Membership FAQs

Many new members have the similar questions and concerns. Please review the information below, and if you still have questions, ask us here.


Is a Membership good for one year from the date of purchase or for one calendar year?  

Membership is good for 12 months beginning on the date of purchase.

Can I purchase, renew, or update my Membership information online?  

Yes, click here to purchase. Click here to renew. You can manage and update your Membership account information online by entering your e-mail address and creating a password. Memberships that require ID (Teacher/Student) cannot be purchased online.

What are the Membership benefits and costs?  

Click here for Membership categories and prices.

How long until I receive my Membership cards and other benefits?

Membership packets generally arrive within 2-3 weeks. If you would like to visit the zoo before then, simply bring your receipt (if purchased online) or photo ID and we can still look you up in our system if you stop by the Membership Office.

Are you open on Christmas? New Year’s Day? The 4th of July? Thanksgiving? Easter?  

Yes, we are open 365 days a year, including all holidays.

Are you open when it rains? 

Our hours are subject to change based serious weather conditions. Please check our home page or call (415) 753-7080 before your visit on stormy days.

Can anyone use my Membership cards?  

Zoo membership cards are valid for the named adults and are non-transferable. The amount of accompanying children or grandchildren permitted with the member varies by membership level. Members are asked to show a valid photo ID when entering the Zoo. Memberships are not transferable or refundable. You cannot change the name on a card once it is issued. If a name must be changed, you must wait until you renew. Membership duration is 12 months and must be renewed to continue receipt of benefits. There is a $10 processing fee for lost Membership Cards. Admission/Ride/Parking passes are not replaceable if lost. 

Why do I have to show a photo ID when I use my membership card to enter the Zoo?

To prevent misuse of membership cards, we require that the named adult cardholder present photo ID upon entering the Zoo. As a non-profit organization, we rely on membership dues for much of our support. We also want to protect our members should their cards be lost or stolen.

What if I buy a Family Membership but only have one adult in the household? 

A Family level and above Membership comes with two Membership Cards. The Member selects the names for the cards. If the Member does not have a partner or spouse, they can select a friend, caregiver, grandparent, etc. to be named on the second card. If they do not want to name anyone, they can choose to have the second card read “Guest of [Member name].” The guest would be able to bring the children associated with the Membership without the Member present.

Are children admitted with a Senior, Teacher, Student or Individual Membership? 

No, those Membership levels are for adults only. If you have children, you should purchase a Family or higher level Membership.

What are the free passes for that come with a Membership? 

They are for use by the Members, guests or friends of Members. Each pass is for one-time use. Members are admitted for free 365 days a year with their current Membership card.

Does Membership include unlimited free rides on the Dentzel Carousel and Little Puffer Steam Train? 

No, Members receive a certain number of passes for free rides with their Membership (the number of passes is based on their Membership level), but when those are gone Members must purchase tickets for Zoo rides. Each pass is good for one ride.

Is there a fee for parking? 

The Zoo parking lot is $8 for weekday parking and $10 for weekend parking. Street parking is free.

Do Members receive a discount in the Zoo shops or restaurants? 

Yes, there is a 10% discount for Members.

What happens if I lose my Membership card or want to change the name on a card? 

There is a $10 processing fee for lost cards. The lost card will be invalidated and cannot be used. You cannot change the name on a card once it is issued. If a name must be changed, you must wait until you renew.

I never received my Membership cards. 

If the you never received your cards, we can look you up in our database, given the name and address you used for your purchase, and check when the cards were mailed. If you are not in our database, you MUST have proof of purchase to be re-issued cards (either your temporary card, a receipt, online confirmation, or credit card statement). Without proof of purchase, we cannot issue you another temporary card or process your Membership. Once your Membership is processed, bring your printed receipt or temporary Membership cards for admission to the Zoo until your permanent cards arrive in the mail.

What happens if I come to the Zoo without my Membership card? 

The Membership representative will ask to see a valid photo ID and will then confirm your Membership status. Please note that admission to the Zoo is slowed down when you do not have your Membership cards with you.

Which zoos and aquariums can I get a discount with my SF Zoo Membership card? 

Click here for a list of reciprocal institutions.

What happens if I go to a reciprocal zoo without my current SF Zoo Membership card? 

You must have your valid San Francisco Zoo Membership card with you in order to receive the discounted admission. If you do not have your card with you, you will have to pay the regular admission fee at that zoo or aquarium.

We purchased admission a week ago, can we still apply it towards a Membership? 

You can convert your admission tickets to a Family level or above Membership at the Zoo on the day of your visit only and not after you've left the Zoo. You can receive up to $25 off a Membership at the Family level or higher, based on what you paid for admission. This offer  cannot be combined with any other Membership discount or offer. There are no refunds on parking if you have already paid for it and want to use the pass that comes with the Membership you purchased at the Zoo.

Can I get a refund on my Membership or transfer if I move or no longer want to use it? 

No, Memberships are not transferable or refundable.

Is my Membership tax deductible? 

The San Francisco Zoological Society is a non-profit institution (EIN # 94-1429538) that supports the San Francisco Zoo. Zoo Membership is a donation and is partially tax deductible. When you receive your Membership cards, retain the letter plus your payment receipt or credit card statement for your tax records.

There was a discount on a new Membership or renewal. How long is the discount good for?

Please read offer details carefully. All offers come with an expiration date. An expiration date signifies the end of an offer. Offers are not valid after the expiration date.

How do I get a donation for my organization/school's auction or fundraiser?

Please see the donation request information here.

How do I receive the Zoo's monthly electronic newsletter?

Members who provide us with a valid e-mail address will automatically receive the newsletter, or you can subscribe here.

Can my Membership be taken away?

The San Francisco Zoological Society reserves the right to terminate or deny Membership at any time by advising the Member or prospective Member and returning a prorated share of any dues payment. Cause for termination can include showing disrespectful behavior towards the animals, staff or guests of the Zoo; inappropriate conduct, including, but not limited to, conduct that is disruptive, abusive or violent; or for failing to comply with Membership terms and conditions or abusing privileges.;


Have more questions?
Ask us here.