Zoo Open 365 Days A Year!
A minimum of 15 paying guests (3 & up) is required to obtain group rates. A group reservation is required two weeks in advance of your visit.
It’s easy to register your group! First, review the rates, policies and frequently asked questions below. Then, simply complete the online Group Reservation Form to reserve your arrival time slot:
Day of Visit – Checklist
On the day of your visit, bring:
1. Fee Estimate (sent via email from email@example.com)
2. Payment (Cash, Personal/Organizational check with proper ID, Visa, Mastercard or Discover)
3. Copies of membership cards for Zoo Members
Zoo Members, Teachers, or Bus Drivers – FREE
Adult Admission (13 and up) – $9.00 each
Child Admission (ages 3-12) – $8.00 each
Children (2 and under) – FREE
To ensure prompt admission into the Zoo, groups MUST pay upon arrival with ONE form of payment for the entire group. Those paying separately will be charged full admission and will not receive the group rate. Group leaders, please make sure your parent chaperones know they must pay with the group to get the group rate!
Payment may be cash, check, Visa, Mastercard, or Discover. Personal or organizational checks are acceptable with proper identification. Please make checks payable to Mesker Park Zoo & Botanic Garden.
If your organization needs to be billed or pay on a purchase order basis, prior approval is required. Please call 812-435-0809 when scheduling your reservation; proof of purchase order must be provided.
Can I make a group reservation by phone, email, or fax?
All group reservations must be submitted through the online form.
If I am a member, do I have to pay the group rate?
No! General Zoo admission is always FREE for Zoo members. Students that are members may simply provide their teachers with a photocopy of their membership card.
Who should I make the check payable to?
Please make checks payable to Mesker Park Zoo & Botanic Garden.
Can I use a discount coupon or promotion?
Passes, coupons, or other promotions DO NOT APPLY to the group rate.
Where should buses park?
Buses may enter the main Zoo parking lot for drop-off, but must park in Lot A across from Mesker Amphitheatre.
How many chaperones are allowed/required?
You can bring as many chaperones as you wish, but each party must have one chaperone per every 6 children under the age of 6 OR one chaperone per every 10 children over the age of 6. Chaperones are required to stay with children at all times.
Do chaperones receive the group rate?
Paid staff chaperones like teachers, bus drivers, and aides are admitted for free, up to 1 chaperone for every 10 children. Parent chaperones can get the group rate, but must pay the group with ONE payment. Those paying separately will be charged full admission and will not receive the group rate. Group leaders should make sure parents understand the conditions in which they can get the group rate.
What if it rains?
Enhance your visit!
Are there education programs available to add to our visit?
Yes! We have many enjoyable educational experiences available for your group, both at the zoo or at your location. For more details, please see our Program Menu under Educational Experiences on our website. These must be booked at least two weeks in advance, pending schedule availability. For more information, call our Education Department at 812-435-0809.
Are there scavenger hunts that we can use for our group?
Yes! Free, self-guided scavenger hunts are available for download on our website under “Educational Experiences”.
Can my group ride the carousel, boats, tram, or feed the giraffes?
Zoo Tokens are required for access to attractions and can be purchased with your group reservation. They are also available for purchase at various locations throughout the Zoo. To make arrangements for 50+ tokens for your group, please contact firstname.lastname@example.org.
Attractions (all 2 tokens/person/attraction):
* Seasonal attraction; Weather permitting
- Bumper Boats*
- Paddle Boats*
- Zoo Tram (all day access, free for members)
- Engelbrecht Carousel
- Giraffe Feeding
- Budgie Feeding
How much are tokens?
Tokens are $1.00 each and are sold in increments of 1, 5, 10, and 20 tokens only. Cash or credit card can be used at the token machines. No refunds on tokens. Any unused tokens can be used on subsequent visits to the Zoo. Groups needing a large amount of tokens can request them ahead of time when booking their group, to be picked up at the front gate upon entry.
Can we bring in lunch for our group?
Outside food and drinks are not permitted on Zoo grounds. Lunch is available for purchase on-site at the Rainforest Grill. Picnics are allowed in the surrounding parking lots and park areas. Mesker Mall a large covered picnic pavilion directly across the street from the Zoo entrance, and free on a first come first serve basis. Mesker Park picnic shelter is adjacent to the gravel overflow parking lot, and can be rented for $108 by calling the Parks Dept. at 812-435-6141. Both of those have capacity for well over 100 people. On Zoo grounds there are a few picnic tables in our main parking lot. If your group wishes to rent an outdoor lunch facility within the zoo grounds, please call 812-435-6143 for current rental rates and availability. Please note: we have discontinued offering free lunch arrangements for school groups to redirect our limited staff and vehicle resources.
Can I order lunch for my group?
Yes! Our Zoo Caterer, VenuWorks has a variety of options available for groups. Click here for lunch options (PDF). When you make a group reservation, indicate that you would like to make lunch reservations and a member of our Zoo Catering team will get back to you within 3 business days. Large groups should notify the grill 3 weeks ahead of time to ensure menu items are in stock for the day of visit.
If we leave the Zoo for lunch, can we come back in?
Yes, if the group or party leaves Zoo grounds, simply keep your original receipt to ensure same day re-admittance.