Philadelphia Zoo

#15 in Best Things To Do in Philadelphia
Philadelphia Zoo picture1 of 2
Philadelphia Zoo2 of 2
J. Fusco/VISIT PHILADELPHIA ™

Key Info

3400 W Girard Ave.

Price & Hours

$24.95 for adults; $19.95 for kids 2-11; free ...
9:30 a.m.-4 or 5 p.m. daily

Details

Zoos and Aquariums Type
Half Day to Full Day Time to Spend
3.7

scorecard

  • 3.0Value
  • 4.0Facilities
  • 3.5Atmosphere

Having opened way back in 1874, the Philadelphia Zoo is the first and oldest zoo in the country, but this 42-acre facility does a great job hiding its age. With nearly 1,300 animals residing here, there is plenty to keep you and your kids entertained for the entire day. Swing by the PECO Primate Reserve and check out the gorillas and the orangutans or come face to face with lions, tigers and jaguars at the KeyBank Big Cat Falls. Other top sites include the Tortoise Trail, the African Plains and Bear Country. In 2018, the zoo opened two new exhibits, Penguin Point and Water is Life, where you can see otters, red pandas and more. There are plenty of indoor and outdoor concessions, but you're also welcome to bring your own picnic.

While this zoo receives high praise from most travelers (especially those traveling with kids), others feel that there is room for improvement and ticket prices are rather expensive. Reviewers were especially impressed with one of the zoo's newest features, Zoo360. This property-wide network of mesh trails allows the animals to wander around and above the grounds.

The Philadelphia Zoo is located in Fairmount Park just south of the Please Touch Museum. The PHLASH bus stops nearby (stop No. 11) and the SEPTA No. 15 bus and the nearby No. 38 bus also service the area. It is open March through October from 9:30 a.m. to 5 p.m. and November through February from 9:30 a.m. to 4 p.m. Admission costs $24.95 for adults and $19.95 for children ages 2 to 11. For more information, check out the zoo's website.

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#1 Liberty Bell Center

Opposite Independence Hall, you'll find the Liberty Bell Center in Independence National Historical Park. Now residing in a huge glass gazebo, this 2,080-pound piece of history was once mounted in the belfry of Independence Hall. It was used to mark important historic events, most notably at the first public reading of the Declaration of Independence. Historians believe the first crack developed in the early 1840s. Metal workers were tasked with repairing the bell in anticipation of George Washington's birthday in 1846. The repair was unsuccessful and the bell ceased to chime ever again.

Despite the long lines, recent visitors called this attraction a must-see for all Americans. They also suggested planning your visit first thing in the morning during the week.

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