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“Do You Hear That Sucking Sound?”
Review of Indianapolis Zoo

Indianapolis Zoo
Ranked #10 of 177 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.
Reviewed January 20, 2009

There would be two sources for that sound: 1) the money coming out of your wallet from the moment you pull into the parking lot and 2) the zoo itself.

And oh by the way, you'll be out of there in an hour even if you look over every square inch.

5  Thank HonkHonk
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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in 625 reviews
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in 175 reviews
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in 113 reviews
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in 102 reviews
"polar bears"
in 58 reviews
"dog show"
in 47 reviews
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"splash park"
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"botanical gardens"
in 24 reviews
"christmas lights"
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2,075 - 2,079 of 2,129 reviews

Reviewed December 7, 2008

We didn't go for the animals, we went for the holiday light display. It was cold, but we bundled up and made the most of our time at the zoo. We enjoyed the Christmas light displays and the little train ride that took us around the zoo. It was a nice festive evening.

1  Thank dmacnmi
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed October 13, 2008

We visited the Indianapolis Zoo on a warm weekend in October. The zoo is located just outside of downtown Indy as part of a large state park (White River State Park) complex that includes a Native American musuem, botanical conservatory, river walk, and a NCAA museum.

As the zoo reminds you several times, this zoo is privately owned. I'm not sure that is such a great thing or not but you will notice it in the admission price ($13.50/pp) and parking $5/vehicle. This zoo also has a large section devoted to additional revenue generating rides such as a roller coaster and a 3-D ride that you may not find in most other zoos.

That being said this is also one of the newest zoos in the country and the exhibits are in great shape. In addition, the zoo is beautifully landscaped and clean.

What separates this zoo from being a top notch zoo (such as San Diego, Bronx, Cincinnati, Toledo, etc.) is its lack of animals and exhibits. There just isn't a ton of variety here and it doesn't take long to see the entire zoo.

For example, if you have been to the Toledo or Cincinnati Zoo you will see at least three to four times more animals and exhibits than there you will see at this zoo. These other zoos also have animals you won't see at any other zoo.

My other complaint is the dolphin show. This is included with admission and when you buy your ticket they give you a timed ticket to see the show.

The dolphin show is in a huge, indoor stadium. When we were there, our show was extremely crowded and the stadium was full. The seats are metal bleachers which had the smallest amount of leg room I have ever encountered making it extremely uncomfortable for everyone watching.

Fortunately, for us, the show itself only lasts 15-20 minutes. In my opinion, the show was disjointed, hard to hear, and not very informative or entertaining. It really is just a pale imitation of a Sea World dolphin show. If I ever came back to the zoo I would skip the show entirely and just see the other exhibits.

As for what we liked, we thought the desert and oceans exhibit were both well done. You are close to the animals and the animals were very active. While we were there, we saw the polar bear swimming and the walrus doing flips in the water.

Overall, I'm glad we went but I'm not sure this zoo deserves a repeat visit or such high rankings from other reviewers.

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

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