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Chill Out at the Houston Zoo - short drive from Pearland Texas

Despite the hot summer temperatures in Houston, guests can stay cool all summer long as TXU Energy Presents Chill Out at the Houston Zoo. During this summer event, guests can head to the zoo for a relaxing day filled with fun and education as they learn about the animals that call the Houston Zoo home.

Icy Animal Enrichment
Animals are no different from humans – they also need to find ways to stay cool. Since life at the zoo can be predictable, the animals will be able to enjoy Chill Out-themed enrichment activities to not only entice natural behaviors but to cool off as well. From ice pops for the bears to daily baths for the elephants, the animals will be enjoying Chill Out enrichment all summer long.

Chill Out Animal Enrichment Schedule:

  • 9:15 Thursday & Saturday  – Ice pops for the bears
  • 10 daily – Elephant bath (Elephant Barn)
  • 10:30 Monday through Friday – Icy enrichment for the goats (Children’s Zoo, Contact Yard)
  • 10:30 Saturday & Sunday – Animal encounter in Naturally Wild Swap Shop (Children’s Zoo)


  • 12:30 daily – Ice pops for the chimpanzees (African Forest)
  • 1 Tuesday & Saturday – Chilly enrichment (Meerkats)
  • 1:45 Friday through Sunday – Ice pops & chilly enrichment (Sea Lions)
  • 2:15 daily – Sprinklers for the birds (Birds of the World)
  • 2:30 daily –  Insect animal encounter (Bug House)
  • 3 Wednesday – Ice pops for the orangutans (Wortham World of Primates)
  • 3 daily – Ice pops for gorillas (Gorilla Boardwalk)

Cool Nights – Returns this Summer

For the summer season, the Houston Zoo is once again open late until 8:30 p.m. so guests can enjoy the cooler evening weather. Cool Nights will run every Friday evening through August 21, where guests can bring family and friends to enjoy the animals, music, and kid-friendly activities. All activities are included in zoo admission.

In addition, guests can look forward to the End-of-Summer Luau on August 22. Before the kids head back to school, zoo guests will celebrate the last Cool Nights event with the wildest luau in Houston. From 5  to 8 p.m., zoo guests can participate in various activities such as dancing and doing the hula with the luau DJ, plus enjoying special Meet the Keeper Talks with the orangutans at 6:30 p.m. and zebras at 7 p.m. Exclusively for the End-of-Summer Luau, Sprinkles Cupcakes will be at the zoo distributing their cupcakes to guests, while supplies last.

To learn more about Cool Nights, visit

Frosty Indoor Facilities

The Houston Zoo is filled with spaces to cool down and re-energize, and also offers 14 indoor, air-conditioned Chill Zones for guests to take a quick break from the summer heat:

  • KIPP Aquarium
  • Main Gift Shop
  • Macaw Café
  • Allen H. & Ethel G. Carruth Natural Encounters Building
  • Twiga Cafe in The African Forest
  • Brown Education Center
  • Naturally Wild Swap Shop in the Children’s Zoo
  • Tropical Bird House
  • Reptile & Amphibian House
  • Shani Market in The African Forest
  • Albert & Ethel Herzstein Trading Post
  • The Bug House
  • The Arrival Building
  • The Robert and Janice McNair Foundation Great Ape Gallery

TXU Energy misting stations are placed throughout the zoo and children can splash in the Kathrine McGovern Water Play Park for some added outdoor fun.

Save $4 after 4 p.m.

Zoo guests and animal enthusiasts alike will also have the opportunity to both Chill Out and save money this summer. From May 23 through September 30, guests can save $4 after 4 p.m. with this special online-only offer. Click here to purchase the discounted tickets – guests can also purchase tickets online at the Buy Tickets page. Tickets must be scanned at the zoo after 4 p.m.

The Houston Zoo is located at 6200 Hermann Park Drive in the Houston Museum District and only a short drive from Pearland off Highway 288.