We noticed that you're using an unsupported browser. The TripAdvisor website may not display properly.
We support the following browsers:
Windows: Internet Explorer, Mozilla Firefox, Google Chrome. Mac: Safari.
The latest reviews. The lowest prices. The perfect place to shop for hotels.

“Fun Place To Visit”
Review of Birmingham Zoo

Birmingham Zoo
Ranked #9 of 90 things to do in Birmingham
Certificate of Excellence
More attraction details
Attraction details
Owner description: Watch sea lions being trained and fed, zip around on the Zoo Train, hop on the carousel, check out the alligator swamp and tropical rain forest: all this and more are offered at this educational and entertaining zoo housing 170 animals from around the world, including endangered species.
Decatur, Alabama
Level Contributor
183 reviews
52 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 70 helpful votes
“Fun Place To Visit”
Reviewed December 15, 2011

Recently went to the zoo with our grandchildren - a 6 yr-old and a 3yr. old, both boys. It was Veteran's Day and there specials but it wasn't crowded. The weather was great and most of the animals were active.

The boys were fascinated by the Komodo Dragon in the Reptile House more than just about anything. The lion exhibit was good with five little cubs. They were all over their mother playing. The tiger was also impressive. The elephants were a little far away and not easy to see. The big gorilla at the ape house is impressive.There were plenty of animals, well worth staying 2-4 hours.

There was also several non-animal areas (playgrounds) that were a lot of fun - things to play with and climb on, drums to pound, sand to dig in for bones. There is a farm/petting area with goats and sheep. Our boys were fascinated by two cages of exotic chickens with a chart to identify what kind they were (these are city boys).

We ate lunch at the restaurant and it was pretty good, mostly hamburgers, fries and hot dogs. This is a good place to sit down and rest. Nearby is a nice carousel that they enjoyed. And of course a gift shop on the way out.

All in all I think this zoo is well worth the price. We could have stayed longer but wanted to leave before we all got tired.

Visited November 2011
2 Thank ALoldsters
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Write a Review

870 reviews from our community

Visitor rating
Date | Rating
  • English first
  • French first
  • German first
  • Korean first
  • Portuguese first
  • Russian first
  • Spanish first
  • Any
English first
Level Contributor
297 reviews
211 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 147 helpful votes
“A Beautiful Zoo with Lots to See”
Reviewed November 23, 2011

Pros: It was a big zoo with many, many species of animals. The grounds were beautiful.

Cons: This zoo has no artic animals.

Visited August 2011
Thank RoapTripper3081
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Burke, Virginia
Level Contributor
8 reviews
4 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 13 helpful votes
“Family friendly!”
Reviewed November 14, 2011

Took the family for the afternoon. Decent assortment of animals, and they all seemed active and easily viewed. Several play areas in between the different sections, for the kids to climb around and parents to sit and relax. Rhino/hippo enclosure was under repair.
Staff seemed very friendly and helpful. The keeper working with the parrots was more than happy to wait around and let us take pictures. Small deal for her ... really cool for us!
Not sure on the price ... we went on Veteran's Day, when it was free for military. Great deal if you're military! Believe it was $14 for adults (which seems a little high). Train ride around the park is $2.50/person.
Worth a visit with the family.

Visited November 2011
1 Thank DaveandRobin
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Birmingham, Alabama
Level Contributor
92 reviews
33 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 92 helpful votes
“One of a kind experience”
Reviewed November 1, 2011

We are members of The Birmingham Zoo who attend their annual Boo at the Zoo event, a fundraiser for Children's Hospital, every Halloween season. Our children are nearly seven years old, so it is necessary to know what type of experience they will have at each exhibit at the Zoo. Of course, now we know what to expect, but this year one of our children thought he was prepared to enter the scary experience in The Planet of the Apes. However, upon entering, he immediately becamed nervous, eventually crying by the middle of the experience. Thankfully, his fright was quickly minimized when one of the apes took off their mask to reveal that they were a real person animating the scary event; hushed the rest of the apes; and exited him and me quietly and very kindly out of the exhibit.

As for the entire Boo at the Zoo experience, visitors will enjoy all sorts of exhibits or attractions, such as: a backwards carousel ride with Halloween music, a train ride with Halloween scenes along the way, Planet of the Apes experience, a dance room with various music playing, a hayride with various Halloween scenes, and various carnival-type games to play. However, it should be noted that this is a costly event, costing $8 per person to enter and $3.50 a ticket for each attraction OR $10 for an unlimited wrist band.

Visited October 2011
1 Thank Busymomoftwins
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Birmingham, Alabama
1 review
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 11 helpful votes
“The Worst Zoo in America, hands down.”
Reviewed October 25, 2011

I'm sure there are zoos with even smaller collections than the Birmingham Zoo, but none with less regard for their animals. This zoo just spent $14 million in improvements - but the animals did not reap any of the benefits. They remain in cramped, unkempt, barren, sterile old cages, many of which haven't been changed since the zoo opened in the 1950's.

Every time this zoo makes a substantial 'upgrade', it's always for restaurants, sidewalks, kiddy attractions that don't involve animals, and landscaping outside the exhibits. Most of the animal exhibits themselves either do not contain a single blade of grass, or they are neglected and overgrown. As for the design of the exhibits, these relics are an eyesore, a hodge podge of styles from many, many years ago.

The zoo is also a poster child for wasted space - all you do is walk, and walk and walk some more. Eventually, you might see a sad animal. The room is there for spacious, comfortable exhibits, but it has been squandered on corny, substandard theme park window dressing, such as a fake elephant spraying water from its trunk, landscaping for its human visitors, and miles of sidewalks - many that lead to dead ends.

Three Greater Kudu (2 females and a juvenile) were crammed in an 'exhibit' smaller than my backyard (and I live in a garden home). When I complained about this to the management, they insisted they only had two Greater Kudu. No wonder this is the most pathetic hoof stock collection in the country.

If you make the mistake of shelling out money to see this zoo, save your receipt, head for the gift shop and demand a refund , like I did. The staff obliged me, which is the only good thing I have to say about this zoo.

Visited October 2011
11 Thank ward k
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

Travelers who viewed Birmingham Zoo also viewed


Been to Birmingham Zoo? Share your experiences!

Write a Review Add Photos & Videos

Owners: What's your side of the story?

Own or manage this property? Claim your listing for free to respond to reviews, update your profile and much more.

Claim Your Listing