Santa Safari FAQ

Yes. You must login with your current membership number to receive the discount. Current members should automatically be offered the discount pricing. Please see instructions on the ticket purchasing pages. Bring your ticket to the Zoo for validation. If you forget your ticket, please bring your receipt number and photo ID.  Parking is free for Zoo members in the Zoo lot.

Please contact the Zoo membership staff to discuss options. Generally, we can work with you to cancel and reorder correct tickets to replace the incorrect tickets. Call 502-459-2287 during regular Zoo hours (9:30 – 5 p.m.)

You may only purchase discounted tickets for those covered under your membership. We reserve the right to request your photo ID and membership card at the gate.

Yes, we reserve the right to check member cards and photo ID at the gate.

We do not accept reciprocal memberships for admission for after-hours events or for special ticketed events like Santa’s Safari.

This is a reservation-based event (like a concert) so there are no refunds or exchanges. If you have a true emergency and the event is sold out, contact us at  502-238-5337 and we’ll check waiting lists to see if your tickets can be resold for your time slot.

Space is very limited so we do require that all guests attending Santa’s Safari, regardless of age, have a ticket.  Please be sure to purchase one for everyone attending the event!

Booster seats with trays are available on a first come, first served basis and cannot be reserved. Plan to arrive early.

Go to the Zoo’s admission windows to check in with your tickets (or purchase additional tickets based on availability). Then proceed to the Gheens Room in the Islands Pavilion. Please try to check in at least 15 minutes before your session begins so we can be sure to get you seated in time. The Islands Pavilion is located to the right side of the Zoo. Follow the signs at the trail to Islands and wind your way down the hill. Enter the Pavilion straight ahead and stay right following signs down the hall. Proceed through the glass doors at the end of the hall past the bats. Go through the small room and upstairs to the 2nd floor via the elevator or stairs.

This event is not a peanut-free event as we cannot guarantee that cookies have been prepared in a peanut-free environment. Some guests have prepared and brought their own cookies or treats for their children with special food requirements.

Cookies, milk and hot chocolate (or coffee) as well as bottled water are served. Because we do not have a stocked restaurant kitchen, we cannot provide substitutions (such as special milks or juices).

Each guest receives a cookie and beverages. Each child receives a holiday craft. Each family receives one complimentary photo with Santa. Including sing-alongs, Santa visits, visits with costume characters, crafts, and encounters with education animals and docents, the event usually spans about an hour and a half. You are free to spend time at animal exhibits also as the Zoo is open.

The Zoo only closes under very serious weather conditions. If local weather causes the Zoo to close, we will provide refunds if guests cannot be rebooked to a future day. Please visit our website homepage at for any special announcements or notifications across the top banner.

Yes.  For more info on strollers and wheelchairs click here.

There is no dress code. Guests often come in holiday dress for their photo with Santa. You do have to walk to the Islands Pavilion, so we suggest warm clothes and comfortable shoes.

The Zoo’s winter hours are daily from 10 a.m. – 4 p.m. (stay until 5 p.m.). Animal exhibits are generally open unless weather conditions or other issues require exhibits to be closed. Rides and attractions are typically not open as they are weather/temperature dependent.

The main gift shop is open daily from 10 a.m. until 5 p.m. (regular Zoo hours) and sells a variety of fun holiday items including ornaments, apparel, educational toys, authentic Fair Trade items, books, jewelry and assorted plush.

  • Zoo Members get 10% off regularly priced items

Remember, you can enter the main gift shop without Zoo admission.

Smoking (including e-cigarettes) is prohibited on Zoo grounds except in specially marked areas. Smoking is not permitted in indoor facilities.

Parking during regular hours is free for Louisville Zoo members! This includes Santa’s Safari. Non-member parking is $6 per vehicle. For convenience and speedy entry, please add a $6 parking pass during your Santa’s Safari purchase online. Otherwise you will need to purchase a parking pass at the admission windows when you arrive.

The Louisville Zoo is easy to find and just 15 minutes from downtown Louisville, KY, easily accessible from I-64 and I-65. Take I-264 (Watterson Expressway) to Poplar Level Road exit #14 and travel north. Follow the black and white zoo signs to 1100 Trevilian Way.

You can also take I-264 (Watterson Expressway) to the Newburg Road Exit 15 where you head north.  Turn left onto Trevilian Way and take to the Zoo at 1100 Trevilian Way (on your left).

Bus service is available via TARC.

Click here for information on Zoo policies regarding pets, balloons, skateboards, alcohol, behavior inside the Zoo and more.

Click here to return to Santa’s Safari main page.