Cleveland Metroparks Zoo Kicks Off ‘Cruise the Zoo’ Event

Cleveland Metroparks Zoo Kicks Off ‘Cruise the Zoo’ Event

Photo by Kyle Lanzer/Cleveland Metroparks

Cleveland Metroparks Zoo is offering a limited-time, drive-through fundraising event beginning Wednesday, May 20. Cruise the Zoo presented by Dollar Bank will offer guests a chance to visit with the animals of the zoo including giraffe, elephants and bears, from the safety of their vehicle.

Cleveland Metroparks Zoo closed to the public March 16 due to COVID-19 precautions and has remained closed in accordance with the state’s current Stay Safe Ohio Order. Through the end of April, the Zoo’s revenue is down over $1.5 million from 2019. The temporary drive-through event will help raise support for the zoo and its animal care efforts during the impacts of COVID-19.

“While the Zoo has been closed for over two months, our daily efforts to care for some of the world’s most endangered animals does not stop,” said Dr. Chris Kuhar, Cleveland Metroparks Zoo executive director. “While we look forward to fully reopening the zoo to the community as soon as it is safe to do so, the Cruise the Zoo event will offer families a way to visit with our animals and support the zoo during this difficult time.”

The drive-through route will feature the zoo’s Asian Highlands, African Elephant Crossing, Rosebrough Tiger Passage and more. Guests can expect to see tigers, grizzly bears, snow leopards, takin, reindeer, lions and kangaroos. Zoo employees will help guide families along the specified route that will also feature animal ambassador experiences.

A free audio guide, available at, lets families listen along the adventure and features expert information on animals, habitats and conservation. A Virtual Photo Booth sponsored by Dollar Bank also will offer families a chance to capture a lasting memory and show their support of the zoo during this time.

Families also can participate in a scavenger hunt sponsored by Raising Cane’s and search for hidden animal displays throughout the Cruise the Zoo experience. Guests can share a picture on social media using the hashtag #CruiseTheZoo to earn a chance for an achievement award that can be exchanged for free food and drink at Raising Cane’s. The audio guide offers tips on animal locations.

Cruise the Zoo will be available from 10 a.m.-4 p.m. Wednesday through Sunday from May 20-31. Entry is $20 per car for zoo members and $40 per car for non-members. Advance reservations that can only be purchased online are required for entry. Reservations will be scheduled in one-hour time slots to help limit the number of vehicles per hour and maintain safety with the final ticketed entry concluding at 3 p.m. Guests will not be able to exit their vehicle during the experience.

Non-members can purchase a one-year membership to Cleveland Metroparks Zoo and receive discounted admission for Cruise the Zoo. Memberships that begin during the zoo’s closure will be valid for one year from the date the Zoo reopens or one year from a membership’s current expiration date, whichever is later.

To reserve your spot for the Cruise the Zoo event, visit

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