebration at the Olmsted. Over 400 former and current staff, board members, volunteers and docents attended and toasted to an amazing 50 years. Guests enjoyed a special video that addressed the question “what is the value of the Louisville Zoo in our Community?”

More videos…


Pop Up Parties - 2019
As part of our 50th anniversary festivities, and to extend our celebration into the community, the Zoo is “popping up” in your neighborhood! Join us for some fun games (including cornhole), meet one of our new mascots (Leroy the Rhino or Miles the Giraffe) for a fun selfie and enter to win Zoo ticket packs so you can come and celebrate with more fun here at the Zoo!

More info…


  • Special Flavor: A very special Dippin’ Dots flavor has arrived at the Louisville Zoo: Zoo Birthday Bash (birthday cake flavored) is here for the anniversary season.
  • Commemorative Poster: Pick up a special keepsake poster created by artist Jeremy Reiss. Available at the Zoo’s Main Gift Shop (while supplies last).
  • Get Your Swag: Show your Louisville Zoo pride with 50th  anniversary collectables: mugs, cups, shirts, coloring books and more at the Zoo’s gift shops.


Teddy Grahams Bear Quiz

How much do you know about bears? Complete the quiz and ENTER TO WIN a behind-the-scenes tour for four guests to the Louisville Zoo, courtesy of Teddy Grahams!

Take the Quiz!


To help celebrate the Louisville Zoo’s 50th Anniversary, The Comfy Cow (a Louisville Zoo 50th sponsor) has created Polar Bear Freeze, a new flavor created in honor of this special celebration.

More info…


girl with book
  • Later this year, a precious new addition to storytime for your little ones: a Louisville Zoo children’s book
  • Coming in December, see just how much your Zoo has changed over the last 50 years in our Louisville Zoo retrospective book.
  • Plus more surprises!

Return to 50th Anniversary Main Page



Presenting sponsors

Whittenberg Construction

Jefferson County

Additional Support from these and other generous sponsors