Wednesday’s forecast calls for sunny skies and a high of 77 degrees, which means the baby gorilla at the Fort Worth Zoo should have plenty of visitors.
“Perfect weather for the zoo,” said Juan Hernandez, meteorologist with the National Weather Service in Fort Worth.
Because it’s spring break and half-price day at the zoo, huge crowds are expected. Last year’s half-price crowd came in at 18,800; the record 26,370 was set in 2013.
If you’re planning on being among the thousands showing up Wednesday, here are five things you should now:
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1. Buy tickets online to save time
Fort Worth Zoo admission tickets can be purchased online or at the gate. Prices for Wednesday only are $7 for adults, $5 for children (3-12) and $5 for seniors 65 and older. Parking is $5 per vehicle.
2. Take the Safari Shuttle
To avoid to traffic and parking hassles, take the shuttle operated by the Fort Worth Transportation Authority. The Safari Shuttle, which runs through Sunday, goes from the Intermodal Transportation Center, 1000 Jones St. downtown, and drops passengers off at the zoo’s main entrance. Catch the shuttle at Bay 5A, next to the Trinity Railway Express platform. Zoo visitors are also encouraged to take the TRE to the downtown station to catch the shuttle.
Round-trip tickets: $3.50 for adults, $1.75 for children 18 and under and seniors 65 and older (with transit agency reduced ID card), free for children 5 and under.
3. If you must drive, be patient
If you insist on driving, give yourself plenty of time because University Drive and Interstate 30 at the University exit will be really busy. Parking per vehicle is $5 in lots near University Drive and Colonial Parkway. Fort Worth police and zoo staff will be on site directing traffic.
4. Don’t miss the baby gorilla
The big news at the zoo is little Gus. He is the zoo’s first-ever western lowland gorilla baby. He can be seen riding on his mom’s back or cuddling in her arms in the World of Primates exhibit.
5. Plenty of animals for everyone
The zoo has a full pride of lions, which includes an adult male, two adult females and three 11-month-old cubs. The zoo’s elephant calves are growing but are still little ones compared with their moms.
It’ll be crowded, but there are about 7,000 animals representing more than 500 species at the zoo, which features 12 exhibit areas including Meerkat Mounds, African Savannah and Asian Falls.