Plan Your Visit

The Buttonwood Park Zoo, established in 1894, is the 12th oldest zoo in the United States and has been an important part of the SouthCoast community for 127 years. The Zoo features over 240 species, most notably Asian elephants, red pandas, cougars, eagles, seals, otters, South American primates and numerous waterfowl species. BPZOO is accredited by the Association of Zoos and Aquariums and has been recognized as “one of the finest small zoos in the United States”. 


You may purchase your tickets in advance or simply head on over when you feel like visiting us!

The Zoo’s operating hours:
9:00 am – 4:00 pm

BPZOO may close early for special events and is closed Thanksgiving Day Christmas Day, and New Year’s Day. 

for more information:



Get planning – have a look at the Zoo Map.


The Bear’s Den Café is open from May 1 – Oct 31, 11:00 am – 3:00 pm.  During April the café is open Fridays, Saturdays, Sundays & Monday’s. The cafe is also open during school vacation weeks.  Snacks and drinks are always available in the gift store.


The Wildlife Carousel and Black Bear Express will reopen (weather permitting). They may run during February vacation week depending on the weather. Please note that our rides cannot operate if temps go below 45 degrees, please call before your visit if you have any questions.


Restrooms are available inside the Wildlife Education Center. 


Help save wildlife around the world. Get your conservation donation tokens at the front desk. Proceeds from this program go directly towards conservation organizations both locally and globally.


Do you visit us two or three times a year!? Then you need a BPZOO Membership!


Toe Jam Puppet Band plays every Monday.  Showtimes are 10:00 and 11:30 – $10/family after zoo admission. Check the Zoo’s or Toe Jam’s facebook page for cancellation updates.


Make sure to check the daily keeper chat schedule as you enter the Zoo. These opportunities provide guests a chance to learn more about the animals and the special relationship they have with their caretakers.


We have partnered with KultureCity to make your visit to the Zoo a positive experience for guests with sensory issues. Sensory bags, equipped with noise canceling headphones, fidget tools and verbal cue cards, will be available at the Northwoods Gift Shop for guests who may feel overwhelmed by the environment.


Hand-sanitizer will be accessible to guests at the entrance, exit, and at strategic locations around the Zoo.


Participating institutions located in close geographic proximity to each other are not required to offer free or discounted admission to each other’s members in order to participate in the Reciprocal Admissions Programs, although they may offer an alternative discount. It is always a good idea to call ahead.

BPZOO does not honor the Reciprocal Admissions Program with Roger Williams Park Zoo due to geographic proximity.


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visitor information


The Zoo buildings/grounds are smoke and vape free

For the safety and comfort of other visitors and the Zoo animals, the following items are prohibited:

  • Pets (except service animals)
  • Bicycles
  • Scooters
  • Roller skates
  • Skateboards
  • Sporting equipment
  • Glass containers
  • Drinking straws
  • Balloons
  • Noise devices
  • Weapons
  • Alcohol or illicit materials


The Zoo is fully accessible to the disabled, and a limited number of wheelchairs are available on a first-come, first-serve basis at the front entrance.

Our train and carousel rides are both ADA certified.

Restrooms & First-Aid:

Restrooms are located in the Wildlife Education Center. The restrooms are handicap accessible. Baby changing stations are located in both men and women’s restrooms in the Wildlife Education Center. Special needs changing facilities are available.

First Aid assistance is available at the main entrance or by contacting any Zoo employee.

Strollers are welcome throughout the Zoo, but please be considerate to others when navigating in crowded viewing areas. The North Woods Gift Store has wagon rentals available for $6.

Visitor and Animal Safety:

Rails, rocks, fencing and other barriers between you and the animals are there for your safety and to protect the animals from harm. Please do not lean over rails, lift children over rails, let them play on rocks, rest them on railings or stick fingers or arms through fences. Do not enter non-public areas.

Please show respect for the Zoo’s inhabitats by refraining from harassing or teasing the animals, which includes banging on windows and throwing objects into habitats. Additionally, the Zoo does not allow outside food to be fed to the animals and has a no feed policy except in designated areas such as the waterfowl pond or when under the supervision of Zoo staff.

Shirt and shoes are required inside the Zoo. Children under the age of 12 must be accompanied by an adult on zoo grounds.

The Buttonwood Park Zoo reserves the right to exclude anyone who engages in inappropriate or offensive conduct, as
determined by zoo staff. The zoo is not responsible for lost, stolen or damaged articles and is not required to issue
refunds or exchanges for inclement weather.

A Gift That Lasts All Year! 

BPZOO Memberships make a perfect gift for the animal lover in your life.