10 Best Zoos to Visit with your Kids

  • Tired tiger

    Columbus Zoo

    Everyone has a favorite animal, and many of the country's best zoos give you and your kids the chance to see them up close and personal. The Columbus Zoo combines the best of three worlds by blending a zoological park, aquarium and water park into one attraction.

    Photo courtesy of spisharam

  • Emperor Tamarin

    Cincinnati Zoo

    The Cincinnati Zoo opened its doors to the public in 1875, making it the second oldest zoo in the country. In addition to the 400 species of animals, the grounds house a botanical gardens with 3,000 plant varieties. During the chilly Cincinnati winters, come enjoy the dozen heated indoor exhibits and stay for the King's Penguin parade during January and February.

    Photo courtesy of Mark Dumont

  • Lorikeet feeding time

    Oklahoma City Zoo

    It's easy to see why the Oklahoma City Zoo made the list given all the kid-friendly attractions. Between animal exhibits, take the little ones on a narrated safari or ride on the Centennial Choo Choo, the zoo's very own train. Other live entertainment – aside from the animals – includes a sea lion show and a concert series during the warmer months.

    Photo courtesy of Care_SMC

  • Orangutan

    Phoenix Zoo

    Feed giraffes, play with prairie dogs, ride a camel or pet a stingray at the Phoenix Zoo, one of the best in the country for kids. Many of the 1,200 animals are endangered, and the specially designed interactive playgrounds let kids see them up close.

    Photo courtesy of Jim Bowen

  • Bald Eagle

    Saint Louis Zoo

    Over 6,000 critters call the beautifully landscaped Saint Louis Zoo home, and a mighty fine home it is. Exhibits resemble the animals' natural habitats, and highlights include the Insectarium, Penguin and Puffin Coast, Jungle of the Apes and Big Cat Country. When you get tired of pushing the stroller, hop on the Zooline Railroad.

    Photo courtesy of Philip Leara

  • Polar Bear playtime

    Toledo Zoo

    The Toledo Zoo boasts a whopping 9,000 animals, making it a certainty that everyone will get to see their favorite. Among the exhibits that allow you to observe the animals up close is the world's first Hippoquarium, where you can watch a family of hippos take a swim from underwater vantage points.

    Photo courtesy of Loren Sztajer

  • On Safari

    Disney's Animal Kingdom

    What makes Disney's Animal Kingdom so wonderful for families is that it's so much more than just a zoo. While you'll have plenty of opportunities to observe 1,200 animals scattered throughout the park, you'll also enjoy the rest of the Disney experience: thrilling themed rides, live stage shows and encounters with some of Disney's classic characters.

    Photo courtesy of marada

  • Giraffe

    Brookfield Zoo

    The sprawling 216-acre Brookfield Zoo goes through great efforts to recreate the natural habitats of its animal residents. On any given day, you'll witness bears, bison and wolves roam a 7-acre wilderness, watch dolphins playing at the Seven Seas Panorama or go behind the scenes to help zookeepers with feeding and animal care.

    Photo courtesy of Steve Hardy

  • Nap time for the lion

    San Diego Zoo Safari Park

    Thanks to the San Diego Zoo Safari Park, you don't have to fly all the way to Africa to experience a safari. The massive enclosures mimic the jungles and plains of Africa, so while you'll have to look more closely to spot the wildlife, there's nothing quite like witnessing a herd of giraffe running through a field or a family of elephants splashing in the watering hole.

    Photo courtesy of kellinahandbasket

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