The Philadelphia Zoo is perfect for families with kids looking for a break from the historical sites, though it has some historical significance as well—it was the nation’s first zoo. It’s home to over 1,300 different animals, many of them rare and endangered, and renowned for successfully breeding animals that are difficult to breed in captivity.
The Philadelphia Zoo has activities for the whole family. With exhibits like Outback Outpost, African Plains, Big Cat Falls, Penguin Point, and Monkey Junction, the zoo offers a closer look at rare and endangered animals that you may not see anywhere else. There’s also a children’s zoo with interactive exhibits and opportunities for hands-on learning. Save money with a discounted multiattraction pass that includes zoo admission.
Things to Know Before You Go
- The Philadelphia Zoo is a must-do for animal lovers and families with kids.
- Buy your tickets ahead of time to avoid waiting in line at the box office.
- Expect to spend a full day exploring the zoo’s animal exhibits and attractions.
- The zoo is accessible to wheelchairs, strollers, and scooters, and offers restrooms, an ATM, and on-site parking.
- There are plenty of shops and dining options inside, and guests are permitted to bring their own food and nonalcoholic drinks.
How to Get There
The Philadelphia Zoo sits on the corner of 34th Street and Girard Avenue in northern Philadelphia, just a short drive from other attractions. Most visitors arrive as part of a hop-on hop-off tour or by public transport—SEPTA’s route 15 trolley and the Philly Phlash stop right outside. If you’re driving, take I-76 to the Girard Avenue exit and follow the signs.
When to Get There
The Philadelphia Zoo is open daily, except for Thanksgiving Day, Christmas Eve, Christmas Day, New Year's Eve, and New Year's Day. It’s busiest in summer; other times of year are less crowded. Arrive early if you want to beat the crowds, avoid the long lines, and see the animals at their liveliest.
Zoo Rides and Attractions
In addition to the many great animal exhibits, the Philadelphia Zoo also offers several rides and attractions. Young kids will love the zoo’s custom-built carousel featuring endangered species from the Amazon rainforest and the PZ Express kiddie train, while visitors of all ages can fly above the zoo in a hot-air balloon or paddle around the lake in a swan boat.