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Audubon Zoo in New Orleans

How to Save Money on Tickets

Updated: March 27, 2024

This post is about visiting the Audubon Zoo and goes over what to expect from your visit, directions there, hours, and ticket information including how to find deals to save you money.

As local walking tour guides, we’ve all been to the Zoo and enjoyed it a lot. To make your visit the best it can be we’ve pooled our knowledge to answer any questions you may have.

We also looked at comments from the more than 40,000 members of our New Orleans Travel Tips Facebook group to see what they think of the Zoo. You can see what they said at the bottom of this post.

Our Facebook group consists of locals, repeat visitors to NOLA, and newcomers to the city. You don't need to join the group to read the posts, comments, and advice.

So when you are done reading this post why not have a look? You can even post a question yourself!


The Audubon Zoo is considered one of the best zoos in the United States. It covers roughly 58 acres and houses more than 2,000 animals from around the world, including endangered species.

The Zoo is part of the Audubon Nature Institute in New Orleans which also runs the Audubon Aquarium and the Audubon Butterfly Garden and Insectarium.

The Zoo is popular with guests of all ages and it’s a ‘must-see’ attraction for animal lovers.

TIP: Check out our family-friendly guide to New Orleans for more ideas for things to do with kids.



The Zoo is open from 10 am to 5 pm every day of the year with the exception of Thanksgiving Day, Christmas Day and Mardi Gras (Fat Tuesday).

Note that Fat Tuesday falls on a different date each year so be sure to check the date before you plan your trip to the zoo.

As you can probably imagine, Audubon Zoo is a very popular attraction in New Orleans.

Due to its popularity, you will want to consider not only when you visit, but also how much time to spend there.

With so much to see and experience, we recommend giving yourself plenty of time to explore the grounds at great length.

How to Get Here

The entrance to the Audubon Zoo is at 6500 Magazine Street, New Orleans, LA 70118. It is inside Audubon Park.

You can use this Google Maps link to get exact directions from your point of departure.

No matter which direction you're coming from, it should be fairly easy to reach this location.

How to get to Audubon Zoo in New Orleans

By Car

Parking in the zoo's private lot is free!

Visitor drop-off/pick-up is permitted at the front gate which makes it easier for our group to hop out at the entrance while you park the car.

See the Audubon website for Directions to the Zoo and Free Parking Facilities.

By Street Car

It's easy to reach the zoo by streetcar. (New to New Orleans? Read our post on how to ride the streetcars in New Orleans.)

From the French Quarter or Central Business District, you can take the St. Charles Streetcar from Canal Street.

Take the streetcar at the "St Charles at Tulane/Loyola" stop. Once you exit the streetcar, you will enter Audubon Park on St. Charles Avenue. 

Walk through the park following the circular jogging path in either direction until you reach the Magazine Street side of the park. 

Cross Magazine Street to reach the Zoo at 6500 Magazine Street.

NOTE: Previously the zoo ran a shuttle from the streetcar stop, though it is not currently running. Check the zoo website for any updates.

By Bus

Take the #11 line on Magazine Street. You can get off at Stop #129/Audubon Park and walk to the zoo or ride the bus past the park to Carrollton Ave. 

Taking the #11 bus is approximately 40 min from the French Quarter.

Here's a


This section lists ticket prices. But don’t pay full price if you don’t have to! Check out the Ways to Save section below to see how to get into the Zoo for free.

Ticket Prices

  • Monday - Thursdays
    • Adult (Ages 13-64) $30
    • Child (Ages 2-12) $25
    • Senior (Ages 65+) $25
  • Friday - Sunday
    • Adult (Ages 13-64) $35
    • Child (Ages 2-12) $30
    • Toddlers under 2 are free
    • Senior (Ages 65+) $30

Click here to purchase tickets and to find out more information.


Zoo tickets can be purchased separately or in combination with tickets for the Aquarium and the Insectarium.

Combo tickets are less expensive than if you purchased each attraction individually.

When you purchase a ticket for the Zoo and one other attraction you save 25%.

When you purchase all three attractions you save 42%.

You have three days to use your ticket so you can visit them on different days if you like.

Zoo and either the Aquarium OR Insectarium

  • Adult: $50
  • Senior: $45
  • Child: $45
  • Click here for more information.

Zoo and AND Aquarium AND Insectarium

This includes general admission to the Zoo and the other two attractions.

You have three days to use your ticket so you can visit them on different days if you like.

  • Adult: $60
  • Senior: $55
  • Child: $55

Click here for more information.


This section covers some of the best ways to save money on tickets for the Audubon Zoo.

We include information about common deals that are not currently available but might be offered in the future.

1. Use a Tourist Pass

Entrance to the Audubon Zoo and the Aquarium are both included for free with the purchase of the New Orleans Sightseeing Pass, a money-saving tourist attraction card.

*Currently, the Zoo is not included in these passes, but has been in the past and may be in the future. It's worth checking back.

This service allows you to pay one flat price for access to dozens of activities and attractions.

If you're planning to visit multiple locations in New Orleans, this is a great way to save money. Read our post on the pros and cons of a tourist pass.

2. Senior Discount

Senior citizens (65+) save $5 off tickets upon providing proof of their age.

3. Children's Discount

Parents with children under 12 can get $5 off tickets for their kids. Any children under the age of 2 are granted free admission.

4. Become a Member

Audubon Zoo memberships include unlimited free admission to the Zoo, the Aquarium and the Insectarium for an entire year.

Members also receive savings at the gift shop and invitations to special events at the zoo.

While an Individual Membership for one adult is $100, the Dual Membership is $165, which reduces the price for each adult to just over $82.

If you make four visits in a year to any or all of the Audubon facilities, a membership will save you money!

Plus seniors (65+) save 20% off of Individual and Dual levels for Members.

The Family Membership is even better. It costs $219.95 for two adults at the same address and two children.

5. Orleans Parish Appreciation Free Days

Orleans Parish residents receive free admission to the three Audubon attractions (Aquarium, Zoo, and Insectarium) for themselves and up to four guests when they present a valid government-issued photo ID.

This opportunity is offered only on certain days. Read more here.

6. Public Library Culture Pass

Audubon has partnered with New Orleans Public Library to offer Culture Passes for checkout by Orleans Parish library cardholders.

A limited number of passes are set aside each day and are valid for up to five admissions.

Reserve a pass here or call the Library at 504-529-7323 or visit any Orleans Parish Library location.

7. Free Tickets for SNAP Participants

Orleans Parish SNAP participants and up to four guests receive free admission to the Zoo and Aquarium when they present a valid ID that matches their SNAP card.

Read more here

8. Military Discount

Although this is not currently being offered, the zoo may offer reduced-price tickets to military and veterans in the future.

9. AAA Deals

Currently, AAA members are not eligible for reduced-price tickets

10. Educator Offers

Currently, teachers are not eligible for reduced-price tickets at Audubon Zoo.

This may change in the future, but there is no indication that they have any plans for that.

11. Group Rates

Reduced-price tickets are available to groups with 20 or more guests. This does not include guests under 2 years of age.

Find out more here.

12. Deals Websites

Audubon Zoo is not currently listed on sites like Groupon and LivingSocial, but there's a possibility that it will be added to these services in the near future.

These sites typically provide tickets at a lower price than usual and often offer additional savings on top of the lower prices found on their website.


There are over a dozen exhibits at Audubon Zoo. Even though it would be easy to spend an entire day wandering around, you might want to consider going to the zoo with a game plan in mind.

Here is a quick overview of the exhibits that may interest you. You can find more details about the exhibits on the zoo's website.

If you are visiting in the summer, you might want to save some time to enjoy the Cool Zoo - the waterpark inside the zoo. Read more below.

African Savanna

This exhibit features a variety of animals that you might expect to see on the African Savanna.

While at this attraction, you will find animals such as zebras, giraffes, and African-painted dogs.

Wings of the World

In this immersive experience, more than 60 birds from around the world fly freely through the aviary!

Some of the birds here are endangered species, and Audubon Zoo has allowed them to thrive once more.


It's the largest continent on earth, so visitors shouldn't be surprised to find that there are some big animals housed at this exhibit.

You'll find elephants, orangutans, tigers, sun bears, and more at the Asia display.

Bambu Village

If you're hoping to have an encounter with some of the animals at Audubon Zoo, a visit to the Bambu Village is an absolute must.

This location features animals that are touch-friendly and provides a lot of information about them along the way.

Flamingo Exhibit

As the name implies, this is where you'll find the flamingos. This zoo has two flocks of flamingos, one in the plaza and another near the aviary.

They recommend visiting in the spring and summer to see these incredible birds laying eggs and raising their young.

Jaguar Jungle

This exhibit features jaguars in an encampment designed to replicate the environment of a Mayan rainforest.

In addition to the beautiful animals in the area, the Jaguar Jungle also includes a lot of information about animals in South America.

Louisiana Swamp

Have you ever been to a zoo with white alligators, water snakes, and blue crabs?

Audubon Zoo is proud to offer this award-winning exhibit which provides visitors with a unique and educational experience of the Louisiana Swamps.

Monkey Hill

Once known as the highest point in NOLA, Monkey Hill now includes a five-level treehouse that gives visitors a chance to take a break.

This area includes a new slide and wading pools for young guests to play and cool off after a long day at the zoo.

Swamp Train

Hop on this tram for a narrated scenic ride around the Odenheimer Sea Lion Pool, to the Wings of the World exhibit. 

The route loops in front of the Louisiana Swamp exhibit and weaves its way through the reptile house.

This is fun for all ages!

Reptile Encounter

At Audubon Zoo, you can both see and have an actual encounter with a variety of different reptiles.

This exhibit includes animals such as a Komodo dragon, panther chameleons, and even cobras!

World of Primates

This exhibit includes a variety of primates from around the world such as western lowland gorillas (the most popular in the exhibit), striking lemurs, loud siamang, mandrills, and active golden lion tamarins.

This is also where you will find the new silverback gorilla troop!

Sea Lions

Depending on when you visit, you might be able to see the Sea Lions performing a variety of tricks for their trainers.

This exhibit includes an underwater viewing area so visitors can see them swimming around.

Whooping Cranes

This exhibit is a wonderful opportunity to see a rare and beautiful bird that has unfortunately become an endangered species.

Learn about the conservation efforts that are being made to help Whooping Cranes survive.

Virtual Reality Experiences

The zoo has four exciting virtual reality journeys to get up close and personal with animals of all kinds.

Each VR experience costs $10 per person (this is in addition to your Zoo ticket).

Gorilla Trek: Trek 10,000 feet to visit with a remarkable family of mountain gorillas. 

Swimming with Humpbacks: Follow a marine biologist studying mother humpback whales and their calves.

Flight of the Mantas: Journey beneath the waters off the coast of Mozambique and swim with majestic Manta Rays.

Shark Dive: Search for the mythical Tiger Beach, where it is said some of the world’s largest sharks amass.

Sold on-site only at the Zoo front gate and at the VR pod attraction


Located inside the zoo, this water park is a great place to take your kids either before or after visiting the zoo.

Cool Zoo tickets are not included with zoo tickets, but it is so fabulous it is well worth it!

In addition to water slides and an attraction known as the Gator Run, you'll also find snakes that spit water and spider monkey soakers among other fun activities.

There's plenty to see and do at Cool Zoo, but they also provide shaded seating for adults who just want to take a break.

Cool Zoo Operational Schedule - Summer 2024

  • May 4, 2024 – May 19, 2024 –  Open Weekends Only
  • May 25, 2024 – August 3, 2024 – Open Daily
  • August 4, 2024 – September 1, 2024 – Open Weekends Only
  • September 2, 2024 (Labor Day) – Open for Last Day


  • $12 per person. Zoo members receive $4 off.
  • You must purchase tickets for a specific session time:
  • Session 1 is 10 am - 1 pm and Session 2 is 2 pm - 5 pm
  • Guests under 12 must be accompanied by an adult
  • Rainchecks are available when Cool Zoo must close for 2 hours or more

Cool Zoo tickets can be purchased online and at the zoo's front gate.


Audubon Zoo has received an overall rating of 4 ½ out of 5 stars on TripAdvisor.

Although this score tells us that most people enjoyed their experience, a number can't explain why there were so many positive ratings.

In an attempt to provide a more accurate representation of these reviews, we will do our best to reveal the most common compliments and complaints.

Great for Kids

It probably won't surprise anyone to find out that kids love to visit the zoo.

That being said, the Audubon Zoo offers a lot of opportunities for kids to play and even encounter a few animals.

Visitors indicate that their children adored the experience with all of the exhibits on display.

Whether fun or educational, it would appear that young guests really enjoy all of the activities offered here.

Monkey Hill

Speaking of kids having fun, Monkey Hill was pretty much made for them.

Several guests appreciate the wading pool at this exhibit which gives children an opportunity to cool off on hot days.

Reviewers noted that the climbing area and five-level treehouse were also very popular with younger visitors, allowing them to play around while parents take a break.

Louisiana Swamp

This award-winning swamp exhibit has received a lot of love from both the community and reviewers on TripAdvisor.

Some guests feel that this is the display that sets Audubon Zoo apart from other wildlife parks in the United States.

After all, it's not every day that you get to see alligators at the zoo!

Visitors appreciate that these animals are living in their natural habitat.

Train Ride

Whether you just want a break from all the walking or your kids want to experience a fun ride through the zoo, their train ride is a very popular option.

Although this attraction costs extra, guests indicate that the trip is worth the price.

Several reviewers were very happy with the opportunity to get a behind-the-scenes look at the zoo.

Carousel Ride

Most visitors who enjoyed the train ride also report that the carousel is fantastic.

Considering that this ride is far less expensive, some parents may want to consider it as an alternative to the train.

This carousel is routinely described as either "gorgeous" or "beautiful," and reviewers recommend taking your kids on for at least one ride before leaving the zoo.

Audubon Park

Even though there's a lot of walking to do in the Audubon Zoo, guests love the fact that it is located in the middle of a wonderful park.

Visitors frequently comment on the scenery, describing the area as lovely and beautiful.

Even reviewers who took the free shuttle have left compliments about the park area and its many historic oak trees.

While some choose to walk through the park either before or after their trip, others may find that activity is a bit too taxing.

Too Much Walking

Although there weren't many negative reviews to speak of, those that have been left frequently take issue with the amount of walking that is required.

This is a rather large zoo, and there is a lot of ground to cover.

Even if you're in great shape, chances are that you'll be tuckered out after a few hours at the Audubon Zoo.

This may be an issue for some visitors, but most reviewers don't seem to mind.

Not Enough Animals

This was another common thread throughout most of the negative reviews.

It appears that some guests didn't get the chance to see some of their favorite creatures, and others felt that there simply weren't enough animals on display at this zoo.

Considering the fact that they have dozens of exhibits, most with more than one animal on display, this may be one of the most confusing complaints of the bunch.


In addition to all of the exhibits and activities they offer at Audubon Zoo, there are special events throughout the year.

Many are free with the purchase of general admission tickets while some require separate tickets.

Here are some that take place annually but be sure to check the calendar here to see what is happening when you are in town!

Zoo Lights

When the holiday season rolls around, Audubon Zoo celebrates with several family-friendly attractions.

The main event is their lighting displays, which are designed to look just like some of their most popular animals such as alligators, elephants, and more.

In addition, guests can enjoy visits with Santa and rides on the carousel or train. 

Endangered Species Day 

In May, the Audubon Zoo offers guests the opportunity to learn about the importance of protecting endangered species. 

This event also takes place at the Audubon Aquarium so this is a perfect day to buy a combo ticket!

Dinner and a ZOOvie

On various nights throughout both June and July, the Audubon Zoo offers visitors the opportunity to enjoy a movie at their facility.

Tickets are only $6 per person and food trucks will be available on-site to provide snacks and refreshments. You can also get a ticket to Cool Zoo/Gator Run for an additional $6.

Admission for this event begins at 6 pm, but the movie doesn't start until 8 pm.

Boo at the Zoo

In celebration of Halloween, the zoo will be transformed with a lot of fun and spooky activities. Kids can enjoy trick-or-treating houses, a ghost train, a haunted house, games, and more.

All of these activities are entirely free with admission to Audubon Zoo.

Zoo-To-Do For Kids

Held in the last week in April, this special event offers arcade games, giant inflatables to bounce on, live performances, arts & crafts and delicious snacks.

General admission to the zoo begins at 6 pm. Tickets for this event are $35.

Zoo-To-Do for Adults

The adult version of Zoo-To-Do is held the week following the Kids event. In addition to live entertainment, you can also expect local bars and restaurants to provide refreshments.

A silent auction and raffle will be held during this special occasion, giving visitors the opportunity to win a car and other interesting items.

Tickets are much more expensive than usual, ranging from $85-$175 per person.


While our local tour guides love the Audubon Zoo, we thought you should hear what others had to say about it.

Here are some thoughts and suggestions on the Zoo from members of our New Orleans Travel Tips Facebook group, as well as from similar Facebook groups like this one.

Many travelers to NOlA which has so much to offer wonder if going to the zoo is worth the time.

For the most part, comments are extremely positive. Of course, one must like zoos in the first place to enjoy the experience.

Often, travelers with children plan a visit to the zoo. The great thing about this zoo is that it is suitable for people of all ages!

Here, Denise loves the zoo so much she makes multiple trips a year with her grandson. (Anyone who may go this often should consider a membership discussed above).

Jenelle and her children love the zoo so much they are going back for a third time.

The Zoo isn't just for kids so consider going!

A common question is if it is possible to do the Zoo and the Aquarium in one day.

Here, Bobbie confirms that it is possible if you don't mind traveling from one location to another. 

If you do decide to visit both, be sure to get a combo ticket to save you money. Read more about the Audubon Aquarium.

One consideration is that the Zoo is large, and while you could speed through it, you might not have as good an experience.

What if you can only squeeze one into your packed schedule? Here is a solid vote for the Zoo.

Here, Jodi is also a big Zoo fan but feels your time is better spent by going to the Aquarium. 

It’s smaller than the zoo so you can get through it quickly and still have time to do many great things nearby.

A frequent question in various New Orleans Travel Groups on Facebook like ours is about the best way to get to the zoo.

Our instructions above cover all the options, but here we offer the opinions of people who have made the trip.

The street car was most often recommended.

One point of disagreement was about the walk to the Zoo from the streetcar stop.

While Chirtsopher above feels it is a short walk, below Sandy suggests it is more than just a short stroll.

Here Paul suggests that if the walk through the zoo is too much for you, consider the bus which stops at the Zoo.

He also mentions that taxis and Ubers can take you to the Zoo. Jill found that an Uber was a better choice than dealing with driving and parking.

Here, Jodi has all her bases covered! Why not a bit of all the options?

Ultimately, it comes down to your point of departure, your interest in how you must walk from the bus/streetcar stops, and your budget.

About The Author

Sarah Hester

Sarah first moved to New Orleans in 2001 to work for the American Red Cross of Southeast Louisiana. While working in the communities of New Orleans she fell in love with the unique culture of the Big Easy; it's food, music, architecture, wildlife, and most of all history. Read More... Sarah began her career with FTBF, first as a guide, then as an owner/operator. She believes every day is a good day if she gets to impart her love of her beloved New Orleans with Free Tours By Foot guests. She especially likes to convert new Who Dat Saints Fans!
Updated: March 27th, 2024
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