The Nashville Zoo at Grassmere is a zoological garden and historic plantation farmhouse located 6 miles (9.7 km) southeast of Downtown Nashville. As of 2014, the zoo was middle Tennessee's top paid attraction and contained 6,230 individual animals, encompassing 339 species. The zoo's site is approximately 188 acres (76 ha) in size. It is an accredited member of the Association of Zoos and Aquariums.
Nashville Zoo is located on property that was once a 300-acre slave holding farm owned by Michael and Elizabeth Dunn. The Dunn's original home, built in 1810 through slave labor, is still located on the property. Margaret and Elise Croft, the great-great granddaughters of Michael Dunn, the original owner, were the last of the family to live at this location. In 1989, archaeologists evaluating the property for its archaeological resources discovered an unmarked cemetery fairly close to Grassmere's entrance off of Nolensville Road. When construction for the zoo began in 1997, this graveyard was not disturbed. It was only in 2013 when a newer entry plaza was planned did the zoo petition to have the bodies exhumed and their remains moved closer to the historic Dunn house by the state archaeologist. This exhumation revealed 9 to 30 African-Americans who had been buried there.
|Monday||9:00 AM – 6:00 PM|
|Tuesday||9:00 AM – 6:00 PM|
|Wednesday||9:00 AM – 6:00 PM|
|Thursday||9:00 AM – 6:00 PM|
|Friday||9:00 AM – 6:00 PM|
|Saturday||9:00 AM – 6:00 PM|
|Sunday||9:00 AM – 6:00 PM|
Stephen Hinson | Feb 21, 2018
It's so fun watching the zoo grow but still maintain a great experience. This is great fun for the kids who especially love the massive and well done playground. The Eagle Claw zip line ride is a real treat despite sometimes a long wait. And with a continually increasing collection of animals it provides a great educational opportunity. The food at the cafe is also really good for the venue type featuring farm to table entrees.
Julie Schuler | Feb 25, 2018
We've been to many zoos across the county, and this is by far our favorite one. The layout is very aesthetic, and comfortable to walk through. All of the animals look so healthy, happy, an clean. The entire zoo is so clean. Very family friendly environment. Would highly recommend.
Bailey Pettit | Feb 23, 2018
I love this zoo. The zookeepers are so friendly and are willing to answer questions about the animals. Some exhibits are small viewing area, but it's to be expected considering I went on a busy Saturday. I really enjoyed their birds and the Aviary hunt for the sloth. They have a great food at a reasonable price!
Amber Fritsch, O.D. | Feb 27, 2018
Parking is currently pretty torn up (but it's understandable since they are trying to add more) and my 4 year old was disappointed the giraffes weren't out (tried twice in the same visit to see them). It's still an enjoyable time for small kids. A few employees were out talking to us about the animals and we were there at feeding time for the kangaroos so got a few pets in. The membership staff was also very helpful fixing my online renewal mistake!
Debra Sheridan | Jan 12, 2018
What a fabulous location to spend a day! A well groomed park, with easy walking paths and convenient benches and shade. The exhibits are well maintained, the animals gorgeous, and the information interesting to children and adults alike. There is refreshments and restrooms conveniently scattered throughout. The children's playground is world class. A must experience for locals and visitors alike.
Jessica Davenport | Apr 13, 2018
The zoo was a fun place to take the family. The parking lot was easy to maneuver and enter the facility. Their prices are HIGH for stuffed animals. This is only made acceptable by the fact that the money does go to care for the animals and conservation efforts. Their exhibits are wonderfully made. Their newest exhibit with the bears from Peru has monkeys in the women's bathroom! Behind glass of course, but what a surprise when going to tinkle! I was half tempted to make my son use the restroom, even though he insisted he didn't, just to see if there were animals in the men's restroom! I do want to warn parents of going in the spring with their little ones. The animals are going to mate. In FULL view. So just be prepared to explain how they are fighting or just really friendly that day. We really loved it. They are constantly updating, while keeping to their origins with the historic home on the property that belonged to the family that donated their land for the Nashville Zoo to exist. I can't wait to go back!
Dan Bradfield | Apr 15, 2018
We LOVE visiting this zoo. The Nashville Zoo has come a long way since the Grassmere days of the early 90’s. The grounds are clean and the animal enclosures are late and spacious. It is easy to get around and our little one loves it. The playground area is an mist-visit stop for your kiddos before you depart. I highly recommend a stop by Grassmere.
Shrena Mcgarvey | Mar 29, 2018
We just happen to go on spring break, so it was a very busy time. I talked to some locals who said they never see it so packed. " we are from Florida". And it was an Amazon zoo! The rest rooms were very clean, the food reasonably priced, gift shop too! We found out that you are aloud to pack a lunch for your family if you are trying to save a little money.. the new bear exhibit was awesome.. I love the mix of new and old world zoo! The hills there are killer so wear your most comfortable shoes! The have the most amazing kids play zone, two actually one for the older kids and one for little ones, my one year old had a blast.. for the little zoo buddies male sure you have socks because you do have to remove your shoes... I know we loved it!
Aaron Boone | Apr 1, 2018
Very well played out and flows. The entire park is very clean. You can tell they put a lot of effort and money into the exhibits. Best zoo I've been to so far. The kids really enjoyed it. Lines for food can be long but you can bring in your bag snacks and waters easily.
Elijah Graham | May 6, 2018
Fun place to get some fresh air and see some cool animals. Seems expensive, but so is caring for so many different animals, so I’ve accepted it. We usually go once a year in Spring before it gets too hot. They do have cockroaches and mud bugs in the new world exhibit, which seems cheap since both of those things are quite common, but they have lots of other awesome exhibits, too. The meerkats and the flamingos are a few of my favorites. Food is incredibly overpriced, but that’s par for the course, too. They allow you to bring your own, so we leave ours in a cooler in the car until lunch and they allow us to go get it and we have a little picnic. It can be a really fun day, you just gotta know how to save a buck here and there to make the admission/parking fees worth it. Best part? We got to pet a kangaroo. And that was amazing.
Steve Engle | Jun 16, 2018
Had a great time with my family at the zoo! For six of us the total cost was $104 (5 adults, 1 child, and parking). They allow you to bring in your own food and drinks as well if you want. The layout of the walkways is very good and much of the walking/viewing areas are shaded which is nice on hot days. There are also some indoor exhibits which are air conditioned. The animals were great with new exhibits being made. As you might expect, there is a fair amount of walking so comfortable shoes are recommended. There are also places to eat in the zoo but they are a bit pricey in my opinion. Check out the zoo's website for more.
Jin Yoshikawa | Jun 29, 2018
Fantastic. Very well designed. Good, new exhibits. Exotic selection of creatures! All the animals look healthy and happy. You can see them very close too. Some, you are even allowed to touch, like the kangaroos! Habitats are clean, as are the pathways and cafeteria. Lots of shade, which makes it comfortable even in the middle of summer. Great for adults and children.
Jason Van Bemmel | Jun 24, 2018
What a wonderful zoo! We've been to several zoos, and this is now one of our favorites! Several areas allow for up-close and interactive experiences with the animals. We loved petting the kangaroos and tortoises. The red pandas are incredibly adorable. The aviary was really fun, too. The added, unexpected bonus with the Nashville Zoo is the Grassmere Home and Gardens, a lovely bit of history in the middle of the zoo!
Bunni Nicole | Jul 3, 2018
Best zoo I have EVER been to. All the animals were lively and energetic. A volunteer walked around with my husband and me, he told us stories about all the animals. It was so wonderful and pleasant. Even though we live far away, we still plan on going back. A good variety of animals. 10 out of 10
brooke yoder | Jul 4, 2018
We love this zoo and are season pass holders. It only takes a couple hours to go through and see everything. Make sure to go early if you want to see the kangaroos or Andean bear active. We’ve gone many times and it’s always clean, the workers are so kind and my son loves their playground. They have a petting zoo area, adventure stations and rides (the rides cost additional). Lastly, the zoo has a lot of fun activities like Moana visiting, movie nights, and camping overnight. It’s always a great visit and if you’re local, worth buying the membership!
Wander is a travel search engine that allows you to find the perfect travel destination that fits your budget and preferences.