Des Moines, IA

Visiting Blank Park Zoo During Spring Break? Here's What You Need to Know!

Kimberly Ritter

Looking for fun things to do in Des Moines with kids? When you’re in Des Moines, you have to “do the zoo”. The Blank Park Zoo that is. Here is what you’ll want to know about this family-friendly attraction if you're visiting for the first time, or heading back for the first time since the pandemic began.

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Blank Park Zoo is located in Des Moines, Iowa and is the only accredited zoo in Iowa. Opened in 1966 and continuously remodeled and grown since the zoo is a member of the Association of Zoos and Aquariums (AZA) and a must-visit for any families who live in or who are visiting the central Iowa area.

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With a wide variety of exhibits, photo opportunities, and animals, Blank Park Zoo offers a fun and interactive experience for families and kids of all ages and is a great half-day adventureYou’ll find a fun variety of wildlife including an indoor discovery center with an aquarium and aviary, an African boardwalk, an Australian adventure complete with wallabies running free and a giant kid’s kingdom play area and a petting zoo. Some of our personal favorites include the African Cats, the sea lions and feeding the giraffes.


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How to Save Money at the Blank Park Zoo
Currently, ticket prices for adults (ages 13 – 64 years) are $14 per person and children ages 3 to 12 are $8. Seniors are $11 and children under 2 years of age are free. Ticket prices may change and may be different during special events so be sure to check their website here for the latest pricing.

There are small additional charges to feed the animals in the petting zoos, feeding the giraffes, the train and a few other fun experiences. While the zoo is open all year, some of these experiences are only open seasonally but are lots of fun and worth the extra investment. Find the list of open and closed exhibits at the Blank Park Zoo here.

In the summer months, ask about the all experience pass which includes admission into the zoo plus a ride bundle and feed bundle for Blank Park Zoo discounts.

Blank Park Zoo Coupons and Discounts
Blank Park Zoo is a participant in the Association of Zoos and Aquariums Reciprocity program. If you have a zoo membership to another AZA Zoo, admission is free. Groupon will occasionally have Blank Park Zoo coupons. Check here for special offers and discounts.

You can also save $1/ticket by purchasing an After 2 p.m. ticket. Blank Park Zoo offers a military discount. Active military & immediate family members receive $2 off, veterans receive $2 off. Group discounts for Blank Park Zoo are available for groups 15 and larger. Learn more here.

Blank Park Zoo Membership
If you are a Des Moines local and will be visiting the zoo more than once this year, save money at the Blank Park Zoo with a zoo membership. It quickly pays for itself and you’ll receive free, unlimited daytime admission to Blank Park Zoo for one year as well as free or reduced admission reciprocity to nearly 200 zoos and aquariums. Click here for a list – Blank Park Zoo members receive 50% off admission at Omaha Henry Doorly Zoo, Kansas City Zoo, and Great Plains Zoo. Blank Park Zoo members also get free admission to Zoo Brew, Adventure Days, Santa at the Zoo and other Zoo events. Visit the zoo’s website or ask a staff member for more details. We use our zoo membership regularly and even partner it with a Des Moines Science Center membership for even more fun stuff to do in Des Moines on a budget!

How to Get to the Blank Park Zoo
The Blank Park Zoo is located at 7401 SW 9th St in Des Moines, Iowa and is easily accessible from the interstate. Get detailed directions from the zoo website.

What Else to Know Before You Go to the Blank Park Zoo
The Blank Park Zoo does not allow outside food or drink, however, there are some nice picnic facilities right outside the entrance. There are also concessions available for purchase inside the park. Strollers are available to rent if needed. The zoo also offers many different special events and fun volunteer opportunities. If you have a teen who loves animals, be sure to check out the Zoo Crew for an amazing volunteer experience.

Covid-19 Precautions at the Blank Park Zoo

While reserved ticket times are no longer needed for daytime admission, reservations are still required for special events. Masks are currently required for ages two and above (photos shown are pre-Covid). See additional Covid-19 precautions here.

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Two Kids and a Coupon is a frugal family website that shares news, ideas, entertainment, activities, recipes, and tips for today’s busy parents and family on a budget.


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