What animals will you see on a visit to the Zoo during the off-season?

See below for a list of the exhibits and species you’re likely to encounter during winter months at the Zoo. Which animals you see is largely dependent upon weather conditions. During extreme cold temperatures, this list may change due to the needs of our animals. While every effort is made to allow animals to enjoy their exhibit spaces the health and safety of the Zoo’s wildlife is considered first.

Look for updates and any weather-related closings to be posted here or on Facebook.

Schaefer Plaza



  • Praire dogs will remain on exhibit. They may choose to stay underground in extreme winter conditions but will likely be out regularly throughout the winter.

Polar Bear Watch


  • The Zoo’s female polar bear is denning off exhibit. Read about why.
  • Ravens, Arctic foxes, and bald eagle will remain on exhibit.
  • New grizzly bears are now on exhibit at Polar Bear Watch, though they are given the choice to spend time outdoors or in their behind-the-scenes den area.

Penguin Coast


  • African penguins will have outdoor access and may be visible especially during feeding time (10:30 and 3:30 daily).
  • Penguin Encounters are available all year round!
  • Pink-backed pelicans and white-breasted cormorants will remain on exhibit as weather allows.

African Journey


  • Birds in the African Aviary are off exhibit for the season.
  • The Chimpanzee Forest will remain open and guests will see chimps, colobus monkeys, lemurs, and Panamanian golden frogs indoors.
  • Giraffes will be outside as weather allows. The Giraffe House will remain open and giraffes and okapi can be viewed indoors on colder days. Due to potential heat loss in the building, if the temperature drops too low, the building may need to be closed early.
  • The Giraffe Feeding Station is open 11am-2pm Friday through Sunday, weather permitting.
  • Flamingos will be on exhibit throughout the winter and are typically not affected by colder weather.
  • Rhino, zebra and ostrich will be outdoors on days when the temperature allows (typically 40+ degrees).
  • The Amur leopard, cheetahs and lions will be visible on exhibit for most of the season. The leopard and lions are also sometimes out in the snow!
  • Elephants will be on exhibit as temperatures and exhibit conditions allow. Generally, if the temperature dips below 40 degrees it’s likely they will be indoors and not visible.

Maryland Wilderness


  • Bobcat, Otters, and hellbenders are on exhibit in all weather.
  • The giant tree exhibits will remain open, however, some animals inside are going through brumation and will not be visible.
  • The Zoo’s tree slide will be open!
  • The Marsh Aviary will be open but expect to see fewer avian species than during the regular season.
  • The Farmyard area will be open weather permitting. Alpaca, sheep, donkeys and peafowl are visible there throughout the winter.

Rides & Concessions


  • Rides will be open as weather allows.
  • The Zoo’s Whistle Stop Grille will remain open throughout the season with a full menu of options.