Zoo Keys are Back!

Posted July 6, 2020

Classic favorite returns to delight a new generation of Zoo goers

Zoo Keys, presented by KeyBank, are back at the Cincinnati Zoo & Botanical Garden. The plastic, animal-shaped keys that were wildly popular at the Zoo four decades ago have returned and work about the same way they did in the past!  Just insert and turn your key in one of the 20 solar-powered boxes stationed throughout the Zoo, and you will hear a story about a plant or animal that’s nearby!

“Through the years, visitors have asked us over and over to bring back the Zoo Keys,” said Cincinnati Zoo director Thane Maynard.  “We listened and are happy to offer this fun, simple activity that families can enjoy together.”

The new, bilingual boxes feature two keyholes, where visitors can choose to listen to tales of the animal kingdom in either English or Spanish. Maynard narrated the English versions of the stories and the head of the Zoo’s Cat Ambassador Program translated and recorded audio for the Spanish versions.  One key unlocks all stories, in both languages, at all 20 stations and can be reused on every visit.  The Zoo plans to offer a new animal each year.  Start your collection with a bright red “trunkey”.

The keys, which are made of recycled plastic, are available at ticketing windows and at the train station. They are $3 for members and $4 for non-members.

A map of all Zoo Key stations can be found on the Self-Guided Activities page on the Zoo’s website.  Other fun activities, such as scavenger hunts, are in the same location.

It’s all part of your Summer Adventure at the Cincinnati Zoo, presented by Cincinnati-Northern Kentucky Honda Dealers. The Zoo opens daily at 10 a.m. and closes at 5 p.m.  Cincinnati Zoo members enjoy early entry at 9 a.mReservations are required for all guests. For more information visit www.cincinnatizoo.org.