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Motorists travel south on 13th Street in search of a parking spot in May 2016. 

In anticipation of huge weekend crowds, the Henry Doorly Zoo & Aquarium is opening early this weekend and next.

The zoo will open an hour early, at 8 a.m., for zoo members beginning Friday and ending June 3. Non-members can enter the zoo at 8:30 a.m. this weekend, but will have to wait for the normal 9 a.m. opening after Monday.

Memorial Day Weekend is among the busiest times for the zoo, drawing as many as 60,000 attendees. In recent years, Interstate-80 eastbound traffic jams and overflow parking at an adjacent neighborhood have made getting into the zoo a nuisance for some.

Crowds will likely be high again this year, with the partial opening of a new exhibit, the Asian Highlands, and a hot but clear weekend forecast.

Traffic into the zoo on I-80 may be further challenged by ongoing construction as crews revamp the 13th Street interchange.

To save a headache, the zoo has a few pieces of advice:

» Arrive early

» Carpool

» Use public transportation or a hotel shuttle

» Ride a bike

» Visit when it’s quieter, on Monday through Thursday

» Approach from the south on 13th Street or the north on 10th Street

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