The Philadelphia Zoo
3400 West Girard Avenue
Philadelphia, PA 19104-1196
Website - www.philadelphiazoo.org
The Philadelphia Zoo is located at the corner of 34th Street and Girard Avenue in Philadelphia's historic Fairmount Park, the world's largest landscaped city park. The Zoo is just two miles from downtown Philadelphia and easily accessible by car from the Schuylkill Expressway (I-76). Parking is available along Girard Avenue at 35th and 38th Streets. Additional parking is available at the south end of the Zoo. Public transportation is available using SEPTA, which runs several bus routes to the Zoo area.
March 11, 2007 - Nov. 2007
9:30 a.m.- 5:00 p.m. daily
December 2007 - Feb. 2008
9:30 a.m.- 4:00 p.m. daily
Closed: June 7 (for Zoobilee); Thanksgiving Day; December 24, 25, 31; and, January 1
General Admission Prices (includes Birds of Australia)
March 1 - November 30, 2007
Child (age 2-11) $13.95
Child (under 2) Free
December 2007 - February 2008
Child (age 2-11) $12.95
Child (under 2) Free
Channel 6 Zooballoon
Adult and children (age 2-11) $10.00
Child (under 2) Free
Per vehicle $10.00
Member with valid membership card Free
Family memberships start at just $89 and include: free admission; free admission to Treehouse, Birds of Australia and walk-through exhibits; free or discounted admission to more than 100 zoos nationwide; express member entrance; exclusive publications; exclusive members-only programs; and, discounts on education programs, family workshops, children's birthday parties, souvenirs and more.
"The mission of the Zoo is to advance discovery, understanding and stewardship of the natural world through compelling exhibition and interpretation of living animals and plants. At the Zoo, every visit is an opportunity to connect our guests to nature and inspire them to conservation action. The Zoo accomplishes its mission through unique, authentic experiences with animals from around the world, one-on-one interaction between visitors and animal experts and opportunities for guests to get directly involved in conservation at home and around the world." - Philadelphia Zoo
The Philadelphia Zoo is America's first zoo. The charter establishing the Zoological Society of Philadelphia was approved and signed on March 21, 1859. Due to the Civil War, however, it was another 15 years before America's first zoo was ready to open.
The Zoo opened its gates on July 1, 1874. The Frank Furness designed Victorian gates and gatehouses, and the Zoo's location, are the same today as they were on the day it opened. The site chosen for the zoo was the location of William Penn's grandson John Penn's neoclassical home, The Solitude.
On opening day over 3,000 visitors paid just 25 cents for admission (10 cents for children). That rate remained the same for the next half century. In its first year of operation, the Philadelphia Zoo had 813 animals and received over 228,000 visitors. Today, the 42-acre Zoo has more than 1,600 rare and endangered animals, and its attendance is approximately 1.1 million visitors a year.
At the Tastykake Childrens Zoo, the zoo's youngest visitors get an up-close introduction to the animal kingdom. Kids can explore a child-sized Bunny Village, feed goats and sheep in the barnyard and ducks in the pond, climb aboard a farm tractor and, seasonally, take a ride around the corral on a pony. Watch live shows in the theater and see animals in the education collection stretch their legs in the exercise yards.
Bank of America Big Cat Falls, the Philadelphia Zoos new $20 million exhibit, opened in May of 2006. In this stunning landscape of lush habitats and waterfalls, guests come face to face with 16 endangered big cats from around the world, including three new pumas, three playful snow leopards, a beautiful new black jaguar and three Amur tiger cubs born in the spring of 2007.
PECO Primate Reserve is home to western lowland gorillas, black and white ruffed lemurs, coquerel sifakas, Sumatran orangutans and more. Imagine that a group of primate conservationists have taken up residence in an abandoned timber mill to help save primates from around the world. All over the two-and-a-half-acre indoor and outdoor exhibit, you'll hear the stories of real people who dedicate their lives to saving some of the world's most endangered primates.
The Channel 6 Zooballoon is a spherical helium-filled balloon with a mesh-enclosed gondola that carries up to 30 passengers. Tethered by a high tensile steel cable, the Channel 6 Zooballoon lifts to a height of 400 feet while providing a panoramic view of the Philadelphia Zoo and the metropolitan area. The average length of a ride is 15 minutes.
Treehouse (Zoo members-only) is an activity-oriented discovery center featuring larger-than-life replicas of animal habitats for children to explore and learn about life from the animal's point of view. Kids can hatch out of a giant egg, climb into a huge honey comb, ride a colorful caterpillar or take a photo in an oversized flower.
The Reptile and Amphibian House features an interactive adventure path to see giant tortoises up-close and personal. Inside, this state-of-the-art facility exhibits 87 species of reptiles including the venomous king cobra. Each day an electrifying thunderstorm is the backdrop to the story and status of American crocodiles and alligators.
The winding rock formations of Carnivore Kingdom house giant river otters, a Canada lynx, red pandas and clouded leopards in unique naturalistic environments.
Some of the most popular African species found at the zoo are warthogs, sable antelope, Mhorr gazelle, reticulated giraffes, hippos and zebras; exotic South American animals, such as giant anteaters, capybaras (the largest rodents in the world) and giant bearded pigs.