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Philadelphia Zoo picture in Philadelphia
Flamingo picture in Philadelphia
Philadelphia Zoo picture in Philadelphia
Flamingo picture in Philadelphia

Key Info

Price & Hours

  • $24.95 for adults; $19.95 for kids 2-11; free for kids 1 and younger
  • 9:30 a.m.-4 or 5 p.m. daily

Details

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

Local Experts Scorecard
Based on 7 interviews

  • Must-see
  • Recommended
  • If You Have Time

Read about how we rank Things to Do.

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 Independence Hall If you're interested in history, you must visit this red-brick Georgian-style building (located in Independence National Historical Park in the Old City), where the Second Continental Congress met off and on ... Read more » Tim Hawk / Courtesy Philadelphia Convention & Visitors Bureau

#2 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 ... Read more » Songquan Deng / Getty Images

#3 Franklin Institute Science Museum Unlike the Please Touch Museum, the Franklin Institute is sure to appeal to kids of all ages, not to mention the young-at-heart. Interactive displays help you and your kids learn ... Read more » R. Kennedy / Visit Philadelphia™

#4 Philadelphia Museum of Art Whether you're actually interested in the exhibits or just looking to re-enact that timeless scene from "Rocky," the Philadelphia Museum of Art is a must-see. Modeled after the ancient ... Read more » Anthony Sinagoga / PHLCVB

#5 Reading Terminal Market For a taste of local Philly produce, baked goods, coffee and more, head to Reading Terminal Market in the Market East District. This market is located beneath the Reading Railroad ... Read more » Jim McWilliams / PHLCVB

#6 Please Touch Museum Many say this children's museum is one of the best in the country, offering dozens of hands-on displays related to everything from gardening to construction zones. You and your ... Read more » M. Edlow / Visit Philadelphia™

#7 Philadelphia Zoo 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 ... Read more » J. Fusco / VISIT PHILADELPHIA ™

#8 National Museum of American Jewish History The National Museum of American Jewish History aims to connect Jews to their heritage and inspire people of all backgrounds to appreciate the diversity of the Jewish experience. More than ... Read more » G. Widman / Visit Philadelphia™

#9 Eastern State Penitentiary The castle-like Eastern State Penitentiary is one of Philadelphia's most important historic sites. Having opened in 1829, this Quaker-inspired prison sought to reform prisoners using isolation and reflection rather ... Read more » Farmacy Honeymoon Glow AHA Resurfacing Night Serum

#10 Mutter Museum You may want to think twice about bringing your kids to the small yet fascinating Mütter Museum. Housed within The College of Physicians of Philadelphia, Mütter is dedicated to the ... Read more » B. Krist / Visit Philadelphia™

#11 Rittenhouse Square While it was once a grazing area for livestock, Rittenhouse Square is now one of the swankiest areas in the city. Named for David Rittenhouse, the first director of the ... Read more » M. Edlow / VISIT PHILADELPHIA™

#12 Masonic Temple Constructed in the late 19th century and decorated by artist George Herzog, this sturdy stone temple is one of the largest of its kind and was once the meeting place ... Read more » Paul J Everett / Flickr

#13 Rodin Museum Home to one of the largest public collections of Rodin's work outside of Paris, the Rodin Museum, which opened in 1929, boasts almost 150 bronzes, marbles and plasters created ... Read more » R. Kennedy / Visit Philadelphia™

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A Benjamin Franklin impersonater waits for visitors outside Independence Hall. Tim Hawk / Courtesy Philadelphia Convention & Visitors Bureau

The Liberty Bell rang loud and clear at the first public reading of the Declaration of Independence. Songquan Deng / Getty Images

Kids of all ages can enjoy the Franklin Institute Science Museum and learn everything from physics to astronomy. R. Kennedy / Visit Philadelphia™

Modeled after ancient Greek temples, the Philadelphia Museum of Art is filled with more works of art than can be viewed in one day. Anthony Sinagoga / PHLCVB

Head to the Reading Terminal Market to sample food from around the world.  Jim McWilliams / PHLCVB

One of the best children's museums in the country, the Please Touch Museum offers dozens of hands-on displays. M. Edlow / Visit Philadelphia™

The Philadelphia Zoo is the first and oldest in the country. J. Fusco / VISIT PHILADELPHIA ™

Among its many exhibits, the National Museum of American Jewish History showcases 18 well-known Jewish Americans, including polio vaccine inventor Jonas Salk. G. Widman / Visit Philadelphia™

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