ADOPT Day is a special celebration with your ADOPTed animal and the rest of the Zoo family as we say “thank you” for your support.

When will I receive my invitation?

The Philadelphia Zoo does not distribute tickets to ADOPT Day in advance. Invitations will be mailed, so for now all you have to do is save the date. If you ADOPTed from the Zoo Shop then make sure to mail back your ADOPT Parent information sheet to ensure that we have your current mailing address. If you ADOPTed online or on the phone with the Development Office then we have your information on file.

Can I bring my family and friends?

YES! ADOPTers at the $50, $65, $150, $165, $450, and $1,000 levels are entitled to receive complimentary Zoo  and ADOPT Day admission for one —the ADOPT parent. We encourage you to bring additional guests to join the festivities with the purchase of general Zoo admission or by presenting a valid Zoo membership card.

Where do I park?

Any Zoo lot is available for ADOPT Day parking --click here for more information about where the lots are located. Members always park free and non-members can pay for parking ($16 flat rate) at any of the Zoo's entrance points. In order to claim your complimentary ticket and pick up your ADOPT Day materials, please enter through the Zoo's main gate at 34th Street and Girard Avenue.

How can I ADOPT so that I can come to ADOPT Day?

All ADOPT parents who do not waive their benefits are invited to ADOPT Day. If you are not a current ADOPT parent please call 215-ADOPT ME or click here.  

What can I bring for my animal on ADOPT day?

Many adopters like to bring gifts for the animals on Adopt Day. Our keepers love this too and always ‘barter’ over what they can have for their specific animals. While we can’t accept fresh produce there are many food items, recycled materials and toys you can bring. Here's what's on our animal's wish lists:

African Plains Animals (giraffes, rhinos, zebras, etc.):

  • 31" and/or 20" Boomer Balls
  • Large and/or small bobbin feeders
  • Stall balls (made for horses)
  • Empty water cooler bottles (these make great hanging feeders!)


  • Empty plastic beer kegs
  • Large, empty plastic spools
  • Herbs, spices, extracts (anything from the grocery store works)
  • Perfume or body spray (dollar store or drug store varieties are fine)

Big Cats:

  • Used phone books
  • Solid plastic outdoor Fisher Price or Little Tykes playground equipment (slides, picnic tables, play houses, sandboxes, rocking horses without wheels, etc.)
  • Solid plastic circular disk sleds made for kids
  • Avon Skin So Soft Original Bath Oil Spray
  • All-paper piñatas without eyes or handles (can be found at Target)


  • Bottles of bubbles (the penguins especially love these!)
  • Laser lights/pointers
  • Large toys made for parrots (natural colored toys can be used on exhibit and brightly colors ones can be used behind the scenes)
  • Stuffed toys (must be made of heavy duty canvas and at least 6" long, can be found at pet stores)


  • Dixie cups
  • Clean paper bags of various sizes
  • Large appliance boxes (orangutans and gorillas especially love these!)
  • Baby rattles or other infant toys (gently used okay). Please note that these must all be plastic and not battery operated.
  • Bird toys (for small primates) made for larger birds such as macaws (found at pet stores)
  • Hardware items: zipties (all sizes), double ended dog clips, eye hook screws, roll of thick bungee cord (not the ones with hooks on the ends, just the cord)

Reptiles and Amphibians:

  • Cool rocks for basking and climbing on
  • Skinny PVC pipe
  • Shower curtain hooks
  • Artificial plants
  • Perches
  • Cork bark for making hiding spots

Small Mammals:

  • "Chewbular" Play Tubes (found in pet stores and at Drs. Foster and Smith)
  • Woven grass huts (found in pet stores and at Drs. Foster and Smith)
  • Fleece blankets
  • Shake Rattle and Roll balls (made for ferrets)
  • Munch Balls wicker toys

Other needed items:

Food Items Used for Training and Enrichment:

  • Raisins
  • Pine nuts
  • Mixed nuts (must be raw and in the shell)
  • Brazil nuts (must be raw and in the shell)
  • Peanut butter (regular peanut butter in any size jar)
  • Honey (plastic container preferred)
  • Molasses (plastic container preferred)

Food Items for Sick/Injured Animals or Infants:

  • Baby mixed juices (plastic bottles please!)
  • Similac (powder or cans, without added iron)
  • Flintstones chewable vitamins

Canned Pet Food:

  • Eukanuba Premium Preference Dog Food**
  • Eukanuba Adult Maintenance Dog Food**
  • Eukanuba Chicken and Rice Cat Food**
**please note that only these specific brands and varieties can be used by our team of animal nutritionists.

How else can I help Philadelphia Zoo animals?

Click here for more information on how you can help us continue our mission, “By connecting people with wildlife, the Philadelphia Zoo creates joyful discovery and inspires action for animals and habitats.”

If you like ADOPT Day then you'll love being a Friend of the Zoo!

As a Friend, you become a part of the Zoo’s immediate family, sharing in each and every new Zoo endeavor all while providing critical support to the improvement of the Zoo and the well-being of the animals in our care. Friends enjoy special access to the Zoo, its resources and unique opportunities for learning and engagement with staff and animals. Join today or upgrade now to immediately begin experiencing amazing benefits!