Accessibility & Inclusion at GPZ

At Great Plains Zoo (GPZ) we are committed to fostering a welcoming and inclusive environment for people of all abilities and mobilities.

We make every effort to provide an unforgettable experience for all our guests!


Restrooms are located in the Main Lobby, near Splash Pad, and in the ROAR Café. All restrooms at Great Plains Zoo are wheelchair accessible and are equipped with youth changing tables.

The Splash Pad restroom facility includes two family restrooms. One has an adult-sized changing table, and the other has a child-sized changing table.

Download Zoo Map


Guests with food allergies and dietary restrictions are encouraged to bring their own picnic lunch. Other outside food is prohibited. Glass bottles and containers are prohibited on Zoo grounds.

There are also dining options right here at the Zoo! Learn more about them here.

Equitable Access

At Great Plains Zoo, we recognizes the importance of individuals connecting with nature and animals and are proud to offer discounted admission tickets through our Zoo for All program.

Zoo for All

Great Plains Zoo's Zoo for All program gives thousands of socially and economically disadvantaged individuals in our community the opportunity to experience all that the Zoo has to offer by offering reduced-price admission.

  • All those who participate in programs including South Dakota's SNAP, Medicaid, TANF, and WIC are eligible to receive a reduced regular Zoo admission rate of $3. Zoo for All has expanded its coverage to residents of Nebraska, Iowa, and Minnesota.
  • An individual program card holder can purchase up to two (2) adult and six (6) children discounted general admission tickets per visit.
  • To receive this reduced admission rate, buy online today or present your program card at the ticket booth.
    • Please note: The purchaser will be required to present their program card and a valid government ID prior to using Zoo for All tickets to enter the zoo.

Reduced price admission is not valid to special or separately ticketed events (e.g., Zippity Zoo Day, ZooBoo, field trips, or group visits).

Zoo for All Tickets


The Great Plains Zoo (GPZ) is committed to creating an inclusive and welcoming environment for all of our guests, including those with sensory needs. GPZ has earned Sensory InclusiveTM certification through a partnership with KultureCity.

Signage has been installed throughout the Zoo identifying quiet zones and headphone zones to help visitors as they explore Zoo grounds.

Sensory Bags

Sensory bags containing fidget tools, noise-reducing headphones, and other resources are available for checkout (at no cost by leaving an ID) at admissions.

Quiet Zones

GPZ has designated "Quiet Zones" throughout the campus. These areas typically have less activity and spaces to sit and regroup after becoming overstimulated.

Quiet and Calm Zones are in the following locations:

  • The Mother's Nest nursing room located in the lobby.

Headphone Zones

GPZ has designated "Headphone Zones" throughout the campus. These are areas where guests tend to linger and are typically noisier than normal.

Headphone Zones are in the following locations:

  • Main Lobby
  • Primate Building
  • Rare Rhinos of Africa
  • ROAR Café

Mobility Assistance

Mobility equipment including wheelchairs, motorized scooters, wagons, and strollers are available to rent in the main lobby at the front of the zoo.


Wheelchairs are available to rent from the zoo's gift shop for $5 on a first-come, first-served basis. Photo ID required.

Motorized Scooters

Motorized scooters are available to rent from the zoo's gift shop for $25 on a first-come, first-served basis. Photo ID required.

Wagon Rentals

Wagons are available to rent from the zoo's gift shop for $10 on a first-come, first-served basis. Photo ID required.

Child Strollers

Single and double strollers are available to rent from the zoo's gift shop on a first-come, first-served basis. Photo ID required.

  • Single Stroller - $5
  • Double Stroller - $7

Nursing Parents

Mothers may nurse their children in any public location at the zoo. According to South Dakota law: "A mother may breastfeed her child in any location, public or private, where the mother and child are otherwise authorized to be present as long as the mother is in compliance with all other state and municipal laws."

The Mother's Nest nursing room located in the main lobby nearest the gift shop provides a quiet and private space that parents may utilize to nurse their child.

Service Animals

In accordance with the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA), only working trained service animals are permitted within the facilities. Pets, exotic species, therapy animals, and emotional-support animals are not permitted.

Owners assume all risk to their service animal, including but not limited to zoonotic disease transmission and ingestion of toxic materials.

Some animals at Great Plains Zoo can strongly react to an animal inside or outside their enclosure. For the safety of you, your service animal, and our animal population, certain areas are restricted.

The following areas are off-limits to service animals:

  • Walkabout Australia - Kangaroo Walk-in Exhibit
  • Primate Building (indoor exhibits)
  • Giraffe Feeding Platform
  • Rare Rhinos of Africa Indoor Viewing
  • Hoofstock Barn Winter Viewing
  • Red Wolf Area
  • African Lions Exhibit

The following areas are considered sensitive areas to service animals. If a zoo animal appears agitated, please leave the area immediately. You may be asked to leave the area if Zoo staff witness a risk to Zoo animals. Sensitive areas include:

  • Fortress of the Bears (brown and black bear exhibits)
  • Bighorn Sheep
  • Children's Farm
  • Primate Building (outdoor exhibits)
  • Asian Cats Viewing Areas

The ADA does require service animals to be always under the control of the handler. You will not be issued a refund or rainchecks for tickets if you are asked to leave the premises.

Butterfly House & aquarium

Learn more about accessibility and inclusion at the Butterfly House & Aquarium campus.