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“Great place to visit” 4 of 5 bubbles
Review of Pittsburgh Zoo & PPG Aquarium

Pittsburgh Zoo & PPG Aquarium
Ranked #20 of 157 things to do in Pittsburgh
Certificate of Excellence
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Attraction details
Owner description: Enjoy a family experience that fosters understanding, respect, and appreciation of wildlife with a visit to the Pittsburgh Zoo. Take a trip to the Islands and get an eye to eye view of warty pigs, Philippine crocodiles, and clouded leopards. Venture into the Jungle for an Odyssey of fun where you’ll discover our giant anteater, the elusive fossa, the world’s largest rat, and the pygmy hippo. Take in the scenic bird’s-eye view of the African Savanna before heading to our aquarium and Water’s Edge, home of the impressive polar bear and playful sea otter. *Jungle Odyssey and Zoo zip line open Summer 2017.* There is so much to explore at the Zoo, we provide 77 acres of fun! The Pittsburgh Zoo is open every day of the year except Thanksgiving, Christmas, and New Year’s Day. Prices vary per season, so visit our website: and follow us on Facebook,and Twitter.
Greensboro, North Carolina
Level Contributor
76 reviews
36 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 52 helpful votes
“Great place to visit”
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed December 10, 2012

We've taken our children here (6, 4 and 1) for the past five years, our most recent visit being in December of this year. Here's what you need to know:
1. It's a classic hillside zoo. Wear sneakers and plan on walking
2. Weekend are CROWDED. Go on a weekday or off season.
3. Observation areas are smallish- again go on a weekeday to see the animals.
4. Go EARLY. Mid afternoon to early evening, the animals are not very active.
5. Bring your own food/drinks. Vending machines are $2.50 for a soda, eating areas are crowded and overpriced. You can easily frop $50-$60 on food if you don't plan
6. Nice play area for the kids, including a playground. Petting zoo and Sting ray attraction allow for up close and personal interaction wtih the animals.
7. Review the zoo site for special programs. The zoo offers overnight stays for families and group as well as up close and personal encounters with the animals. All are well worth the fees.
8. Zoo offers AAA discounts as well as discounted tickets through the local Giant Eagle (grocery store) in the summer months.

Visited December 2012
1 Thank Jenn S
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Allentown, Pennsylvania
Level Contributor
82 reviews
37 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 108 helpful votes
“Not for the handicapped or disabled........”
3 of 5 bubbles Reviewed December 10, 2012

All you need to do is look at the escalator, to see the potential problems.
If you have arthritic knees, a bad heart, wheelchair bound, or something similar to these, you need to think twice about going to this zoo. This attraction was made for someone like "Grandfather", from the Shirley Temple movie called "Heidi".

We got there on a slightly raining day, and wanted to only go to the Aquarium. My suggestion is for you to just go under the bridge, at the bottom of the hill, and look up the other side. Going back to your car will be a lot cheaper than a twisted ankle or a knee replacement.

On the bright side, just imagine turning all of those asphalt pathways into one of the best water slides parks ever.

Most of the defensive linemen for the Steelers, would have a tough time making it up to the upper section of the Aquarium, from the parking lot. The path to the Aqua Fortress, on top of the hill, is just as bad as trying to get back to the parking lot. One little trip, and you just lost skin. While at the bottom of the hill, just look at all of the kids leaving with band aids stuck to their skin.

Now, if you do make it up to the fortress, make sure that you have a bright red ski jacket on (or maybe a bright yellow one). I found that some of the fish will come to the glass for a look. When the fish with red on them show up, just put your red sleeve to the glass. Now, move slowly to the left and slowly to the right. They were actually following my movements.

Now, if you are handicapped, in the upper level of the Aquarium and can't make it down, just ask a zoo worker to lead you to the maintenance/service elevator, and have them take you to the lower shark area. Just let them know where you ache.

The zoo hear this many times a day. "Why don't they make an upper parking area, for those who just want to go to the Aquarium?" It makes sense, right? Or maybe they just need to make a smaller version of the Incline, on the outer edge of the property. Something that will let people get off at several locations. Maybe one for each side of the Zoo would be better to handle the crowds.

Now, you don't need a parking lot, and I saved you money and headaches.

P.S. - The fish were great.

Happy Holidays

Visited December 2012
Thank JerryandBarb8
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Level Contributor
23 reviews
7 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 4 helpful votes
“lions and tigers and bears....”
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed December 9, 2012

Great for the kids but it's a hike from the parking lot. Bring your walking shoes and your stroller.

Thank gramcarol
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Pittsburgh PA
Level Contributor
81 reviews
26 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 53 helpful votes
“Better for the animals than for the visitors!”
3 of 5 bubbles Reviewed December 7, 2012

I live in Pittsburgh, and this year I took two visiting out-of-town families to the Zoo, which features a great variety of animals in naturalistic habitat areas. The first time it was horrifically hot-- nearly 100 degrees-- and one of the trams wasn't running; apparently someone had called in sick and the Zoo chose not to provide a substitute driver. The Zoo is pretty big and *extremely* hilly-- very tough for some people to walk, so the tram service is important. Clearly the zoo doesn't understand that. The second time we visited, on an early fall weekday, the tram wasn't running at all, period, though the Zoo was pretty well attended. That's poor customer service. But the biggest issue by far is safety: this fall a toddler was mauled to death at the Zoo after falling in to the painted dogs' area. Horrible! But even before that, a lot of us have wondered whether visitors are protected enough from other potentially lethal animals. The habitats are indeed natural, with pretty minimal-looking fencing and moating. The Zoo says it's enough-- but. considering the incident with the painted dogs, we worry whether that's true. So if you go, be careful. And don't go at all if uphill walking is a problem.

Visited September 2012
Thank Godmother12
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Columbus, Ohio
Level Contributor
166 reviews
58 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 67 helpful votes
“Classic Hillside Zoo”
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed December 3, 2012 via mobile

If you bring your walking shoes and can handle some uphill terrain, you'll be sure to enjoy this one of a kind zoo with a mix of new and classic style exhibits. Although not huge in size a good variety from sea lions to polar bears to elephants can be seen here. Hands on exhibits as well as rides and playgrounds makes this a family friendly zoo.

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

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