Why Zoo Atlanta Is One of Our Favorite Atlanta Attractions for Kids
My family loves a day at the zoo, and we have visited many city zoos around the world. Zoos are a great way to learn about the indigenous species of that area, as most zoos highlight the animals found within their respective regions. Zoo Atlanta is one of our favorite Atlanta attractions for kids, and we think it’s a perfect family day-trip destination. We have an annual pass, so we have visited in every season and can recommend it anytime you are in Atlanta. The Zoo is located in the historic and beautiful Grant Park neighborhood just five miles from Hilton Atlanta.
Parking is plentiful and free
On the weekend days when the lots may be full, there is street parking available.
Stay Clean and Cool
There are at least two strategically located hand-washing stations where guests can wash their hands after visiting the petting zoo and playing on the playground. It can get hot and humid in Atlanta, but there is plenty of shade throughout the park and even a misting station to help guests cool off.
In addition, coolers are permitted in the park, so you can bring in snacks and cold drinks to keep you energized, cool and hydrated. There are refreshments like pizza, beer, Bruster’s Ice Cream and Taqueria Cortez available throughout the park.
For those who want to beat the heat in a fun, wet way, there is a Splash Fountain in the KIDZone of the zoo that just recently opened, so you might want to bring the kids’ swimsuits and towels. The area is small, and I would imagine it will become crowded on the hottest days, which probably won’t concern most kids who just want to get wet!
For a couple of extra dollars, you can feed the parakeets with little seed “lollipops” or feed leafy greens to the giraffes. Check the daily schedule for times. The Zoo also offers “Wild Encounters” which must be reserved in advance and range in cost from $35 (Aldabra tortoise) to $150 (Giant panda).
It seems everywhere you turn there is a volunteer docent available to answer your animal-based question, and who also may be holding an animal or bird that your kids can touch! (My kids love the owl lady!)
Not your everyday zoo animals
Of course there are elephants, giraffes, lions, and all sorts of primates to see, but you can also see animals here that you may have never seen before. Sun bears, naked mole rats, tanukis, and binturongs are all regular inhabitants of Zoo Atlanta.
Good to Know Before You Go
- Some attractions cost extra. Our kids always want to climb the rock wall and ride the carousel, and sometimes we’re willing to pay for it. If you anticipate your children wanting to ride the train and the carousel, you can purchase an all-attractions pass that will give you a discount on those attractions. The good news: there is a playground right near the exit that is free.
- The Grant Park Cafe is located right across the street and sells a variety of coffee drinks, bakery treats, ice cream (!) and fresh sandwiches. It’s our tradition to head there after every zoo visit for a scoop of ice cream before heading home.
- If it’s dinner you seek, Grant Central Pizza is right up the street from Zoo Atlanta on Cherokee Street and has excellent pizzas and pasta dishes.
You may also enjoy:
- Read about other family vacations to Atlanta.
- See all of our vacation photos from Atlanta.
- Visiting the Bronx Zoo.
- Tips for the National Zoo in Washington, D.C.
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Erin is a native Floridian who has resided in Atlanta since 1995. Her husband Mike and she have two funny, smart, active girls and two cats.