Albuquerque Zoo

Giraffe Baby
••• Baby Giraffe. Courtesy of Albuququerque BioPark

The Albuquerque Zoo, or Rio Grande Zoo, features 64 park like acres with 12 separate exhibit areas focusing on animals from around the world. You'll find lions and tigers and bears, toucans, koalas, and reptiles, seals, apes, and zoo babies. In addition to animals from New Mexico, exhibits focus on the animals of Africa, Australia and Tropical America.

Exhibits educate and offer information about wildlife and the conservation efforts taking place in their natural habitats.

Exhibits include:

  • Africa
  • Amphibians: Life on a Limb
  • Apes
  • Australia
  • Cat Walk
  • Elephants
  • Mexican Gray Wolves
  • Polar Bears
  • Reptile House
  • Seals and Sea Lions
  • Tropical America
  • Zoo Babies

In addition to the exhibit areas, the zoo offers other activities. There are daily feedings of the polar bears, seals, and sea lions that can be seen year round. In summer, kids can feed the giraffes or lorikeets. From April through mid-October, the World Animals Encounters show at the Nature Theater features animals flying, crawling and climbing across the stage. When volunteers are available, everyone gets a chance to meet a porcupine, macaw, alpaca or llama up close. And Story Time Station brings the stories of animals to young children, every Thursday at 10:30 a.m. in the summer months.

The zoo is a wonderful place to bring a wagon and picnic lunch. Don't have your own wagon? You can rent one, as well as a stroller or wheelchair.

The large park near the ampitheater has shady trees and grass, so bring a blanket and spread out with a picnic or just to rest and let the kids run off energy. If you don't feel like packing a lunch, there are cafes and snackbars. And yes, there are several places to buy ice cream.

Kids can stuff their own animal at Critter Outfitters.

There are two gift shops: one near the entry and the other in the Africa exhibit.

Visiting the exhibits takes roughly two to three hours. Be sure to wear a hat and wear sunscreen, even in winter. Walking is generally flat, with a few areas having gentle grades and inclines. Anyone with difficulty walking may want to consider a wheelchair.

In addition to visiting the zoo's exhibits, there are annual events that are favorite activities for locals. The Mother's Day Concert, which features the New Mexico Philharmonic Orchestra, is a packed event. BioPark members get in to the concert free of charge. There's also a Father's Day Fiesta with mariachi music. Every summer, the Zoo Music concert series brings music to the zoo's park, and visitors get to visit the animals prior to the show.

The Zoo Boo, which happens every year before Halloween, is a wildly popular venue for safe trick or treating, and gives the kids yet another chance to dress up in costume. And the Run for the Zoo happens the first Sunday in May, bringing fitness to everyone while raising funds for the Albuquerque BioPark.


Albuquerque Rio Grande Zoo
903 Tenth Street SW
Albuquerque, NM 87102
(505) 768-2000

Hours and Admission:

Open 9 a.m. - 5 p.m. daily
Gates open 9 a.m. - 4:30 p.m. Ticket booths close 30 minutes before park closing.
Extended summer hours, June - August, 9 a.m. - 6 p.m. on Saturdays, Sundays and summer holidays (Memorial Day, Fourth of July and Labor Day)
Closed January 1, Thanksgiving and December 25

Single Admission/Combo Admission Adult (13-64) $12.50/$20
Senior (65+): $5.50/$10
Child (3-12): $4/$6
Children under 3 admitted free of charge.

New Mexico Resident Prices
Adult (13-64): $9/$15
Senior (65+): $4.50/$8
Child (3-12): $4/$6
Children under 3 admitted free of charge.

Military Discount
Available to active and non-active personnel with military ID.
$2 off general admission ticket for adults.
$1 off general admission ticket for children.

Members with a membership card receive unlimited general admission and discounts to special events.

Half price admission is given for members at reciprocal institutions. Half Price Weekends
The zoo offers single admission half-off tickets during special discount weekends. Half-price days occur every three months, in January, April, July and October.

Train Tickets
Zoo Train Rides: $3 adults, $2 child: Purchase at Africa Train Station
Member Train Pass: $2/$2: Good for unlimited train rides. Purchase at ticket booth with NMBPS membership. No train service on Mondays or December 24.

Singe admission includes the Zoo OR the Aquarium/Botanic Garden.
Combo admission includes the Zoo, Aquarium, Botanic Garden and unlimited train rides.
It is best to purchase or redeem the combo ticket 9 a.m. - noon, Tuesdays - Sundays. There is no train service on Mondays, and there is not enough time to see all facilities after noon.

Getting There:

The zoo is located just south of downtown, in Barelas.
By car, take Central Avenue to 10th Street and turn south (a left if traveling west, a right if traveling east). Drive about eight blocks and find the zoo on your right. There is plenty of parking at the zoo, with several lots. Parking is free.
By bus, take the 66 line to Central and 10th. The zoo is eight blocks south, about 1/2 mile.
Bus 53 stops one block from the zoo entrance.

Animal Feeding Times:

Crocodiles: 3:45 p.m. Fridays
Polar Bears: temporarily cancelled.
Seals and Sea Lions: 10:30 a.m. and 3:30 p.m. daily
Giraffes: Noon - 1:30 p.m., Memorial Day - Labor Day (summer only). Wednesdays - Sundays, $2.
Lorikeets: 10 a.m. - 11:30 a.m. and 2 p.m. - 3 p.m., Memorial Day through Labor Day (summer only). $2 per cup of nectar.
Alpaca and llama cruising: 10 a.m. and 1 p.m., as volunteer schedules permit.
Hippo feeding: 2 p.m. daily
Porcupine stroll: 11 a.m. in fall, winter and spring; noon in summer (Memorial - Labor Day), as volunteer schedules permit.

Discover the Aquarium, Botanic Garden and Tingley Beach on a BioPark combo ticket.