Zoo's water attraction about to make a bigger splash - FOX 8 WVUE New Orleans News, Weather, Sports, Social

Zoo's water attraction about to make a bigger splash

A child floats down the Lazy River at the Audubon Zoo. The Zoo will expand the Lazy River and Gator Run's hours to 7-days a week starting Monday, May 16. (Source: Audubon Institute) A child floats down the Lazy River at the Audubon Zoo. The Zoo will expand the Lazy River and Gator Run's hours to 7-days a week starting Monday, May 16. (Source: Audubon Institute)
NEW ORLEANS (WVUE) -

Calling all kids and kids-at-heart!  The Audubon Zoo is getting ready to expand two of its popular summer attractions to 7-days a week.  The Cool Zoo and Gator Run, a lazy rider, are set to open daily, beginning on Monday, May 16, expand from a weekends-only schedule.  And this year, zoo-goers will get an added experience this year.  With the opening of the zoo's new elephant habitat right next door, visitors will be able to watch the pachyderms play while chilling in the wet, cool 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.

Cool Zoo and Gator Run will remain open 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.

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.

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