New Orleans, LA, USA — Warmer weather means more chances to chill out at Cool Zoo and Gator Run, a lazy river, as the popular Audubon Zoo attractions shift to a seven-days-a-week schedule on Monday, May 16.
The summer 2016 Cool Zoo season will bring several changes designed to enhance the visitor experience, including multiple vantage points to view Audubon’s new elephant habitat right next door to the water park.
“You’ll be able to see our two Asian elephants as you’ve never seen them before,” said Audubon Nature Institute President and CEO Ron Forman. “In one corner of the water park, our guests can feel like they are splashing with Panya and Jean in the Gottesman Elephant Wading Pool.”
Other changes include new lockers, new inner tubes with bottoms and a private area for nursing mothers. And coming soon: Gator Bites, the new concessions area offering pizza, sandwiches, corn dogs, nachos, snacks and beverages.
Admission to Cool Zoo, including Gator Run, is $10 for Audubon Nature Institute members and $12 for non-members, plus Audubon Zoo admission.
The water park is currently on a weekends-only schedule.
Cool Zoo and Gator Run will open daily for the 2016 summer season May 16 through August 14, before returning to weekends only from August 15 through October 2 when the water park will close for the season. Cool Zoo and Gator Run also will be open on Labor Day – Monday, September 5.
Cool Zoo returns with all its visitor favorite features: the alligator water slide, the spider monkey soaker, water-spitting snakes and shady spots for grown ups.
Back for its second year, the lazy river offers Zoo visitors a chance to cool down by floating atop an inner tube along a course that measures 750 linear feet in length. Three feet deep and 10 feet wide, Gator Run features two sand beaches and water cannons that can shower visitors as they float by.
Rafts are included in the admission price for Gator Run. Anyone under 48 inches will need a life jacket supplied by Audubon Zoo. Gator Run includes showers, restrooms and outdoor seating. Just like Cool Zoo, the water in the lazy river can be heated when necessary.
No outside food or beverage is allowed in Cool Zoo or Gator Run. Visitors can bring their own towels or purchase them and other souvenirs at the Cool Shop.
Audubon Zoo, 6500 Magazine St., is open Monday through Friday, 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.;Saturday and Sunday, 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. through Labor Day.