Imagine a family tour with the world’s most magnificent creatures. Well, at the Philadelphia Zoo, that’s exactly what you get to do — all within 42 acres of beautiful Victorian garden.
Philadelphia Zoo opened its gates for the first time in 1874, and is officially America’s first zoo. Every year, over a million people visit the zoo to catch a glimpse of its 1,300 animals, who hail from countless different countries and regions of the world. Many of the zoo’s animals are rare and endangered, and the zoo has one of the best reputations in the world for breeding them.
Inside the zoo, kids get the chance to see everything from Chinese alligators and pig-nosed turtles, to Andean condors and squirrel monkeys. Among the zoos most endangered animals are the Panamanian golden frog and the Amur leopard (only 19 to 26 left in the entire world!)
In April 2013, the Philadelphia Zoo opened its children’s zoo, KidZooU, where kids experience the beauty and wonder of wildlife with hands-on, interactive activities and exhibits, including playing on the zoo’s netted jungle gym and recycling bottles via conveyor belt (to help save Budgie parakeets). If you get the opportunity, be sure to check out the zoo’s Treehouse, where kids can work their way through a honeycomb, lounge in flower chairs and climb the tree!
As of 2014, the zoo opened an animal trail system, giving its animal inhabitants more interactive experiences. This trail system includes “Big Cat Crossing,” an overhead passageway that enables the animals to travel away from their usual habitats.