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“Great zoo: Family review and tips”

Greater Vancouver Zoo
More attraction details
Attraction details
Fee: Yes
Recommended length of visit: 2-3 hours
Owner description: Open year round and located only 45 minutes from Vancouver, Step Into The Wild at the largest zoo in BC! Discover the sights and sounds of over 140 species on 120 acres in the beautiful Fraser Valley! Experience the Zoo your way by bringing your own wagons, roller blades, bikes, skateboards, and picnic lunches. The playground and large picnic areas are great for birthdays, company BBQ's, group events or family picnics. In the summer, spend a Night In The Wild as you camp overnight inside the Zoo, and be sure to sign up for one of our popular Junior Zoologist Day Camps! Since 1970, the Greater Vancouver Zoo is focused on education and conservation.
Useful Information: Activities for young children
Reviewed September 2, 2013

Excellent zoo, lots of animals and things to see. We paid $70 CAN for two adults and two kids.

If you have small kids, there is A LOT of walking. After two hours my 7 year old and 11 year old were tired. Wear walking shoes not sandals,

Bring food and water. The snack bar and concessions stands are super expensive and a rip off. A ice cream bad that cost $1 they sell for $4. $3 for a Diet Coke. You get the drift. Snack bar food was frozen, fried and nasty! Eat before you come.

They charge $6 for parking. They try to get you to buy train trips, rent bikes, donate money every step of the way. There was a lot of up selling.

They do not provide you with a map or list of instructions.

1  Thank RyanMaz
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
GVZoo, General Manager at Greater Vancouver Zoo, responded to this reviewResponded September 6, 2013

Hi Ryan. Thanks for reviewing the Greater Vancouver Zoo.
Unlike many other Zoo’s, the Greater Vancouver Zoo is a privately run facility. We don’t receive any government funding, and rely solely on admission rates to operate the Zoo year round.
As an alternative to walking our large facility or taking the train, we do allow our guests to bring in their own bikes,blades, etc. Guests are also allowed to bring in outside food and drinks, instead of purchasing them inside the Zoo.
Last year, as a green measure, we phased out paper maps. To replace the paper maps, we installed 8 large map boards throughout the Zoo. The map boards also have QR codes on them, that allow guests with smart phones to download a Zoo map to their phone. If you have a camera phone, another alternative is to take a picture of the map.
Thanks again for the review. We hope to see you again soon!

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in 16 reviews
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"lots of space"
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"membership"
in 11 reviews
"angela"
in 6 reviews
"stroller"
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"talks"
in 5 reviews
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259 - 263 of 460 reviews

Reviewed September 2, 2013

After reading the negative reviews about the zoo I was second guessing my decision to take the grandkids there. They, however, were very excited at the prospect so I went ahead and didn't mention anything to them. We had a great day, saw loads of different animals, came close up and personal with a grizzly bear and fell in love with the giraffe. We enjoyed the natural looking trails and appreciated the shady walks between enclosures. There is also a playground that the kids enjoyed while the adults relaxed after the viewing was over. It took about 2hrs in total. We all had a very enjoyable outing. Our gkids are 7yrs and 5yrs which I think is a perfect age to visit this size of zoo. We didn't go on the train or use the bikes as the kids like to run everywhere. A lovely afternoon for all of us.

1  Thank Portalberni10
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
GVZoo, General Manager at Greater Vancouver Zoo, responded to this reviewResponded September 6, 2013

Hi. Thanks for the review! We're glad to hear you had a great time at the Greater Vancouver Zoo, and look forward to welcoming you back again soon!

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Reviewed August 29, 2013

We took a group if residents from a care facility to the zoo and it was a great experience. Angela, the train conductor was so accommodating with our residents and went above and beyond to accommodate our residents on the bus. Hats off to you. Thanks for a great afternoon!

1  Thank kerryberry68
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
GVZoo, General Manager at Greater Vancouver Zoo, responded to this reviewResponded September 6, 2013

Hi. Thanks for the review! We're glad you all had a great visit to the Zoo!

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Reviewed August 28, 2013

Seeing the add for the zoo I thought it was going to be a magical experience to teach my daughter about some of the amazing animals we share the planet with. After parking and paying we enter and see that there's a train ride! We both get excited to go on a guided tour. Walk up to buy tickets see a tiny sign saying you must buy them when entering. Really glad the staff member who was playing on her phone mentioned that. Go back to buy tickets it's 1:30 at this point and she says the next train isn't until 4 pm. Okay... So we go to rent a pedal bike. $18 per hour. The guy serving us was really rude. Trying to full out paperwork no matter how little it is difficult with a child (single parent). We start out on our bike adventure and pass by 3 seemingly empty cages. Finally we see some zebras! The bike can't get over the bridge no matter how hard I pestle so I had to get my 3 year old to steer while I pushed it over 4 bridges. At this point I'm sweaty and dusty. I had to ask a pregnant woman to steer while I pushed it up a hill. We headed back at this point after passing more seemingly empty cages. In total besides seeing some deer we saw 5 different types of animals. What a waste of $110 dollars. Do not go. Do not rent the bike. Do not support this place that when speaking to the bird trainer admitted that he even thought it was pretty crappy and that the owner just doesn't care. Pretty bad when you're employees don't even believe in the business.

2  Thank 821Sammie
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
GVZoo, General Manager at Greater Vancouver Zoo, responded to this reviewResponded September 6, 2013

We appreciate our guests posting their concerns about their visit to the Greater Vancouver Zoo.
My apologies for your experience with our staff. The Safari Miniature Train is popular, thus unfortunately can sell out quickly during our peak season. As an added option, as opposed to walking/riding the train/renting a Quadra Cycle, we allow our guests to bring in their own bikes, blades, etc to use inside the Zoo. Unlike many other Zoo’s, the Greater Vancouver Zoo is a privately run facility. We don’t receive any government funding, and rely solely on admission rates to operate the Zoo year round.
The Zoo is home to over 500 animals on 120 acres. The size of our facility allows us to provide our animals with larger enclosures. At first glance some enclosures may appear empty, however it just requires a bit more time to search for the animal. During our peak season, we offer educational talks and feedings daily from 10:30 am to 3:30 pm. These talks and feedings offer great viewing opportunities with a variety of our animals. For a current schedule, please visit our website.
Thanks again for the review. We hope you'll consider visiting us again in the future.

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Reviewed August 28, 2013

I've been to the San Diego zoo and the LA zoo, both of which are much larger than this one, but the Vancouver Zoo has a calmer, more relaxed atmosphere. The animals have larger habitats than I've ever seen! We could still see them, though, it's not like they were hiding invisibly. I was two feet away from a bear, and three feet away from a mountain lion! It was thrilling. I could count the hairs on the zebra's faces! I've wanted to get this close to animals for years. It was amazing!

Thank Alisa R
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
GVZoo, General Manager at Greater Vancouver Zoo, responded to this reviewResponded September 6, 2013

Hi Alisa. Thanks for the review. We're glad you had a great visit to the Greater Vancouver Zoo!

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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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