The Louisville Zoo reopened its doors recently under strict social distancing standards. My husband and I ordered tickets and took the kids yesterday afternoon. I was such a pleasant experience and I felt so safe with every provision the zoo provided its guests. You can tell they really took the time to plan and help everyone stay safe.
Here is what I observed:
We made our reservation for 4:30 in the afternoon and showed up right on time.
There were 2 zoo employees set up under a tent as we pulled into the parking lot. They checked our names to make sure our reservations were correct.
After we parked, as we were walking to the front there was a zoo employee explaining the social distancing measures and guiding where to go. You can also tell that the zoo still had the Asian Lantern Festival decor still up which made us all super excited.
Then we got in line (observing social distancing in the line with the painted guides) and then they scanned our tickets through the glass and we were on our way.
They had blocked off the giant water globes that the kids all love to play with since its a high touch area.
The zoo had a specific path for everyone to follow, which is backwards from the way my family normally takes. But we were happy to observe it.
Next to each of the observation windows and areas there were painted guidelines for families to stand.
The families that were at the zoo at the same time as my family seemed to have no problem following the guidelines either. About half of them were wearing masks; which is recommended by the Louisville Zoo, but not required.
The new sloth exhibit opened, one of the sloths named Sunny was sleeping on a bucket while hanging on to a tree. Read more about the new sloth exhibit here.
Every zoo staff member was wearing a mask and very helpful in helping guide guests towards the right path and continue social distancing. I saw many employees cleaning and sanitizing rails or anything that had the potential to be touched.
There were many things that were closed to help social distancing:
Polar Bear indoor area
Restrooms by the Jaguar
Boma Petting Zoo
Bring a refillable water bottle and make sure you test your kids water bottles for temperature. There are many refillable stations throughout the zoo.
If you have a child or children in a stroller find a clip fan to attach to keep them cool
A spray bottle or a mist fan would definitely help to keep kids cool.
Wear light clothing and comfortable shoes
(This was the first zoo visit we've taken without strollers or backpack harness) Take breaks often and hydrate.
We had such an amazing time at the zoo. I think they did a great job at social distancing and helping keep guests safe. As a parent bringing my 4 year old twins and my 7 year old it was interesting to see how the kids adapted to the social distancing procedures. They did a lot better than I thought they would especially since this was the 1st big outing we had since everything shut down in March. My 7 year old did a great job with keeping her hands to herself, not touching glass or handrails and staying close to us. My 4 year olds needed some reminding not to rush the next family and keep their hands off of glass and hand rails. Although they did great when there was a zoo staff member guiding or if there was a painted animal print to stand on.
Here are some pictures of what we saw: