The Philadelphia Zoo, located in the Centennial District of Philadelphia, on the west bank of the Schuylkill River, was the first true zoo in the United States. It was chartered by the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania on March 21, 1859, but its opening was delayed by the Civil War until July 1, 1874. The zoo opened with 1,000 animals and an admission price of 25 cents. For a brief time, the zoo also housed animals brought over from safari on behalf of the Smithsonian Institution, which had not yet built the National Zoo.
The Philadelphia Zoo is one of the premier zoos in the world for breeding animals that are difficult to breed in captivity. The zoo is consistently ranked as one of the top zoological destinations in the United States, alongside the San Diego Zoo and ZooTampa at Lowry Park. The zoo also works with many groups around the world to protect the natural habitats of the animals in their care.
|Monday||9:30 AM – 5:00 PM|
|Tuesday||9:30 AM – 5:00 PM|
|Wednesday||9:30 AM – 5:00 PM|
|Thursday||9:30 AM – 5:00 PM|
|Friday||9:30 AM – 5:00 PM|
|Saturday||9:30 AM – 5:00 PM|
|Sunday||9:30 AM – 5:00 PM|
Ariana Bawerman | Feb 17, 2018
We visited this zoo in the fall and it was an enjoyable experience. It's not too large that it can't be done in one day, but not too small either. Beautiful fountains and foliage fill the landscape while the animal exhibits educate and entertain. It seems like not a lot of money and effort has been put into making the zoo a top attraction for locals and tourists. There's such a variety..... something for everyone. The paths through the zoo are shady and pleasant for strolling. Over 1300 animals are featured. It was very nice, clean, animals well taken care of. It is the oldest zoo in the U.S.
L Thomps | Dec 22, 2017
We went on a cold day off from school and were delighted to have individual time with both active-duty and off-duty docents. What a treat to get this experience. Love the trails for the tigers when they walk over the pedestrian path. So nice to see the environmental efforts of this zoo. The buildings are compliant and the plants are native. Love these efforts by this national landmark.
Sir Gareth | Mar 3, 2018
Great place. Family friendly. Only bad part is when the penguins attacked. Other than that, good Saturday. Oh and the polar bear died. The penguins killed him. :(
Holly Boyle | Dec 12, 2017
The Philadelphia Zoo is the oldest zoo in the country. It is both fun and interactive with plenty to do. There are times where you can meet the zoo keepers for several different animal exhibits. They also let monkeys and big cats out into a cage-like tunnel so they can roam outside their own exhibits and can be found throughout the park itself. A lot to see. Highly recommend it.
shaya pita | Feb 14, 2018
I had such a crazy good time here And I love zoos this has been an amazing zoo expirnece for me. I almost missed the reptile house but I'm so happy that I didn't there were some animals that were a no show but the chimps were really fun and the polar bear was sweet. Overall was an a amazing experience and I will definitely be back in the summer months
Lynette Johnson | Apr 4, 2018
Very enjoyable. Loved the baby gorillas. Surprised at the number of animals we didn't see since the temps were above 45, but spring is a little hit and miss. There was an interesting individual there during our time who walked up close to multiple families including ours while continuously and loudly speaking to himself-strange but harmless.
Matt Jennings | Apr 1, 2018
This place is so exciting. So many great animals to see. On a warm day its fun to see the otters splashing around and the polar bears swimming. The ape house is always fun with the lemurs and gorillas. So many learning places so you can learn about your favorite animals. Alot of workers if you need help. The Zoo Balloon was a fun ride you can see for miles when you are up there, such a cool sight. The big cats are great, the petting zoo, and the penguins are fun to watch. There are workers all over the place, I asked for help and they were very resourceful. Overall a fun great place.
Paula Huffman | Apr 5, 2018
We live in Ohio, so to say we understand when weather is cold is an understatement. However, even in Ohio the zoos offer an off-peak rate. I understand some animals will stay inside to keep warm, however there was no viewing indoors. Asking at the front, I was told a majority the food/souvenir/ shops do not open throughout the week- and some not at all until peak summer weather.We saw a total of 7 animals in 3 hours (not including barnyard animals which we can see everyday). Lemonade stand closed, face painting closed, no gorilla, no red panda, no giraffes, no rhino, no hippo, no otters, no tiger, no orangutans, no chimps. Aside from one hot dog stand and one pretzel place near the entrance, only ONE food area. Seating behind where you order only 15 small tables. Tiger food area has three restaurants, three different registers at which to place your order, but only one single door at one end so good luck waiting in line for food, hopefully it's the one you want. No help in or near restrooms, employee I asked was unsure where the closest restroom was and when we found it, it had no soap. We tried speaking with the supervisor on duty- I genuinely felt like she heard not one concern my husband and I raised. She was a smartass, which was the awful icing on the $90 for tickets cake... we have traveled to a dozen zoos and this is by far our worst experience. This is the first zoo built in the United States! It has so much potential and it was so disappointing and disheartening to see it falling so short of even a mediocre experience.
Danielle love&peace | Apr 5, 2018
Its a great place as long as your child has no speial needs ...I will never return to this place my Autistic now 9yr old then 5yr old was physically and verbally attacked by both children and their parents and staff did nothing to help even after I had shouted for someone to please call security afterward I spoke to a assistant manager and told her that I would no longer feel comfortable coming and to please issue a refund on my membership she refused stating certain days and times that I should bring him because that would be better for someone like him I then called multiple times asked to speak to the manager or the owner and emailed and never got a response to this day I am afraid to take my child there....I am happy the others have fun and feel safe.... but it's not a place we will ever go again you know one of the saddest part about that day was one of the so-called mothers who told her 12 yr old to shove my child then turned to me and told me that she worked with autistic and it was people like me that gave them a bad name...
Jason Ryan | May 14, 2018
We love the zoo. We've been members for a few years now and it's been worth every cent. The assortment of animals is fantastic and they all look healthy and active. We have never been to visit when we didn't get a close up and quality view of some kind of interesting creature. There is plenty of stuff for all ages of kids. We started taking ours at a few months old and go regularly. For many people, zoos aren't their thing for animal ethics reasons. I understand that but while I'm not an expert, the animals here seem well cared for and we've developed a better sense of global ecology and hope to instil this in our kid as a result of the time we have spent at this zoo. It's a great place to learn and experience the variety of life on our planet. There are several pay lots owned by the zoo and one fairly large garage. Expect a short walk from any parking lot. There is a train stop as well as bus and trolley stops nearby. Free parking may be available in the adjacent neighborhoods but I can't recommend it.
Lester Bourdon | May 10, 2018
Last week we visited the Philadelphia Zoo, it had been a while since we had gone. We do visited frequently because we have a family pass, which is well worth the money. This visit, we noticed many things had changed at the zoo in regards to the animal's habitats. Many were being enlarged and changed, benefiting the animals mental and physical needs. For instance, the river otters, one of our favorites at the zoo, was having their habitat inlarged to include water slides an extra amenities. The Penguins, we're being moved into the Polar Bear exhibit, which was empty due to the loss of the oldest polar bear going to his reward. While we feel the loss, the Penguins will be going to a larger habitat that will allow them great freedom and sunshine. Many other animals are having their habitats moved or improved. All that is being done is to benefit both the physical and mental will being of the Philadelphia zoos animals. Which reflects well upon their caretakers and Zoo administrators. It shows they really care, and a place where children can learn respect and explore nature and habitats of creatures they would never get to see ordinarily. Children learn how about our ecosystem, and how we all fit into the larger Circle of Life on our planet and its importance to all of our existences.
Brad Coale | Apr 28, 2018
Currently finishing up some construction on some new/upgraded exhibits for the summer, but a very nice zoo. We had the luck of going on an overcast and slightly cooler day which seemed to have the majority of the animals a bit more active than normal. The snow leopard was very close to the glass so you could get a great look! Stop in towards the end of the day and most school trips will be on their way out leaving most of the zoo empty which is very nice.
Rodolfo Bryson | Apr 29, 2018
A great time for any family. So educational, great staff (outside of the crappy food service workers). My daughter's loved the face painters, they were very patient and talented. We go so often now they think it's their very own zoo. The beer garden is great for an adult break acme is directly across from the icee station. They are constantly updating all their exhibits and holding special events.
Kaine Rimmer | May 11, 2018
You MUST visit in April... Here's why.... It's the zoo. Of course it's great. Thankfully the parking garage is right off the highway exit. Easy as can be. Parking was a breeze, quick and decently priced. Admission isn't bad considering all that there is to do. Plus memberships are great if you plan to visit at least twice a year. Can save lots of money. Also their website has a good description of each membership and what perks are included so you can get the best fit. Now April specifically is a great time to visit for a few reasons. Now the first reason is obvious, it's not peak season so there will be less people in your way. This means better parking and quicker ticket lines. Second is the animals tend to be more active. This was definitely the case in my last visit, lots of extra action. Third is that the zoo generaly tries a bit harder to get people into the zoo which results in different events and promotions. Fourth and final is it's April so the weather will be great. You can wear shorts and you won't be cold or sweating. Pro tip for reading the whole review is to work the zoo backwards. Meaning don't start at the primates like most people. Go the opposite route to see the big ticket items early and catch the primates on your way out. This also means you get to the food last as well so you can take a break after seeing most of the zoo. My advice is, if you are looking for a good memorable time then it's worth the trip.
Katya Gordon | Jun 19, 2018
LOVE THE ZOO! We are members and went today to see the new red panda and giant river otter habitat. They did a great job with it. If you taking more then one adult and one kid and are reasonably local, spring for the membership. It will save you money in the long run and going to the zoo is a fun way to spend the day. The zoo is geared towards conservation and appreciation of the amazing animals we share our world with; my nieces and I always learn something when we go to the zoo.
Danie Greenwell | Jun 5, 2018
Excellent zoo. They do wonderful education on conservation and have created a really great atmosphere. Staff is wonderful and the variety means we see something new every time. Wish they had some different food choices - maybe some local food/healthful food rather than carnival like. The overhead big cat walkways are so cool!
Vernee Fryer | May 24, 2018
Very nice weather that day. Not too hot or too cold. All the animals were out. Had a chance to see the hippos actually come out of the water to eat. Awesome! Went with Kindergarten as chaperone. I like going every year! They have volunteers there who are very informative about different animals too! Looking forward to new otters section once built...Where were the polar bears?
Kaine Rimmer | Jun 3, 2018
It's the zoo. Of course it's great. Thankfully the parking garage is right off the highway exit. Easy as can be. Parking was a breeze, quick and decently priced. Admission isn't bad considering all that there is to do. Plus memberships are great if you plan to visit at least twice a year. Can save lots of money. Also their website has a good description of each membership and what perks are included so you can get the best fit. Now April specifically is a great time to visit for a few reasons. Now the first reason is obvious, it's not peak season so there will be less people in your way. This means better parking and quicker ticket lines. Second is the animals tend to be more active. This was definitely the case in my last visit, lots of extra action. Third is that the zoo generaly tries a bit harder to get people into the zoo which results in different events and promotions. Fourth and final is it's April so the weather will be great. You can wear shorts and you won't be cold or sweating. Pro tip for reading the whole review is to work the zoo backwards. Meaning don't start at the primates like most people. Go the opposite route to see the big ticket items early and catch the primates on your way out. This also means you get to the food last as well so you can take a break after seeing most of the zoo. My advice is, if you are looking for a good memorable time then it's worth the trip.
CL Sparkman | Jul 18, 2018
America's first zoo park. Very well maintained. They've done a great job of blending old and new parts. All nicely shaded so that people and animals don't melt in the summer heat. Highly recommended for kids. As with most major zoos they offer an annual pass. For locals that would seem pretty good value.
Johanna Palacio | Jul 9, 2018
We went to the Philadelphia zoo on Sunday. Absolutely loved the experience. All the exhibits looked very well designed, the zoo360 was wonderful. We got to see a tiger using it, a mama gorilla with her little 2 year old baby gorilla. The staff was very helpful and answered many of our questions about some exhibits. We got to see the 🦒 giraffes ! We couldn’t park inside but the walk from the area across the bridge wasn’t far from the south entrance. Amazing keep up the good work!
Nikki Bender | Jul 2, 2018
Great variety of animals, all of which seem so happy and well-cared for. We love the interactive exhibits! I was also very impressed with the level of staffing. Everywhere you turn, there's a zoo staff member offering their service or sharing an interesting fact about a nearby animal. This is also a very clean and well-maintained zoo, with plenty of shade. Beautiful landscaping!
Noemi Martinez | Jun 22, 2018
I expected a bigger zoo, but it is still a great. It's more confusing than most, but I believe that has to do with it being the oldest zoo. There is a garage and several parking lots to accommodate all the people driving into town. I've only ever seen them completely full once. It is great for children of all ages. There are only two big hills that may be harder for seniors to tackle, but other than that...The walking around is pleasant. The petting zoo is a big plus! It lets the little ones interact with other kids. There is also a large playground to give parents a rest. And you can't forget the swan paddle boats. $6.00 a person for 15 minutes. Believe me...it's worth it. Not the best zoo, but certainly entertaining.
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