As we barrel towards phase two of reopening in Central New York and The Mohawk Valley, it's nice to start hearing stories of businesses and attractions announcing start dates. The latest good news comes from Fort Rickey Discovery Zoo with a planned opening for June 20. It does come with a few new wrinkles on admissions.

New owners, Christopher and Rebecca Stedman will operate the zoo daily June 20 through labor day, Monday, September 7. Hours will be from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. each day. Reservations will be required for admittance and rather than sell individual tickets, the price will be set per reservation. Reservations are for up to 10 people, with a fee of $50, meaning $5 per person if you come with 10 people.

Reservations of up to 10 people will be admitted every half hour. And while your group won't be limited to 30 minutes for the visit, you will be asked to remain separate from other groups. Due to state guidelines, Fort Rickey's animal presentations won't be available during the sessions and the Pillow Bounce and Playland will be closed. Concessions will be limited to drinks and ice cream. Make reservations online, with a schedule showing available times.

Fort Rickey will also be open to private visitations for groups of up to 10 people from 4 until 6 each evening. Creature Connection Private Groups will allow for the usual animal presentations including; feeding and petting animals, admission to Pillow Bounce and Playland, plus water balloons for Water Wars. Drinks and ice cream will be available and you can bring a picnic lunch if you want. Prices for the private visits begin at $150. per group.

Get more info on operating hours and group packages on the Discovery Zoo at Fort or on their Facebook page.

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