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Located in the northern corner of Denver’s City Park, the Denver Zoo is the city’s most visited family-friendly attraction. This 80-acre (32-hectare park is home to over 700 species, including some of the world’s rarest animals like the Amur leopard, Siberian tiger, and black rhino. Most animals live within naturalistic habitats, an idea the zoo pioneered with its construction of Bear Mountain in 1906.
To save on admission, pick up a Denver CityPASS and receive discounted admission to the zoo as well as other city sights like the Downtown Aquarium and the Denver Museum of Nature and Science. Kids won’t want to miss a ride around the zoo’s carousel meadow aboard the Denver Zoo Railroad or the daily elephant shows at the McGrath Family Amphitheater. For a memorable visit, book an up-close animal encounter with penguins, rhinos, sea lions, or tigers.
The Denver Zoo is located in the Denver City Park just east of the city center within walking distance of the Denver Museum of Nature and Science and the City Park Golf Course. Free parking is available at the zoo and bus 32 stops right at the entrance to the zoo.
The Denver Zoo is open daily March through October, with slightly shorter hours November through February. The zoo is busiest on weekends, school holidays, and weekday afternoons, so visit outside that time if you wish to avoid the crowds. Late spring, when many baby zoo animals first make their appearance, is a great time to visit.
Each holiday season, the Denver Zoo gets festive with illuminated animal sculptures and millions of twinkling lights. With live entertainment and an appearance by Santa and Mrs. Claus, Denver Zoo Lights is one of the city’s most popular holiday events. Tickets are limited and sell out fast so make sure to get yours at least a week in advance.