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“great day except for...”
Review of Indianapolis Zoo

Indianapolis Zoo
Ranked #10 of 172 things to do in Indianapolis
Certificate of Excellence
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Attraction details
Owner description: Home to over 2,000 animals and Indiana's largest aquarium, this 64-acre zoo has lions, elephants and other wild animals roaming through natural settings. A special petting area allows children to touch, but not feed, the tamer animals. There's also the world's largest enclosed dolphin show and a roller-coaster for all ages to enjoy.
northwest Indiana
1 review
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 1 helpful vote
“great day except for...”
Reviewed October 6, 2008

The train ride was the worst we had ever experienced.they take you along the street, by a fence, behind some buildings, and show you their trash dumpsters. we did get to see a glimpse of the giraffes about 30 seconds before exiting the ride. my three year old enjoyed it only because it was moving. it lasted about five minutes, thank goodness. it was a waste of $8.25 that's for sure. at least we got to sit down for a while though.

otherwise, the day at the zoo was a pleasent experience on a nice sunny day. they have some amazing animals. The dolphin show was nice but short.

1 Thank jennyjen201
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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1 review
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 1 helpful vote
“I go here to think alot....”
Reviewed September 18, 2008

It is interesting to read the other reviews of the Indianapolis Zoo. When you go to this zoo, you are definitely seeing animals that are well fed, well cared for, and mentally stimulated. I have watched numerous feedings, enrichments, and interaction that the zoo employees do on a regular basis.

The exhibit sizes are correct and dead on to what they need to be. The exhibits that are complained about, such as the polar bear, the wild dogs, the lions, are complaints that are forged by people who do not know alot about animals. Wild dog packs need lots of space. Wild dogs individually do not because they are not hunting their food at the zoo. Wild dogs in the wild roam in packs in large amounts of space to be able to effectively hunt for food. The lions are always sleeping because, well that is what lions do when they are not hunting. If you walked out into the middle of the Serengeti or the Masai Mara parks in Africa, that is what a lion would be doing. And the polar bear exhibit is pretty large. The part that you see of it is not all of the exhibit because the exhibit is in an L shape. There is underwater viewing for polar bears, which is something that other people have flat out lied about in their reviews. The Encounters area with the pigs and goats is awesome. You do need to understand that this area is a petting zoo. They do get excercise and if you come EARLY to that zoo, you can see the horses out running around or the pigs and donkeys out running around in a larger arena.

Depending on what time of year go, certain animals will not be out. I personally know that with animals, you have to monitor the weather VERY closely and sometimes make a last moment call about whether it is safe for them to be out. They do let you know alot of information on their website, whether or not pony rides are still available, which exhibits are closed permanently, which will be closed for the season, what animals may be out that day (useful in the dead of winter), etc. I ALWAYS suggest going early and as with any popular attraction, expect alot of people if you are going during a busy time of year (i.e. summertime, halloween time, christmas time, etc)

1 Thank dvbrandon
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Lebanon, Indiana
Level Contributor
22 reviews
4 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 46 helpful votes
“Hot Times at the Indy Zoo”
Reviewed August 27, 2008

We woke up to a beautiful day and decided that we'd go to the zoo. This was our first trip to the zoo in years, and I was looking forwards to seeing the koalas (on loan for the summer of '08.)

It was $5 to park, and $13.50 for each of us to get into the park. Children are $8.50. When purchasing our tickets, we were also offered tickets to the dolphin show at no cost. We were also given a summer schedule that listed the different chats and feedings that would be happening, and what times they were.

I really liked how the Indianapolis Zoo was laid out. It is divided into eight sections, oceans, marine mammals, dolphin adventure, deserts, rides, plains, encounters and forests. Each section then had what I would describe as a walking path that led you through to see the different animals. Many of the exhibits have several angles that you can see the animals, which I liked because you are more likely to see the animals depending on their mood.

The polar bear, the walrus, and the dolphin displays were great because you could see the animals in the water as they played. It was fun to watch them swim around underwater. We did find the walrus the most, um, interesting to watch. There were kids screaming and banging on the windows. They seemed to think the walrus was playing with them by banging on the window and kept screaming and banging. My husband and I realized it wasn't quite that way, and hurried on out of that area.

The dolphin show was a great relief from the heat. There is a "Save the Earth" story and the dolphins do tricks, and after that they do some more tricks. Many people did not seem aware that you cannot bring food or drinks into the dolphin show. After the dolphin show, we went into the underwater viewing dome and saw the dolphins swimming underwater. It was amazing to stand in the dome, surrounded by water and see the dolphins swimming around you. Important to note: people with claustrophobic issues may not like the dolphin dome. It's a little overwhelming.

The only fault that I had with our trip is that while the zoo is very nicely laid out, it is not nicely labeled as you walk through the zoo. In front of each "zone" there is a sign with an arrow, but that's about it. We walked through the paths, and tried to follow the map, but there were a few times that we had to back track, because we took the wrong way. In fact, while reviewing my map today, I realized that we completely missed the oceans area because the path we followed started us with the polar bear.

I can't really say which animals had the best exhibit, because everyone has their own favorite animals. My husband likes the polar bears because he had to write a report on them in 4th grade.
But, I will say that the meercat was pretty cute.

It is important to note that the rides area cost extra money. There is a roller coaster, train, carousel, and pony ride that take one ticket, and a 3-d ride that takes 2 tickets. Tickets are $2.25 each or 3 for $6, 5 for $9, and 7 for $12.

We ate lunch at the Cafe on the Commons. We each got a combo meal with a drink, and it was about $15 for two of us. The food was okay. We ate outside and watched the lemurs play, and also watched the ducks in the pond area. The ducks are very used to being fed, and come very close to people.

It was a lot of fun going to the zoo. The Indianapolis Zoo is very clean, and has very friendly employees. I would highly recommend that anyone who is in the area go to the zoo.

1 Thank jmariegobucks
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Level Contributor
87 reviews
20 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 92 helpful votes
“Fantastic - Loved It”
Reviewed July 24, 2008

One of the best zoos I've been to! It was super hot - we ended up with sunburn. Everywhere we go, we make it a point to go to the local zoo and this was in our top 5. Because of the heat, we expected most of the animals to be inside, hiding or sleeping but not so - every single animal was out and about and doing something. THe monkeys were fighting and chasing each other around. The lion was bothering the lioness until she roared at him and he ran away. The koala bear was getting weighed. The baby elep[hants were rolling in the mud. Giraffes were eating, rhinos were walking around, ostriches were scratching at the ground, a baby kangaroo was being fed by the keeper, and a brave penguin tried to escape out of a partially open door during feeding time! There was so much more too. I actually got to touch a shark and not a little timid nurse shark either! It was so much fun. We walked there from downtown and i would say it was about a mile. It's a beautiful area to walk around in. I would definitely recommend this zoo - it's completely worth it.

1 Thank wellermdfan
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Lafayette, Indiana
Level Contributor
61 reviews
27 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 79 helpful votes
“Aventure Tour -- Totally worth it!!!”
Reviewed July 19, 2008

The BF and I did the Adventure Tour, a new opportunity to go behind the scenes of the zoo and experience things you don't normally get to see, do, or touch when you visit the zoo.

I was excited about the idea of the tour, but also a little nervous. It's $45/person (and doesn't include zoo admission or parking if you're not a member of the zoo) and you don't know in advance what you'll be experiencing, just that you'll have three "adventures."

When we showed up at the zoo's education center, we were given a map with meeting points and times--still no details on what we'd be doing! Even as our first adventure was getting underway, Stephanie, our guide for the day, STILL didn't tell us what we'd be doing. She kept us in suspense most of the day. We got general instructions and some hints whenever we met to start our activity, but they kept it a secret as long as they could.

First we got to meet Spike, a white rhino. We got to pet him, which he seemed to enjoy, as well as learn a lot about Spike and rhinos in general. We were encouraged and allowed to ask questions, take photos, etc. I don't exactly recall how long we were there but it didn't seem rushed or anything like that, maybe 15-20 minutes?

When we met up the 2nd time, we followed Stephanie through the Dolphin Adventure Center, where crowds were gathering for the upcoming show, and went behind the tanks/stage (got info on what we were seeing, saw dolphins and learned about the ones living at the zoo) and eventually ended up sitting basically on the stage during the show! The trainer and dolphins were only a few feet away and we got to watch the entire show from there, which was the coolest thing ever!

The last experience was hanging out with a few walruses. We got to touch his mouth and feel how the walrus suck and watch him suck fish into his mouth through a giant straw, which was funny to watch. Anyway he also did all sorts of behaviors for us and was a cutie to watch.

Anyway all of the zoo staff were absolutely great. Stephanie was a super leader and seemed to have fun teasing us about what we'd be doing, and I have to admit, it was fun being surprised and trying to guess what was going to happen.

We'd definitely like to do it again. The education center apparently has 33 different options on their list of potential adventures at the zoo, so don't expect to see or do the same things I've mentioned here. They told us that they try to do at least one where you get to touch the animal since that's what most people seem most excited about. If you are considering the Adventure Tour, you should go for it!

1 Thank glendacc
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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