Penguin Encounter

Learn More!

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: $195

Price covers group entry for up to 4 people
Location: Meet at the penguin building 15 minutes before your encounter.

Penguin Encounter
Penguin Encounter
Penguin Encounter

Frequently Asked Questions

Participants must be at least 6 years old. Participants under age 16 must be accompanied by an adult (21+).

  • For your safety and comfort, please wear closed-toed shoes.
  • You may bring a camera, but flash is not permitted.
  • You may bring a cellphone, but please place it on silent mode before the encounter begins.
  • No food or drink is allowed in the encounter.
  • Before the Penguin Encounter begins, you must remove sunglasses, jewelry and other loose items.

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

Penguin Encounters feature multiple sets of stairs with no chair lift, a narrow hallway, and small wooden stools on which participants sit for 15 minutes or longer. Wheelchair accessibility is not available, and service animals are not permitted. If you have further questions, please call us at 903-593-0121 or email us at

You may bring a stroller part of the way. However, for the Penguin Encounter you will be required to leave the stroller in a public area when you go behind the scenes. Please keep valuable personal belongings with you, rather than leaving them on a stroller.

Yes! The cost of zoo admission is included in the cost of an encounter.

Yes, show your ticket for the encounter to the keeper before the encounter begins.

Guests are welcome to attend solo. However, the cost of the encounter remains the same regardless of how many people (up to 4) participate.

Participants must arrive at the designated location at least 15 minutes before the time the encounter is scheduled to begin. Due to the nature of encounters, late participants cannot be accommodated. Reservations for late participants or no-shows will be forfeited without a refund.

The care for our animals is a top priority. Sometimes surprises occur. Therefore, it could be necessary to postpone or cancel an Animal Encounter. The zoo may cancel an encounter at any time and for any reason without prior notice. If this occurs, we will refund the full amount of the encounter fees.

Reservations are only valid on the date booked. Once a reservation is made, encounter fees are non-refundable. If a request to change the date is made at least two weeks before the date booked, it may be possible for the zoo to reschedule the encounter, but rescheduling is solely in the zoo’s discretion.

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