A Day Trip Guide to Philadelphia Zoo (America’s First Zoo)

One of the best laid out zoos in the country, Philadelphia Zoo is located on the west bank of the Schuylkill River of Philadelphia. It was chartered in 1859 but Civil War created a delay in its opening, in 1874 it was finally opened. Being the first true zoo in the United States was opened with 1000 animals and admission for 25 cents. For a short time, the zoo also housed species brought to the United States from safaris by the Smithsonian Institution, which did not have a National Zoo at the time.

History of Philadelphia Zoo

The Philadelphia Zoo is 42 acres and is home to nearly 1300 species, among which many are endangered and rare. It is one of the zoos that is known for breeding animals that are difficult to breed under constraints. It has attained the first position in the first captive management of flamingos. Through inventive feeding techniques, the pink and red pigmented flamingos were attained by the zoo.

Philly Zoo has many “firsts” credited to its name. Like, 1928 the first successful birth of an Orangutan and a Chimpanzee in a zoo, the first Cheetah born in 1956, the first Echidna born in North America in 1983, the first giant river Otter born in North America in 2004, and the first parent-reared Guam Kingfisher was bred in 1985. This was the first zoo to gain these birds, through their techniques. The zoo is also involved in many organizations to save the natural habitats of the in their care.

Some notable animals of this Zoo are Koosaka, Terney, Petal, Gus, Batu, Stella and Changbai.

Reasons to visit the Zoo

1. Zoo 360

The Philadelphia Zoo opened at Treetop Trail in 2011, which was the first component of the Zoo 360 animal exploration trail system. Zoo360 is a network of see-through mesh paths made up of elevated and ground-level structures that allow animals to explore the zoo outside of their enclosures. The Great Ape Trail, Big Cat Crossing, Gorilla Tree way, and Meerkat Maze were later added to the system.

2. KidzooU

The Philadelphia Zoo launched KidZooU on the location of the former Pachyderm House on April 13, 2013. It is one of the zoo’s major projects and replaces the former Children’s Zoo, which had been open for almost 50 years. It is also known as the Hamilton Family Children’s Zoo and Faris Family Education Center. KidZooU is famous for its numerous environmental elements, including rain gardens and cisterns, geothermal wells, and green roofs, making it the zoo’s first LEED-certified exhibit.

3. Wildworks Ropes Course

WildWorks, a 34-foot (10-meter) high ropes course with bridges, ropes, and challenges, was launched in 2019 by the Philly Zoo. Climbing harnesses are worn by participants. There are two classes offered, each designed for a specific age range and ability level. A smaller system is also available for youngsters under 48 in (120 cm).

4. Big Cat Falls

KeyBank Big Cat Falls, which contains felines from all over the world and is the pride of the Philadelphia Zoo, debuted in 2006. A realistic research station for aspiring zoologists is included in the beautiful show, which also includes waterfalls, pools, real plants, and genuine plantings. The main attractions include tigers, lions, leopards, jaguars, and pumas.

5. PECO Primate Reserve

You can view orangutans, gorillas, gibbons, and more across the two-and-a-half acres of indoor and outdoor displays, as well as hear the true tales of people who spend their lives conserving some of the most endangered primates on the planet. That is when you get closer to PECO Primate Reserve, a group of conservationists for primates have moved into a shuttered lumber mill to aid in the preservation of monkeys from all over the world.

6. McNeil Aviation Center

Visitors to the McNeil Avian Center may see dozens of magnificent birds from all over the world, some of which are rare and endangered, in walk-through habitats at the Philly Zoo.

Best Time to visit the Philadelphia Zoo

You can plan you’re your entire for this magnificent zoo as it is open all year around. Many schools organize trips, so it’s advisable to visit in the morning hours before the students arrive. Or if you wish to go after lunch, then you can choose to visit the zoo later in the day around 2 pm. Because of this most of the schools and camps would have left the zoo. And it will be peaceful to explore the site.

How to Get the Philadelphia Zoo tickets for Family?

Tickets are available at the gate or you can book them online in advance. If you are a big group, then the Philadelphia Zoo provides a group ticket option for your convenience.

Instead of taking The Phila zoo tickets each and every time you visit, you can prefer to take membership options. This will give animal lovers a chance to preserve the species as the fees go to saving wildlife. Pay once a year and visit again and again.

The ticket cost for adults and children above 2 years is $16, and for kids below 2 years, entry is free.

The zoo has several parking lots, and it also has a four-story parking garage. The parking fee is $17 but for members it’s free. If you don’t want to waste time finding a parking space then public transport is the best option. SEPTA buses stop within blocks of the Philly Zoo.

Planning to visit India and meet your loved ones, then book flights from Philadelphia to Thiruvananthapuram.