Travel Series

Top Zoos in the US (SO FAR!)

By November 2, 2021No Comments

We love zoos, safaris, animals and nature in general. In nearly every city we visit, if we have time, we go to the zoo. The girls love animals. Cupcake’s favorite animal is the cheetah and Noodles loves flamingoes.  The elephants are tops for me and bears are it for my husband.  We haven’t visited every zoo in the US but here are our favorites so far:

  1. Houston Zoo- We are members of the Houston Zoo for good reason. Its a fun place to visit, surrounded by Hermann Park, so there is so much to do.  The animals are active and there is a carousel, animal feedings and lots of after hours activities for families. You can even camp out at the zoo. Houston’s zoo is active in conservation efforts, which is important to us. Also, did you know this zoo is the second most visited zoo in the US? It is, with good reason. The zoo is open 9-5 every day and pricing is flexible. The zoo is free one Tuesday per month.
  2. San Diego Zoo-I can’t say enough good things about the San Diego Zoo. Its huge, for one. Make sure you have good walking shoes for this zoo, which is home to over 12,000 animals of more than 650 species and subspecies in the heart of Balboa San Diego. There are several interactive experiences, including a chance to get up close and personal with cheetahs. The zoo has a sky tram and bus that helps you travel around the zoo to get the full experience. Hours vary. Those ages 13 and up are $62 for a one day pass and $52 for those 3-12. If you can, get a two day pass and visit the Zoo Safari Park.  And, of course, the zoo helps with conservation so its a chance for the kids to really learn.
  3. Bronx Zoo- You don’t feel like you’re in the middle of New York City when you visit the Bronx Zoo. This zoo has some of the most active lions I’ve ever seen outside of a safari. Roars can be heard! The girls love seeing the bubbles floating from some of the shops. There are several interactive experiences, even a virtual meet and greet with penguins. Advance timed ticket reservations are required. The all-inclusive ticket (Bronx Zoo Admission) starts at $34.95 for those 13 and older and $24.95 for 3-12.  Under 3 is free. Limited admission is free all day on Wednesdays at the Bronx Zoo.  Note:  Guests age 12 and older who are not vaccinated can come to the zoo for an Outdoors-Only visit.
  4. Atlanta Zoo- The Atlanta Zoo is quite the fun time. The last time we went, two gorillas were play fighting! The zoo’s conservation efforts are on full display (so cool) and kids can interact with animals at the petting zoo. There’s a carousel, which is important for my girls! There’s a zoo panda cam so you can check out the zoo’s panda from wherever you are and if you want an interactive experience, you can feed rhinos. Masks are required for ages 2 and up in indoor areas and general admission guests are required to purchase tickets online in advance before visiting.
  5. National Zoo- No list, even a list about zoos so far, would be complete without the National Zoo in Washington, DC  This is the first zoo my girls ever went to. It’s free and easy to get to in upper Northwest DC. There’s a carousel, bug exhibits and a large collection of elephants. If you want a good workout, there are plenty of rolling hills at this zoo, so come prepared. If you are home, there are several webinars and animal cams you can check out to see what is going on at the zoo. Entry passes are required for all guests, including infants. All visitors 2 and up are required to wear a mask in all indoor spaces at the zoo, regardless of their vaccination status. Fully vaccinated visitors do not need to wear a mask in outdoor areas. The zoo is open 8-4 everyday, except Christmas, December 25.

So…. this is our list so far. We still have the Manhattan Zoo, the Chicago Zoo and several others we plan to visit soon. Stay tuned.

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