Phoenix Zoo

Phoenix Zoo Entrance

The Phoenix Zoo is a fantastic outing for both children and adults alike! Nestled in the heart of Phoenix, in the Papago Park area, the zoo provides visitors with countless educational opportunities, as well as just good old fashioned fun!

Child in a Turtle Shell

The Phoenix zoo is one of the best non-profit, privately owned zoos in the country. It houses more than 1300 animals and participates in conservation programs, as well as being an animalsanctuary. 

Besides the amazing animal exhibits, there are plenty of other activities to participate in. You can touch and feed stingrays, ride a camel, take a safari tram tour, ride the endangered species carousel, play in the water-splash zones, explore the many playgrounds, brush and pet animals in the petting zoo area,  go for a paddle boat ride, hand feed giraffes, and so much more! While some of the activities cost extra, you can purchase a very reasonably priced all day pass which covers several of the activities all day, as often as you wish to go on them.

Kids look at the Savana

My kids love to ride the safari tram around the zoo. It’s about a 25 minute tour of the perimeter of the zoo. If you don’t want to walk all day, this is a good option. And, you will get a good amount of information about the zoo from your tour guide.  I have been on the tram many times and have never had the same tour information twice, because each guide gives it their own personal twist.

Bighorn Sheep

Personally, I like to walk around the zoo. There are so many side paths and areas to explore, and it’s nice to get some exercise!  My little kids love the desert trail that goes by the Big Horn Sheep.  There is also a one of a kind, walk-in spider monkey exhibit. You actually go inside their cage! The Arizona Trail contains native Arizona species, including snakes, gila monsters, and wolves! The animals are housed in naturalistic environments and the zoo constantly improving and making new habitats.Male Lion

There are several snack bars throughout the zoo. You can get your basic American fare, drinks, ice cream, and snacks. The food is fresh and good, and you can eat while sitting outside, watching the animals.

From around Thanksgiving to New Years, the zoo presents “Zoolights,” where theylight up the zoo with millions of Christmas lights! It’s a fantastic sight to see and extremely well done.  There are activities, music, hot chocolate, and, of course, animals! Only a portion of the zoo is decorated for the event, but it is amazing and well worth a visit.

My kids love the zoo. We go year round. In the summer you can go early and you can splash in their water sprinkler zones. In the winter we go late and stay until they close. There is definitely something for everyone! Each time we go we usually focus around one animal or a theme, like Africa, stingrays, or apes.  We use it as an educational opportunity and the kids are fooled into thinking we only go to have fun! They love everything about it!Strigray PlaceTouching Stingrays

There are stroller and wheel chair rentals at the entrance and a nice gift shop. The gift shop also has items like sunscreen and hats, in case you forget about the Arizona weather! . The zoo also offers day camps, night camps, family activities, as well as birthday parties, weddings, and horseback riding lessons.

Overall, I would highly recommend the Phoenix Zoo as a family outing. If it is your first time, I would recommend the whole day so that you can do more of the animal interactions and activities!

The Phoenix Zoo is located at:

455 North Galvin Parkway Phoenix, AZ 85008Baboon
(602) 273-1341



June 1-August 31                             7am - 2pm daily

Sept 1 – November 2                     9am – 5pm daily

Nov 2 – January 8                             9am – 4pm daily

Jan 9 – May 31                                   9am – 5pm daily


*Members may enter 1 hour earlier