Beginning Monday, July 20, Zoo Knoxville is rolling out new summer hours to give guests the option to visit in the evening when the temperatures are cooler and the animals more active.

During Summer Nights presented by Shafer Insurance Agency, the zoo will be extending their hours from 9:00 a.m. until 8:00 p.m. each Thursday through Labor Day.  If the evening hours prove popular with visitors, they plan to add another day of extended hours during the week.

The new zoo hours will be 9:00 a.m. until 2:00 p.m. Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday, 9:00 a.m. until 8:00 p.m. Thursday and 9:00 a.m. until 4:00 p.m. Friday, Saturday and Sunday through Labor Day.

“We are always looking for ways we can make our experience better for our guests, and also use our resources wisely,” said Lisa New, President and CEO.  “After looking at our visitation patterns and testing a couple of extended hour offerings, we realized that it made sense to shift our hours to allow our visitors to access the zoo during the evening.   The temperatures are more pleasant, the animals are more active and it makes it possible to plan a visit during the week around work schedules.”

The zoo will offer all its regular activities, including the Safari Splash water play area, carousel and train rides, and restaurants will be offering dinner, snacks and drinks.  Guest are encouraged to purchase tickets online to minimize contact and to bring a mask so they can safely visit indoor areas.  Masks are not required for outdoor areas.

About Zoo Knoxville
Zoo Knoxville is a nonprofit entity situated on 53 wooded acres just east of downtown Knoxville. Zoo Knoxville is Knoxville’s largest attraction and features exhibits of wild animals in natural habitats and is world renowned for its efforts in conservation and species survival. Zoo Knoxville is nationally accredited by the Association of Zoos and Aquariums (AZA) and is committed to the highest standards in animal care and well-being, ethics, conservation, and education. The zoo is open daily with special summer hours through Labor Day.  For more information visit

About Shafer Insurance Agency
Shafer Insurance Agency is one of Knoxville’s oldest independent insurance agencies serving the East Tennessee community. Their mission is to provide superior insurance coverage, industry expertise, and exceptional service, while maintaining a commitment of excellence to our clients, community, and colleagues. Shafer Insurance Agency offers comprehensive, affordable, customized insurance coverages, such as personal insurance, business insurance, employee benefits, life insurance, and bonds.  In addition, they offer specialized services such as Risk Management consulting, Safety and Loss Control services, and customized Human Resources solutions for businesses of all sizes.  The phrase “Be Safer with Shafer®” represents the feeling of security and comfort the agency wants clients to experience. Whether insuring home and auto, or business and livelihood, Shafer Insurance Agency wants clients to rest assured knowing their insurance needs are completely met.  For more information, visit