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!
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
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.
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.
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
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!
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
Zoo is located at:
455 North Galvin
Parkway Phoenix, AZ 85008
7am - 2pm daily
Sept 1 – November
9am – 5pm daily
Nov 2 – January
9am – 4pm daily
Jan 9 – May
9am – 5pm daily
*Members may enter
1 hour earlier