Back in the fall we had family visiting, so we took a trip to the Philadelphia Zoo. Opening in 1874, it claims the title of America's first zoo. I'll admit, I'm a zoo freak. I love zoo trips and I love exotic animals. But I can also be extremely picky- if exhibits are dirty or small then I can quickly become unimpressed. I also come from Indiana where the Indianapolis Zoo had given me extremely high expectations.
The Philadelphia Zoo is extremely impressive, in my opinion. I have been to several zoos, and this one definitely didn't disappoint. At $23 per adult (plus additional for parking) this seemed a little pricy, but it was worth it. We spent an entire day at the zoo and barely got to see everything. This zoo is huge which is surprising considering it's in the middle of Philly.
The zoo averages 1.2 million visitors a year and houses about 1300 animals. I was amazed at the exhibit setups. One thing that really stood out was a big jungle-gym like cage that hung in the sky above where visitors walked. Animals could run through that freely; this gave them ample space rather than just confining them to their single exhibit spaces. I thought it was a really unique way for the animals to get exercise, extra space, and extra viewing angles for zoo guests.
Another cool feature (for nerds like myself) is that the Philly Zoo is heaven for Pokemon fans. The zoo has several Pokestops, 3 gyms, and is a bustling attraction for diverse species of Pokemon. The zoo website even has a tab encouraging guests to play Pokemon GO during their visit, which I personally think is awesome.
If you plan a trip in the warmer months you can take a ride on the ZooBalloon, a giant hot air balloon. This is a really unique feature that allows guests to have the ultimate viewing experience. We personally didn't do this on our visit, but I've never seen it offered at any other zoo I've been to either. So that definitely bumped up the awesome factor.
The Philly Zoo is also proud to house several endangered animals, my favorites including the Amur Leopard, Chinese Alligator, Panamanian golden frog, and Western lowland gorillas.
You can check out more info about the Philadelphia Zoo at their website- http://www.philadelphiazoo.org/. I highly recommend it; if you can't tell from other blog posts, I've quickly fallen in love with so much that this city has to offer, including this zoo. This zoo definitely ranks among the top of all the zoos I've visited. It makes for an excellent day trip if you have family or friends visiting.