Penguin Encounters




At the Zoo’s new Penguin Coast exhibit you can see penguins, closer than ever. Now you can get even closer in a special Penguin Encounter. It’s your chance to meet and greet endangered African penguins at the Zoo’s Penguin Embassy. Take part in an intimate, 20-30 minute private tour with a guided keeper experience, special photo opportunities and up-close penguin interaction (think selfies).

Tours are now available twice daily at 11am and 2pm and three times on weekends with a NEW additional 12pm tour time on Saturdays and Sundays. Reservations for one of these exclusive experiences can now be purchased for the first time in advance. Tickets can also be purchased at the Zoo’s Main Gate, Train Station or Giraffe Feeding Station in advance or on the day of tours (if space is still available). The price of a Penguin Encounter is in addition to the cost of Zoo admission.

Penguin Encounters make great gifts! Click here to see a herd of wild Zoo gift ideas.


    • Tour Days: DAILY
    • Tour Times:
      • March – October: Weekdays, 11am & 2pm; Saturdays & Sundays, 11am, 12pm & 2pm 
      • November – December*: Weekdays 2pm only; Saturdays & Sundays, 11am & 2pm 
      • January -February: Mondays & Fridays 11am & 2pm; Saturdays & Sundays, 11am, 12pm & 2pm 

* Special Exception: December 26 – January 1 tours will operate daily at 11am & 2pm; Saturdays & Sundays, 11am, 12pm & 2pm.

  • Tour length: 20-30 minutes
  • Group Size: No more than eight (8) guests per tour
    • Tickets: Purchase online in advance or at the Zoo’s Main Gate. Same-day tours can also be purchased (if same-day tour space is still available).



Adults and children 2 and over:

  • $50 for non-members*
  • $45 for Zoo members

Children under the age of 2 are free and are not included in the total guest count for tours.


Zoo members, to receive your ticket discount you must first register on the Zoo’s online store. Click below to register if you don’t already have an account. Once you do, you’ll automatically receive your Penguin Encounter discounts at checkout.

Member Registration

Important Tour Guidelines & Information:

  • Each Penguin Encounter can accommodate up to 8 guests. If your group is less than 8 guests you may share your experience with other guests.
  • Tours are available on a first-come, first-serve basis. Tours can now be purchased in advance. Advance reservations are expected to fill fast. You may need to select another tour date if your preferred tour date is not available.
  • Children under 13 years of age must be accompanied by an adult.
  • Tours can accommodate guests in wheelchairs, however, strollers must remain outside of the Penguin Embassy. Service animals are not permitted on tours.
  • For the safety of the birds, umbrellas are not permitted in the Penguin Embassy.
  • Tours are weather, staff and penguin dependent. The Zoo reserves the right to cancel a tour or end a tour for any reason, including guest behavior.
  • Once purchased Penguin Encounters tickets cannot be returned or refunded. Tours are non-transferrable and tickets cannot be used on a different tour day.
  • Tours do not include Zoo admission. If you’re not a Zoo member you’ll need to purchase admission tickets in advance or at the Zoo’s Main Gate on the day of your visit.


Call 410-396-7102 during normal Zoo hours or email


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Penguin Encounters

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