Visit Hogle Zoo in the Winter: Tips for Families

We love Hogle Zoo! This local zoo here in Salt Lake City has so much to see and do and we love everything they have to offer. There is a secret about the zoo. It’s really great to visit in the winter. In fact, we love to visit Hogle Zoo in the winter almost as much as the summer time. We are going to share all the reasons why you should give a winter zoo visit a try, as well as our tips for making it successful.

We like to visit the zoo even if it’s snowing a little bit.

No Crowds

The last time we went to the zoo we passed about 5 other families. It felt like we had the zoo to ourselves. It was the day after a big snowstorm, so people were probably huddled up at home, but we enjoyed the trip so much that it has become a tradition to visit the zoo in the winter.

If you are looking for ways to socially distance or avoid crowds, then visit Hogle Zoo during the winter. The $5 days are busy, so you will have to pay full price to truly stay away from crowds.

We could get up close and personal with the animals since there were no crowds.
The seals and seal lions kept swimming right passed us.

Animals are More Active

The animals tend to be more active in winter, especially the big cats. Most of the animals are out moving and playing when we visit the zoo in the cold. In summer, many of them hide in the shade, so it’s hard to catch a glimpse, but in the winter you are almost guaranteed seeing all of the creatures. This is another reason we love visiting Hogle Zoo in the winter.

The lions hang out right by the glass because the ground is heated.
The red pandas were running all over their exhibit.

Warm up in the Reptile House

Yes, it is chilly outside, so we always step in to the Reptile House when we need to warm up. You can thaw those fingers and toes by wandering through the warm building. There is a lot to see, so it will keep the family plenty busy.

Our boys have to find every snake and lizard in the reptile house.
This gecko was hanging out on the glass.

Ways to Save

There are a few ways to save on tickets to the Hogle Zoo in the winter. One is Wild Wednesdays. Every Wednesday in January and February of 2023, the zoo is offering $5 online tickets (tickets in person are $7). This gives you lots of Wednesdays to visit at a discounted price. Here is the link to purchase tickets.

Another way to save is by participating in the PBS Kids Utah November Reading Marathon. Kids grades prek-6th grade can earn a passport if they read 600 minutes. The passport then has free admission to many venues throughout Salt Lake. Every year so far it has included a free pass for the child to the zoo. We use our passports to cover our kids tickets and then purchase our adult tickets. So don’t miss out on this program.

Check out the Hogle Zoo in the winter. You will enjoy it!

Tips for Families

Here are our tips for enjoying the zoo in the winter.

  • Bundle Up: It’s always easier to take layers off, so wear a hat, gloves, boots, and a coat. If it’s extra cold, we love taking hand and toe warmers, too.
  • Bring Snacks: Snacks and treats make everything better, even the cold.
  • Catch a show: Make sure to check the schedule of what animal shows are happening when you visit. It’s fun to watch the elephants or seals do tricks.
  • Use a stroller: If you have little ones, you will want a stroller or wagon. The zoo is large and requires a bit of walking, so it will be easier on little feet if you have somewhere they can ride. You can also keep them warm with extra blankets in a stroller/wagon.
  • If you’d like to read about the different exhibits at the zoo, check out our original Hogle Zoo post.

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