The oldest and largest zoo in Texas, the Dallas Zoo is home to hundreds of animals, including a herd of elephants, giraffes, cheetahs, ostriches, gorillas, and penguins. On the zoo’s 106 acres you’ll also find the Lacerte Family Children’s Zoo, a highly rated reptile and amphibian exhibit, and the only koalas in Texas.
The Dallas Zoo has two main sections separated by a tunnel. The main entrance is at ZooNorth, where you’ll find the children’s zoo, Cheetah Encounter, tigers, primates, birds, and the amphitheater. Wilds of Africa houses giraffes, elephants, lions, hippos, and dozens of other species. Visitors can feed birds, see engaging wildlife shows, and take a ride on the Endangered Species Carousel.
Things to Know Before You Go
- Save money by purchasing a CityPASS, which includes admission to the Dallas Zoo in addition to other Dallas attractions.
- There are several on-site restaurants and food vendors, including the Serengeti Grill, where you can watch African lions just inches away through the restaurant’s viewing wall.
- Strollers and wheelchairs are available to rent.
- Guests may bring food and drinks (and there are picnic spots available at the zoo), but disposable straws, glass, and alcohol are not allowed.
How to Get There
The Dallas Zoo is located at 650 South R.L. Thornton Freeway in Marsalis Park, about three miles southwest of downtown Dallas. From downtown, take I-35E/South R.L. Thornton Freeway to exit 425C toward Marsalis Avenue/Dallas Zoo. Paid parking is available. You can also take the DART Red Line, which stops right in front of the zoo.
When to Get There
The Dallas Zoo is open daily from 9am to 5pm. Crowds can be heavy on weekends and school breaks. An ideal time to visit is right as the zoo opens, as you’re more likely to catch animals at their liveliest. Check the zoo schedule for upcoming events and animal talks and shows that you might want to see.
Backstage Animal Encounters
During select times of year for an additional fee, you can take a 90-minute guided tour of the Dallas Zoo and hear all about your favorite animals from the zookeepers themselves. You’ll get to feed apples to African elephants, take photos with an endangered penguin, and experience a special animal-encounter show.