NEW ORLEANS (press release) –  Cool Zoo and the Gator Run lazy river, Audubon Zoo’s popular water attractions, will open for the 2022 season on a weekend-only schedule beginning Saturday, May 7.   

Audubon will offer two sessions each day for guests to enjoy Cool Zoo while visiting Audubon Zoo. These two daily sessions allow Audubon to manage capacity and clean between sessions. At 1 p.m. each day, between sessions, Cool Zoo will close to allow Audubon staff ample time to clean all shared equipment and surfaces. The two sessions are 10 a.m. – 1 p.m. and 2 p.m. – 5 p.m.  

“We are very excited to welcome our guests back to Cool Zoo for the 2022 season,” said Audubon’s Senior Vice President and Managing Director of Uptown Facilities Daine Appleberry. “Cool Zoo is a great way to stay cool while visiting the Zoo.” 

Beginning May 30, the water park will be open Thursday through Monday for weekly operation. On August 6, the park will return to weekends-only through Labor Day, September 5, when the water park will close for the 2022 season.  

Regular admission to Cool Zoo, including Gator Run, is $8 for Audubon Nature Institute Members and $10 for non-Members, plus Audubon Zoo admission. Cool Zoo tickets can be purchased online and at the Zoo front gate beginning May 2. For more details, about tickets, cabana rentals, and the 2022 season schedule click here.  

Cool Zoo includes all its visitor-favorite features: the alligator water slide, the spider monkey soaker, water-spitting snakes, and shady spots for grownups. Back for its seventh year, the Gator Run lazy river offers Zoo visitors the option to cool down by floating atop an inner tube along a course that measures 750 feet in length. Three-feet-deep and 10-feet-wide, the lazy river features two sand beaches and water cannons that can be used to shower visitors as they float by.  

Gator Run includes showers, restrooms, lockers, outdoor seating, a private area for nursing mothers, and the “Gator Bites” concession stand, serving a menu of pizza and other food and beverage items.  

Rafts are included in the admission price for Gator Run. Anyone under 48 inches will need a life jacket supplied by Audubon Zoo.  

Outside food and drinks are welcomed in Cool Zoo and Gator Run, but the size of coolers and ice chests cannot exceed 28 quarts. Glass containers and disposable straws and lids are not permitted for the safety of our animals. Audubon reserves the right to search coolers.  

Cool Zoo birthday parties are also back for the 2022 season! Celebrate a birthday party at Cool Zoo by blowing out candles in a private cabana party space. Enjoy food package selections that include chicken fingers, pizza, ice cream, and more. An incredible way to create amazing birthday memories while leaving a positive impact on nature and wildlife. For all birthday party package details go to: https://audubonnatureinstitute.org/zoo-birthdays 

2022 Cool Zoo/Gator Run Operating Schedule:  

Saturday, May 7, – Sunday, May 29   

Weekends only (Sat. & Sun)   

10 a.m. – 1 p.m. & 2 p.m. – 5 p.m.   

Monday, May 30, – Sunday, July 31 

Weekly operation (Thur. – Mon)   

110 a.m. – 1 p.m. & 2 p.m. – 5 p.m.      

Saturday, August 6, – Sunday, September 4   

Weekends only (Sat. & Sun)   

110 a.m. – 1 p.m. & 2 p.m. – 5 p.m.   

Monday, September 5 

Labor Day (final day)   

110 a.m. – 1 p.m. & 2 p.m. – 5 p.m.