Penguin Encounter

Birds that can't fly?! Discover all of the amazing adaptations these creatures possess. Understand life from the perspective of a penguin and get the opportunity to have a close up encounter with one of our penguin ambassadors!

Tuesdays and Saturdays at 10:30 a.m.

Price: $160

Price covers group entry for up to 4 people

Location: Meet at the penguin building 15 minutes before your encounter.

Penguin Encounter

Health and Safety Notes

Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the zoo has instigated special procedures to protect the health and safety of all our guests, staff and animals. Please understand that we strive to bring our guests the best experiences possible while keeping everyone safe and comfortable.

With this in mind, our behind-the-scenes encounters are available to related groups. We cannot mix groups of guests who are not closely acquainted. So, bookings are for singular groups for one, set price. The cost of the encounter covers entry for up to 4 people in one group.

Know Before You Go

  • Meet inside the Penguin Building at the Penguin Encounter sign 15 minutes before your encounter begins. If you arrive after the encounter begins, your reservation will be forfeited with no refund.
  • Please ensure that all guests participating in the encounter are wearing closed-toed shoes.
  • A locker will be available to store your belongings at the beginning of your encounter.
  • Keep your ticket to show the keepers for your encounter.
  • Ages 6 and up.


Frequently Asked Questions

Meet inside the Penguin Building at the Penguin Encounter sign. Keep your ticket to show the keepers to enter the encounter.

You may bring your stroller part of the way. However, you will be required to leave the stroller in a public area when you go behind the scenes. It is advised not to leave valuable personal belongings on strollers.

Please wear closed-toed shoes to fully enjoy the experience. Sunglasses, jewelry and other loose items will have to be removed for penguin encounters.

You are welcome to bring only one person, but we cannot split the ticket cost.

This encounter does feature multiple sets of stairs with no chair lift, a narrow hallway, and small wooden stools to sit on for 15 minutes or longer during the encounter. If you have any further questions, please call us at 903-593-0121 or email us at

Direct contact with any of our animals is not guaranteed, and will be at the discretion of the keeper.

Reservations are only valid for the date booked. Encounter fees are non-refundable, however the program can be rescheduled when possible (as long as the request is made two weeks in advance of date of experience). All encounters are subject to availability. Not all encounters include admission. Admission for encounters is required but not necessarily included. Be sure to read encounter information thoroughly. Caldwell Zoo has the right to cancel these programs at any time without prior notice for full refund. Participants should arrive 15 minutes before the start of program. Due to the nature of the animal encounters, late participants cannot be accommodated and your reservation will be forfeited with no refund. All participants must be 6 and older. Participants under the age of 16 must be accompanied by an adult (21+). Wheelchair accessibility is limited or not available. Please call 903-593-0121 for more details on limitations. Service animals will not be permitted on any behind the scenes encounters. Prices are subject to change without notice.

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