Kansas City Zoo


DESCRIPTION: The Kansas City Zoo & Aquarium offers visitors the unique experience of seeing more than 1,700 animals in naturalistic settings representing the seven continents—all stretched across 202 acres in Swope Park. 

ADDRESS: 6800 Zoo Drive, Kansas City, Mo. 64132

LOCATION: In Swope Park, across from Starlight Theatre.

PHONE: 816-595-1234

WEBSITE: www.kansascityzoo.org


  • Animals from around the globe call the KC Zoo & Aquarium home. Lions, elephants, giraffes and more reside in the 95-acre African plains. Step across the 1909 swinging bridge to visit the gorilla troop in the West African forest. Orangutans, kangaroos and tigers dwell in the Australian and Asian habitats. 
  • The Zoo also features the popular Polar Bear Passage, Helzberg Penguin Plaza, Stingray Bay and Sea Lion Splash for those who seek up-close encounters. 
  • Get up close and personal with primates in one of the most intimate and impressive chimpanzee exhibits in the world. 
  • Step inside the free-roaming kangaroo habitat and come nose-to-nose with a mob of red kangaroo. 
  • Five transportation options to explore the Zoo include a train, tram, Endangered Species Carousel, boat and the African Sky Safari.

HOURS: Summer hours open 9:30 a.m.-4 p.m. weekdays, 9:30 a.m.-5 p.m. on weekends. Winter hours open daily 9:30 a.m. - 4 p.m.



  • $25 adults ages 12 and older
  • $23 seniors ages 55 and older
  • $23 children ages 3-11
  • Free admission for children ages 2 and under

Jackson and Clay County residents:

  •  $12.50 adults
  •  $10.50 seniors
  •  $10.50 children ages 3-11
  • Free admission for children ages 2 and under


HISTORY: Planning for the Kansas City Zoo began following the formation of the Kansas City Zoological Society in 1907. The society requested 60 acres in Swope Park and $32,000 from the Kansas City Board of Parks and Recreation to begin construction. The gates opened to the public on Dec. 13, 1909. Zoo development gained momentum in the ’50s and ’60s, with the addition of several new exhibits and the launch of its non-profit organization, Friends of the Zoo. In 1991, a $50-million bond issue brought the zoo to its current 202 acres, adding the Australia and Africa sections. As a result, the Zoo witnessed record numbers in 1998—more than 700,000 visitors. In January 2006, Zoo officials announced a $30 million fundraising campaign to aid exhibit maintenance, walkway renovations plus the additions of penguin and polar bear exhibits. In 2011, Clay and Jackson Counties passed a sales tax, creating the Zoological District to provide the Zoo with additional funding.

WHERE TO GET LUNCH: Located throughout the park, the Zoo’s restaurants and snack bars offer everything from cotton candy and Dip-N-Dots to larger meals. Picnic areas are also available.

HANDS-ON ACTIVITIES: At Stingray Bay, guests can interact with underwater creatures by touching stingrays and bamboo sharks, an experience that's included in Zoo admission.

WHAT’S NEARBY: The Zoo is located in Swope Park, a 1,769-acre urban park that offers two golf courses, a Braille trail and the Lakeside Nature Center among its many amenities. Starlight Theatre, which plays host to several Broadway musicals and concerts in the summer season, is next door to the Zoo.

DID YOU KNOW: The Kansas City Zoo has four black rhinos, nearly 1 percent of the species’ world population.

DON’T FORGET: The size of the Kansas City Zoo. With more than 200 acres of exhibits and attractions, Zoo officials recommend allotting four to six hours to view all the animals. Prior to your visit, access the Zoo’s website for a printable map of exhibits, show schedules and list of visitor tips.

GROUP TOURS: Accommodating 10-500 participants, groups 20 people and larger receive a group rate discount on admission. Groups can reserve their visit by emailing groupsales@fotzkc.org. Visit the webiste for more information.

PARKING: Free in the zoo’s three large parking lots near the front entrance.

PUBLIC RELATIONS CONTACT: Ellie McMullen (816) 595-1205; elliemcmullen@fotzkc.org.

Media Contacts

Makenzie Wolters
Makenzie Wolters (KC/Regional Media)
Visit KC
Derek Klaus
Derek Klaus (National Media)

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