Tuesday, March 8, 2011

Philadelphia Zoo

I must admit I was a bit skeptical  when Kyle told me he wanted to go to the Philadelphia Zoo.  I had never heard of it and I don't really like to go to zoos with a shady reputation (not that this zoo had a shady reputation I knew nothing about it).  But as we were planning on getting the Philadelphia City Pass and the zoo is right next to the Please Touch Museum, why not go.

First impression not so good: are we going to a zoo or a prison? But we found free parking!!!!!

The first exhibit after the main gate is the Rare Animal Conservation Center.  This building I must admit is nothing special, no huge fancy enclosures like in some of the other zoos I've been to but these were mainly just small monkeys (or related species) and most zoos have similar spaces.  But I was still a bit skeptical.  Kyle and I have been members or frequent visitors of the Calgary Zoo, Toronto Zoo and the National Zoo in D.C.  All three of these zoos have new buildings with great spaces for animals so I expect this in all Zoos and so far this one was letting me down.

Well I must say I judged this zoo too quickly as it turned out to be much better than I initially though and I like come of the ethical decisions this zoo made (they decided to move their Elephants to another zoo as they could not come up with the funds to build a large enough enclosure for them).  

Big Cat Falls was an amazing exhibit with nice big spaces for the cats and interesting enclosures.  I like it when you are taken on a kind of tour rather than just animal after animal in a building.  
Don't worry the Lion can't eat you

This zoo even had animals I had never seen or heard of before:
Okapi - looks like a zebra/giraffe

The primate reserve where the gorillas and orangutan live and is really entertaining for both mammals inside and outside the glass.  There is a super cute baby orangutan who was very entertaining.
Play with me mom

I must admit the zoo was quite a bit bigger than I had expected and we all had a great time.
Even the otters were having a splash

While I will fully admit this is not the best zoo on the planet and the small mammal house was a bit sad (it needs a face lift) it was pretty good considering it's Americas oldest zoo.  The vast majority of the zoo was kid friendly (more than can be said for the National Zoo).  If you are looking for something to do in the Philly area or have bought the City Pass I'd check out this zoo, it's worth your time.  They even have a giant hot air balloon to ride when the weather is nice (too much wind for us or we would have gone for sure).

Tavish was getting tired (his first trip in the Ergo - I bought he Ergo for Callen) 
so we were ready to head to our hotel


  1. I'm going to be heading to Philly next month and I'm definitely going to have to take Sammy to the zoo!

  2. Following you via Mom Blogs! I'm from Philly so of course your blog caught my eye. Don't recognize the entrance you used, but I've been to the Philly Zoo lots over my lifetime and can tell you the surrounding neighborhood def needs some help! I always wondered what out of town tourists must think!

    The primate reserve is my favorite. The Treehouse (for season pass members only I think) is pretty neat for kids too. I LOVED it when I was a child and only wish it were a better maintained over the years - not all the electronics were working last time I was there. Little ones don't seem to notice much though and have fun running around.

  3. Thanks for following my blog! I was thinking about a trip to the Philly Zoo this summer, thanks for your info!