By Darla Shelden, City Sentinel Reporter –
This story first appeared online on Dec. 13, 2020.
OKLAHOMA CITY – Bring adventure and fun to everyone on your holiday list with “gifts gone wild” from the Oklahoma City Zoo and Botanical Garden. Zoo gift ideas include stocking stuffers, one-of-a-kind items and memorable holiday experiences.
Shop budget-friendly finds for the entire family at both the OKC Zoo and its new holiday Pop-Up Shop located in the Penn Square Mall’s Santa’s center court.
Open now through Christmas Eve, Thursday, December 24, the Zoo’s Pop-Up Shop is the perfect spot to purchase exclusive gift gone wild items. For hours and a complete list of gift selections, click here.
Give your family and friends hours of wildlife connections with a ZOOfriends memberships. Members enjoy free admission to the OKC Zoo for a year, plus additional benefits and discounts. All membership levels will be available for purchase.
Adventure Packs offerlimited gift options, which include general Zoo admission for two or four people, OKC Zoo Keys and more.
Family Membership Packs include a ZOOfriends family membership plus, an animal plush and OKC Zoo Key.
Must Have Stocking Stuffers include OKC ZOO POO, Zoo Keys, custom Zoo ornaments, plush toys and more.
ZOOfriends memberships and Adventure Packs will also be available at the Zoo in the Guest Services office, 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. daily. Masks are required for all guests 11 and older upon entry into Guest Services.
OKC Zoo’s Safari Gift Shop features original Zoo apparel, eco-friendly and sustainable items, enriching toys and books for kids, home décor and more. Make it a hippo-happy holiday and shop the Zoo’s collection of popular hippo gifts including ornaments, plush toys and this year’s hippo shirt. These popular items are back with a festive new design.
Celebrate the Zoo’s connection to the iconic holiday song “I Want a Hippopotamus for Christmas” with new limited-edition shirts, available in adult and youth sizes.
During December, ZOOfriends members will enjoy 20 percent off everything, including clearance items. The Safari Gift Shop is open daily during regular Zoo hours. Zoo Admission is not required to shop.
Art Gone Wild, the Zoo’s collection of original animal paintings, are available for purchase this holiday season. As part of the Zoo’s enrichment program, many animals including elephants, sea lions, tigers and more paint during enrichment sessions with assistance from their caregivers. Painting prices range from $35 to $300, depending on size. All net proceeds benefit one of the Zoo’s local conservation initiatives.
Art Gone Wild is on display in the Zoo’s Guest Services office located in the entry plaza. Hours are 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. daily. Masks are required for all guests 11 and older upon entry into Guest Services.
This holiday season, double your impact by giving a ZOOfriends Membership, a gift friends will enjoy while helping to conserve wildlife and wild places. Every dollar spent with the Oklahoma Zoological Society aids animal conservation, education and care.
Guests can make a holiday donation in someone’s name, which is a great way to honor an animal-loving family member or friend by supporting animal conservation. A gift to the Oklahoma Zoological Society provides operational dollars that the OKC Zoo can put to work immediately. Text “ZOOFRIENDS” to 44-321.
Donations can also be made to celebrate the arrival of Yabi, the sixth Indian rhino born at the Oklahoma City Zoo in November. Symbolically adopt Yabi, and receive a rhino plush toy, adoption certificate, ZOOfriends tote bag and an Indian rhino fact sheet.
Animal Adoptions, another holiday gift idea ranging from $40 to $100, are a great way to support the health, enrichment and the nutritional needs for the Zoo’s animal family. Learn more at zoofriends.org/animal-adoptions.
Located in the Zoo’s Entry Plaza, a Personalized Brick Paver, can be purchased to ensure any recipient has a permanent place at the Oklahoma City Zoo. Bricks start at $100 and support the ZOOfund for Kids scholarship program. Bricks are limited – only 40 remain. For more information, visit zoofriends.org/brick-pavers.
Gift purchases and membership bundles can be made in person at the ZOOfriends membership office located in the Zoo’s Entry Plaza, 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. daily or online at zoofriends.org/give.
All contributions to the Oklahoma Zoological Society, a501(c)(3) not-for-profit organization, are tax-deductible.
Zoo winter hours are Thursdays through Mondays from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. daily with no public access on Tuesdays and Wednesdays. Advance tickets are required for all guests and ZOOfriends members and can be purchased at okczoo.org/tickets
Zoo tickets are limited each day to ensure safe social distancing among guests. Regular admission is $12 for adults and $9 for children ages 3-11 and seniors ages 65 and over. Children two and under are admitted free.