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“Beyond expectations”
Review of Philadelphia Zoo

Philadelphia Zoo
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Philadelphia CityPASS
Ranked #21 of 437 things to do in Philadelphia
Certificate of Excellence
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Attraction details
Fee: Yes
Recommended length of visit: 2-3 hours
Owner description: Situated on 42 acres of beautiful gardens, the Philadelphia Zoo, America's first zoo, is home to nearly 1,300 animals, many rare and endangered. Polar bears, African lions, Amur tigers, a white rhino, giraffes and more call this oasis home. As Philadelphia's leading cultural destination the Zoo boasts award-winning exhibits such as First Niagara Big Cats Falls, McNeil Avian Center, and PECO Primate Reserve.
Useful Information: Activities for young children, Activities for older children
Jersey Shore
Level Contributor
6 reviews
4 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 3 helpful votes
“Beyond expectations”
Reviewed June 9, 2014

My son was graduating Kindergarten and he said that he wanted to go to a zoo as a present. We live at the Jersey Shore so there are many zoos to choose from (Turtleback, Cape May, Bronx, Staten Island). I had heard from 2 friends that the Philadelphia Zoo was a good choice so we went. I went in with reasonable expectations and they were exceeded by far. I had read that the Philadelphia Zoo was the first zoo in the United States, and you definitely get a classic feel from the place, but it is not run-down in the least. It seems that wherever you go, there is plenty of shade provided by big, beautiful trees. The paths curve around and sometimes meander into lesser traveled corners - open, shaded groves, picnic areas, or unique zoo experiences (like the Lorikeet feeding area, right next to the kiddie train). The people were all very nice and informative. Its sad to say that oftentimes I have low expectations for customer service these days, but I am happy to say that everyone we met was pleasant and helpful. The animals are very visible and seem to be well cared for, and the exhibits seem to be well thought out and designed well for the inhabitants. Favorites were the tiger (Yo Adrien!), the Reptile House, and the Primates. There are play areas for the kids and plenty of benches for the parents.. I'll even go so far as to say that the food wasn't bad! (we had cheesesteaks, pizza, and Philly pretzels). We bought the annual passes for the family and am very glad we made the investment. Parking (normally $15.00) is included, as is a 10% discount on food and gifts. If you go to the zoo twice, it pays for itself. I can tell you that we will definitely be back.

Visited June 2014
1 Thank brutusironbeard
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Syracuse, New York
Level Contributor
66 reviews
21 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 22 helpful votes
“Can't wait to go back”
Reviewed June 5, 2014

I've been dying to get to the Philadelphia Zoo for years and it did not disappoint! It was a HOT day but there was plenty of shade to keep us cool. We loved seeing all the animals, especially the gorillas - one even played "the drums" (a bucket!) while we watched. It was me and my husband who went, we are in our twenties, no kiddos and enjoyed it just as much. We are out of towners and we were staying at a hotel in City Center. We rode the subway part way and walked the rest (a few miles) so we didn't have to park. We enjoyed the hippos, the polar bears (though they were off laying in the shade, not swimming as I was hoping), the giraffes, gorillas, penguins, tortoises, and others.

Visited May 2014
1 Thank Eileen2five
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
New Jersey
Level Contributor
96 reviews
15 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 37 helpful votes
“Excellent Zoo”
Reviewed June 5, 2014

We visited the Zoo for the first time while attending the NEDA (Nat'l Eating Disorders) Walk. I was impressed by the accessibility of the animals. In most cases you are just 15-20 ft. away from the animals. Well designed habitats mean you actually see the animals instead of searching for them. The hippos were huge and wonderful to watch close up! We saw two tigers in the new catwalk which runs above your head. The gorgeous coral colored flamingoes were so close you could see the variations in their wings and their funny necks. We had an exceptional experience.

Visited June 2014
Thank Bravegirl
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Finksburg, United States
Level Contributor
86 reviews
25 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 32 helpful votes
“Fun zoo!”
Reviewed June 4, 2014

I visited this zoo on Memorial Day with my mother and my 6 year old daughter. Parking was definitely iffy. It was confusing which lane to be in, and the parking garage was full, so I had to turn around and look for another lot. Luckily, a staff member let me park in a close lot, Frog Lot I think, because my mom is elderly (although not disabled). She was sending other cars to park in a further lot.

The zoo is somewhat hilly in places, and moderately shaded. It was in the eighties that day, and we were fairly comfortable. We could see lots of animals without too much walking. We are from Maryland, and have a membership with the National Zoo. It was much easier to see the animals here, more animals outdoors and available rather than in buildings. There were some really nice buildings, too. My daughter loved the Kidzoo building, it was like a little children's museum. There were a lot of farm animals at the Kidzoo, and they did a goat agility demonstration which was cute. There was a playground there with tunnels and slides, in addition to another large play area at another location in the zoo. My daughter liked both.

We especially liked the overhead tunnels, we saw monkeys and tigers in the tunnels. The black footed cat kittens were very cute, even though they were asleep they were easily visible. It was a crowded day, but I didn't feel like I couldn't see the exhibits. There were many viewing windows. The food was the usual over-priced food at attractions. They had cardboard straws for the frozen lemonade, which got soggy and difficult to drink through, but at least there were straws, since many zoos don't allow them due to animal safety concerns.

There were many extra attractions (that cost extra), so this would have been very expensive if we decided to do everything. My daughter got her face painted for $8 and a draft horse ride for $6. There were also camel rides, pony rides, paddleboats, carousel, train etc. Also, a little show about migration in the aviary, but that was free. It was $20 for each adult admission, but we got 50% off for being reciprocal zoo members. Plus $15 for parking.

Overall, we had a great day other than the expense compared to our regular zoo. We were there about 5 hours, and didn't quite see everything.

Visited May 2014
Thank Jill R
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Philadelphia, Pennsylvania
Level Contributor
155 reviews
65 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 37 helpful votes
“A great morning spent”
Reviewed June 4, 2014

I live about 30-45 minutes away outside Philadelphia, and I have not visited the zoo since 2007-ish. What a change! (A positive one!!) We got there for opening, and were done at the park by 12. We visited it all. The zoo is organized well, there is lots of information and its fun just to explore. It is one big circle with some pathways in the middle, but very easy to navigate. Parking was good, I bought it online before we went. This is probably not an all day event, but a good few hours. There are lots of sitting places and shade. The park seems to be evolving, so I see great things coming in the future!

Visited June 2014
Thank farrflan
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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