Zoo view: Underwater look at Audubon’s new Gator Run splash park

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NEW ORLEANS (WGNO)-On a hot day like today, all you want to do is find a place to cool off.  Well, look no further than Audubon Zoo's new Gator Run attraction.  News with a Twist's Kenny Lopez takes us to the splash park on the lazy river.

Gator Run, a lazy river, is the newest chill out feature in the popular Cool Zoo splash park. It takes approximately five to seven minutes to make a round trip atop an inner tube in the lazy river, which measures about 750 linear feet in length.

Three feet deep and 10 feet wide, the lazy river features two sand beaches and four water cannons that can shower visitors as they float by.

9-year-old, Kaleb Bakewell loves the Gator Run.  We gave him a GoPro camera while he went around the lazy river with his sisters.

"I feel like a fish, a dolphin, a whale, and a shark.  It's a lot of fun,"  he said.

The lazy river expansion includes showers, restrooms, outdoor seating and a concession area. Future plans include a pizza parlor.

Just like Cool Zoo, the water flowing in the lazy river can be heated when necessary.

The original phase of Cool Zoo returns with all its favorite features: the alligator water slide, the spider monkey soaker, water-spitting snakes and shady spots for parents.

“When the temperature rises in southeast Louisiana and across the Gulf South, families are always looking for new ways to cool down,’’ said Audubon Nature Institute President and CEO Ron Forman. “As we celebrate the fifth summer for Cool Zoo, we are excited about the addition of Gator Run as yet another summertime option to beat the heat. ‘Gator Run is the second phase of the Cool Zoo which opened in 2011, and gives guests a new way to enjoy animal exhibits. The lazy river adds expands the water park to nearly 60,000 square feet of space, four times the size of the Cool Zoo that opened four years ago.

Admission to Cool Zoo, including Gator Run, is $10 for Audubon Nature Institute members and $12 for non-members, plus Audubon Zoo admission.

Pay-One-price wristbands are $12 for Audubon members and $15 for non-members, offering admission to Cool Zoo and Gator Run and unlimited access to Audubon's Dinosaur Adventure, train rides and carousel rides on the day of the purchase.

Rafts are included in the admission price for Gator Run. Anyone under 48 inches will need a life jacket supplied by Audubon Zoo. No outside food or beverage is allowed in Cool Zoo or Gator Run. Visitors can bring their own towels or purchase them at the Cool Shop.

Other rules and regulations can be found here: www.auduboninstitute.org/zoo/exhibits-and-attractions/cool-zoo.

Admission to Audubon Zoo is $18.95 for adults, $13.95 for children 2-12, and $14.95 for seniors 65+. Audubon Nature Institute members are admitted free of charge.

Audubon Zoo, 6500 Magazine St., is open Monday through Friday, 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.; Saturday and Sunday, 10 a.m. to 6 p.m through Labor Day. For details visitAuduboninstitute.org.


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