Guide to Zoo Atlanta: 15+ Things to Know
It is hard to fit everything Zoo Atlanta offers into a day. Get up-close with all kinds of animals, from colorful flamingos to playful pandas and everything in between. Don’t miss lots of opportunities to play, including the new Treetop Trail.
Must-See Animals at Zoo Atlanta
Giant Pandas: Ya Lun and Xi Lun, the only twin pandas in the United States, will be cavorting in their play area.
Giraffes: At regular feeding times, families can stand on Twiga Terrace, eye-to-eye with the Zoo’s herd, and give them lettuce leaves (purchase for $3).
Western Lowland Gorillas: The Zoo is home to the largest population in North America, family groups in five natural habitats. See baby gorillas, and Ozzie the world’s oldest living gorilla at age 56.
African Elephants: Kelly and Tara are always up to something. Kelly loves to throw mud on herself and scrape bark
off the logs in her habitat for a snack, and she occasionally paints.
Reptiles: The Zoo’s Scaly Slimy Spectacular has kids oohing and aahing at snakes, lizards, turtles, alligators and other creatures that slither and snap.
Learning Activities at Zoo Atlanta
The Zoo offers several educational opportunities to bring the classroom outdoors. Take in a wildlife presentation, meet the animals, or spend the night at the Zoo.
Zookeeper Talks: At scheduled times, zookeepers tell stories about the animals they care for and share fun facts about their diets or behaviors. (Free with admission.)
Animal Tales: Storybook Reading: Storytime features different animals each month and is followed by a tactile experience such as touching animal artifacts. (Free with admission; 2 p.m. Mon. and Tue., 11 a.m. Wed.)
Wild Encounters: Get up close with the zoo’s pandas, elephants, warthogs, lemurs, lions and Aldabra Tortoise on zookeeper-led tours at scheduled times. (Additional costs, ranging from $35-$160 per person; must book in advance. Age limit applies to Wild Lion Encounter)
Adventure Cubs: On the first Wednesday of each month and some Saturdays, 10-11 a.m., toddlers ages 3-4 can go on a zoo tour and learn about animals. (Register in advance; $24 for one adult/child pair includes Zoo admission. Zoo also offers Stroller Cubs for kids age 2 and younger.)
Family NightCrawlers: Spend the night at the zoo with scavenger hunts and behind-the-scenes peeks at the animals.
Play Areas at Zoo Atlanta
End a day at the Zoo playing on one of the two playgrounds or splash pad, and make sure to catch a ride on the carousel or train.
KidZone and Naked Mole Rat Playgrounds: Kids play, climb, slide and burn off energy in KIDZone and explore tunnels like a naked mole rat in the other.
Splash Fountain: Playing in the spray is a perfect way to cool off on a hot day. Fountain presented by Atlanta Fulton County Recreation Authority.
Petting Zoo: It’s fun to reach out and touch goats, sheep and other critters.
Carousel: The Endangered Species Carousel has 38 carved wooden animals, but no horses.
Zoo Train: This replica of an 1863 locomotive is one of the Zoo’s most popular attractions.
Canopy Climber: Whee! Climb up through a canopy and slide down.
Rock Wall: Kids can test strength and stamina and climb to new heights – safely.
(The Zoo Train, Rock Wall, Carousel and Canopy Climber each cost $3, or buy an all-day unlimited rides wristband for $9.)