Meet and greet an endangered African penguin!

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

*Note: Tours still include close encounters with penguins but have been slightly adjusted and are currently taking place inside the Penguin Education Center to allow for social distancing. Masks are required.


Tour Times:
March – October:
  • Weekdays: 2pm only
  • Saturdays & Sundays: 11am & 2pm
November – December:
  • Weekdays: 2pm only
  • Saturdays & Sundays: 11am & 2pm*
January – February:
  • Mondays & Fridays: 11am & 2pm
  • Saturdays & Sundays: 11am, 12pm & 2pm
Tour length:
  • 20-30 minutes
Group Size:
  • No more than six (6) guests per tour

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


Adults and children ages 5 & over:

  • $49 for Zoo Members
  • $59 for Non-members*
  • One ticket required per guest.
  • Purchase online, in advance.

Schedule a Penguin Encounter

Gift a Penguin Encounter

*Prices do not include Zoo admission. Zoo admission tickets are required for each tour attendee and must be purchased separately for non-Zoo members. If you are not a Zoo member, you must purchase admission tickets in advance. If you are a Zoo Member, you must make an online reservation for your date and an earlier entry time than your Penguin Encounter.

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.

Create Member Account


Gift the chance to meet and greet endangered African penguins at the Zoo’s Penguin Embassy to someone special. Your Gift Encounter will include a printed certificate with instructions for scheduling. Guests will have one year from date of purchase to schedule their tour.

***Please note that this is not the actual date and time of the tour. Once you purchase your Gift Penguin Encounter, you will receive a gift certificate in the mail to the address of your choice. The gift recipient will then need to call 443.992.4585 or email in order to choose a specific date and time for their encounter.

Gift a Penguin Encounter

Important Tour Guidelines & Information:
  • Scheduling – Tour tickets are for chosen date and time only. Tours are non-transferrable and tickets cannot be used for a different tour date or time. Tours are available on a first-come, first-served basis and fill up quickly. You may need to select another tour date and time if your preferred tour or number of tickets is not available.
  • Additional Encounter Guidelines – Children under 5 years of age are not permitted on tour. Children under 16 years of age must be accompanied by a ticketed adult on a 3 child:1 adult ratio. If your group has less than 5 guests you may share your experience with others.
  • Refunds – Encounter tickets cannot be returned or refunded.
  • Rescheduling – Reservations may be changed up to 72-hours in advance of the scheduled tour and are subject to a $20 Administrative Change Fee. Changes are not permitted within 72-hours of the scheduled tour. Contact us at or call 443-992-4585.
  • Arrival – Tours begin promptly at stated time. Once a tour has begun, additional guests will not be permitted due to safety and tickets cannot be refunded or rescheduled due to lateness.
  • Dress – Masks are required for all ages during the entirety of the tour. Closed-toed shoes are recommended for tour guests.
  • Accessibility – Tours can accommodate guests using wheelchairs; however, strollers are not permitted. Service animals are not permitted on tours.
  • Cancellation – Tours are weather, staff and animal dependent. The Zoo will contact ticket holders with any tour changes or cancellations as soon as a decision has been made regarding the status. The Zoo reserves the right to cancel a tour or end a tour for any reason, including guest behavior.


Call 443-992-4585 from 10am-4pm daily or email