Welcome Center

We are so excited to share that our new Welcome Center is now open!

Made possible by an incredibly generous donation and continued community support, this multi-million dollar state-of-the-art facility allows us to provide care to a number of new wildlife species while offering you an unprecedented look inside the daily operations of our veterinary team.


Your experience begins before you even set foot inside the Zoo! As you near the Welcome Center, you’ll encounter elements that evoke the Zoo’s natural surroundings, like the pathways that mimic the flow of Stony Creek. Signs and displays speak to the history of the Zoo and the progress that has been made to make it one of the premier cultural institutions in Pennsylvania.


Signs that tell the story of the individuals and groups that helped form and support the Zoo, from as far back as 1924, line the boardwalk and entrance plaza.

Tree House

Before descending to the entrance plaza, guests on the boardwalk will enter a custom built “tree house” that serves as a unique meeting spot, rest area, and scenic vantage point for the entire Welcome Center.


The water fountain at the center of the plaza features sculptures of white-tailed deer and a stalking jaguar, created by artist Zenos Frudakis, that represent the Zoo’s founding, its present and its future.  


COMING SOON – Along the plaza’s hillside retaining wall, a visual “timeline,” made up of some of the iconic species that have resided at the Zoo, provides a unique perspective on our storied 100-year history.


Elmwood Park Zoo’s mission truly comes to life once you step inside the Welcome Center. Every exhibit touches on three themes – Care, Conservation, and Connection – and those themes are further highlighted through state-of-the-art interactive displays and reactive lighting. The further you explore, the more you will learn about the Zoo’s commitment to animal welfare and conservation, and how that commitment extends beyond the Zoo to the AZA and other accredited facilities.


In addition to a whole host of beautiful graphics and displays, digital touchscreens will be featured throughout the space. They host quizzes and games that will not only entertain you, but will also provide you with a better understanding of how the Zoo cares for its animals, and is part of a larger network that exists to support conservation efforts around the globe.  


Engaging with some of the digital displays activates the LED light panels that hang from the Welcome Center’s ceiling above. The content that you and other guests choose to engage with subtly shifts the colors over time, further establishing the connections we all share in creating positive change.


The Welcome Center will be home to native Pennsylvania turtles, golden lion tamarins, and black-footed ferrets. You’ll learn about each animal’s story and how groups and individuals like yourself have played a crucial role in their survival.



You’ll love sampling the various coffees, teas, sandwiches and snacks at the new Buck Café. There’s plenty of souvenirs and gifts to pick up inside our expanded Gift Shop. You’ll also have access to large family bathrooms, a family quiet room, and nursing station, all located conveniently inside the Welcome Center.


The Frank & Paige Engro Veterinary Health Center features a surgical suite, diagnostic lab, indoor/outdoor recovery wards, and an in-house pharmacy, all outfitted with state-of-the-art equipment.

COMING IN FALL 2024 – Viewing windows will allow guests to watch our Veterinary staff conduct exams and procedures, providing insight into the dedicated care our animals receive each day. A viewing window into the Animal Commissary will give guests the rare opportunity to watch diets being prepared for all of the animals at the Zoo.

Treatment ROOM

COMING FALL 2024 – We’re giving you unprecedented access to some of the animal exams and medical procedures that are conducted regularly by our expert veterinary care team. Guests can take part in the proceedings by texting questions to the team that will then answer them as the procedure takes place. 


COMING FALL 2024 – You’ll get an authentic look at how we feed over 100 animals in our care through the Commissary viewing windows. This space bustles with activity throughout the day, but even when there’s a break in the action, you’ll learn about animal diets and nutrition from the digital displays.


Join us in celebrating our centennial anniversary with special events, promotions, and new exhibits, as well as the unveiling of our new Veterinary Hospital and Welcome Center. One hundred years is huge, and our commemoration of this once-in-a-lifetime milestone is going to be just as big!