Audubon announces Cool Zoo opening dates for 2023 season

NEW ORLEANS (NOLA WEEKEND) - Audubon Zoo’s popular water attractions, Cool Zoo and the Gator Run lazy river, will reopen for the 2023 season on May 6.

The attractions will initially run on a weekends-only schedule through the end of May, Audubon officials announced in a release.

Cool Zoo returns with all its visitor-favorite features: the alligator water slide, the spider monkey soaker, water-spitting snakes and shady spots for grown-ups. The attraction also features the 750-foot-long Gator Run lazy river course with two sand beaches and water cannons.

Audubon will offer two sessions each day for guests to enjoy Cool Zoo while visiting Audubon Zoo. These two daily sessions allow Audubon to manage capacity and clean between sessions. The two sessions are 10 a.m. – 1 p.m. and 2 p.m. – 5 p.m.

Each day, between sessions at 1 p.m., Cool Zoo will close to allow Audubon staff ample time to clean all shared equipment and surfaces, officials said.

Beginning May 29, the water park will be open daily for guests to enjoy. It will return to weekends-only operation on Aug. 5, until it closes for the season on Sept. 4.

Gator Run includes showers, restrooms, lockers, outdoor seating, a private area for nursing mothers, and the “Gator Bites” concession stand, serving a menu of pizza and other food and beverage items.

Rafts are included in the admission price for Gator Run. Anyone under 48 inches will need a life jacket supplied by Audubon Zoo.

Officials say outside food and drinks are welcomed in Cool Zoo and Gator Run, but the size of coolers and ice chests cannot exceed 28 quarts. Glass containers and disposable straws and lids are not permitted.

Cool Zoo tickets can be purchased online and at the Zoo front gate. Regular admission to Cool Zoo, including Gator Run, is $9 for Audubon Nature Institute Members and $12 for non-members, plus Audubon Zoo admission.

For more details, about tickets, cabana rentals, and the 2023 season schedule visit the website.

Shan Bailey

Shan Bailey

Shan Bailey is the digital content producer and on-air personality for FOX 8 Nola Weekend. Shan is a creative storyteller who is passionate about creating compelling content that connects with audiences.