I reviewed the Indy Zoo last year, but since then, I have purchased a family membership and now visit virtually every week. I have been surprised to see some reviews indicating that the zoo is expensive or too small, or that the environment is too artificial for the animals. I have visited a lot of museums and zoos both in the U.S. and while living abroad. In my experience, the zoo is competitively priced, yet enough though the price is average, the experience is far better than average. Many of the animals roam free, unlike famous zoos like the Washington DC National Zoo. I realize that real estate is far cheaper in Indy and that the zoo is much newer, so Indy may have an unfair advantage. Nevertheless, I have a strong preference for the Indy format, rather than the tight confines of the National Zoo. It's not the wild animal park of San Diego, of course, but it's closer to that than it is to the typical zoo with essentially jail cells for all of the animals. I do wish, however, that the Indy zoo had pandas! I have lived in China, where virtually every zoo seems to have them. Finally, if you plan repeat visits, buy a membership. Not only does it make the price a real bargain (including making the parking free), but it gives you access to fantastic seasonal programs like Christmas at the Zoo, weekly jazz during the summer, Halloween at the Zoo, and much more. We even visit just to use the playground equipment and splash park for our toddlers. Nobody with kids should miss this!
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