We live across town (as in, across the Phoenix metro area) and even after growing up in the Phoenix zoo, my now-grown children MUCH PREFER this zoo. It's casual and laid-back. The animals are right next to you in enclosures that fit each animal's habitat needs. To stand just a few feet away from 2 female wallabies with babies in their pouches, watching those babies interact a bit blew our mind on our last visit!!
One of the best relaxing 15 minutes in Phoenix is the overhead Skyride. Leisurely watching animals, going through trees, feeling the breeze...ahhhh......walk around the 2nd half of the zoo and cool off with a trip on the log ride. (not cheap, but well worth the price!!!!)
It can get hot and dusty on Arizona summer days....plan for that in advance. Good news is that the greenery is growing nicely around the zoo and with some newer additional shade structures built around the park, you can almost make it all the way around the zoo in the shade.
On the plus side, there's none of the hard and hot asphalt sidewalks you'll find at the "other" zoo in town. The down side there is that the natural walkways can get a bit dusty some times of the year. Pick up your feet (and encourage your kids to do the same) and you'll be fine, though.
However, if you get too warm, hop on over to the aquarium area!! The assortment of aquarium life is unbelievable!!!! LOVE the sea horse exhibit!! The moray eels are astounding! Young and old squeal with glee at the ray-petting area. I put my hand over the side and a ray came to me and pushed his/her body against my hand. I felt like I'd be hand-hugged!!!! Obviously the rays love the attention and they are amazing to feel!
Thank heavens we don't live closer! I'd get nothing done at home.
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