The Philadelphia Zoo is where visitors can come and experience all the wonders of the animal kingdom. The zoo began to set its roots in 1859 but was only opened much later, in 1874. Today it houses over 1,000 animals from a variety of species and has associations with large animal protection agencies to ensure that the animals entering the zoo always have a good home and are well taken care of. The zoo caretakers try its utmost to give the animals a habitat that is as natural as possible. A large number of the species here are listed as endangered species, and the zoo actively works to protect them.


© Courtesy of Ronnie Howard -

The zoo has a number of activities within its premises that it offers its visitors. Tours, which are called “trails,” are almost continuously being conducted, and visitors can choose and switch at their discretion. The list of the wide range of trails that the zoo conducts can be viewed on the zoo’s main website, and the trails mainly group different animal types together and provide in-depth information on each of those great species.

The zoo also has a PECO Primate Reserve, wherein visitors can see different kinds of species of apes and monkeys. The zoo is home to some extremely rare species of animals, some of which are the only found in certain parts of America. For example, the Philadelphia Zoo is the only place where you can get a glimpse of the red-shanked douc langur, the only existing one in the entire continent of North America. This majestic animal is on the verge of extinction and is found in extremely few places in the entire world.

For people who love their scaly little, and not so little, friends, the reptile and amphibian section of the zoo is a brilliant place to have a close-up view of some of these animals. The zoo also has different species of snakes and frogs, some of which, again, are the rarest types in the world. Also, the zoo also has the cutest collection of small mammals, absolutely guaranteed to soften your heart!

For bird watchers and bird lovers, at any given point when at the zoo, you will be able to see a variety of beautiful birds flying about. For a better glimpse of these feathered creatures, the bird valley within the zoo premises offers a pleasantly scenic experience.

The list of programs that the zoo offers goes on and on, so there’s no way anyone can say that they are bored here! There are numerous educational programs to give their visitors a more in-depth understanding of the ecology and animals that surround the area. The zoo also lets visitors stay within the zoo to offer them a more inclusive experience, complete with the joy of camping in the wilderness. Lodges and treetop houses are also available for that true jungle-like experience.

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2.Plan Your Visit

Plan Your Visit
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The zoo is perfect for people wanting to spend a day in the midst of wildlife and nature. The Philadelphia Zoo has numerous tailored plans and activities, depending on what you would ideally want to do and how much time you want to spend. The zoo has an easily operated interactive trip planner on their website that can assist people in mapping their time at the zoo. The tool is also particularly useful for individuals who want to know the most optimal routes to take in order to maximize the time spent here.

Because winter is the season the animals love the most, visiting the zoo during the winter months is the best way to see the animals in their most natural and happy state. The zoo also hosts special winter programs and Christmas time activities, making it an ideal time to experience the beauty of the zoo and all the animals therein. People who possess a Philadelphia’s City Pass enjoy a 44% discount on tickets.

Back to: Things to Do in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania

3400 W Girard Ave, Philadelphia, PA 19104, website, Phone: 215-243-1100

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Things to Do in Philadelphia, PA: Philadelphia Zoo

  • Programs, Photo: Courtesy of Ronnie Howard -
  • Plan Your Visit, Photo: Courtesy of Steve Byland -
  • Cover Photo: Courtesy of michael -