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July 22, 2024

Where Every Family Matters

A Hot Reason to Head to Hotlanta: Zoo Atlanta

It's the ONLY zoo in the nation where you can see Giant Pandas!

If your kids love animals, then do them a favor and visit Atlanta this summer. Zoo Atlanta provides a great reason to head to the mecca of the south. And you can couple or triple your stay by visiting other family favorite attractions, too. Here’s what you need to know about Zoo Atlanta.

Zoo Atlanta

800 Cherokee Ave., SE
Atlanta, GA 30315
Hours: Mon – Fri 9 a.m. – 5 p.m. (last entry at 3:30 p.m.). Sat – Sun 9 a.m. – 6 p.m. (last entry at 4:30 p.m.).
Tickets: $17 – $25 for kids (ages 3 and younger are free); $23 – $32 for adults; $22 – $30 for seniors

Located in Historic Grant Park, Zoo Atlanta has more than 1,300 animals from 220 species. It’s also the ONLY zoo in the U.S. that cares for Giant Pandas (Yang Yang and Lun Lun). Watch the Panda Camera here. Of interest: The San Diego Zoo will be receiving a pair of Giant Pandas from China some time this summer although the date is yet to be announced.

With the Southern Zoo train (a replica of an 1863 locomotive), the Endangered Species Carousel, children’s petting zoo and compact layout of the zoo property, Zoo Atlanta draws lots of families. While Nashville has a wonderful Zoo, Atlanta has apes, elephants, lions and more. Animal habitats are lush and large. And while the animals are the main attraction, kids also love to play. Zoo Atlanta has a few playgrounds (the Treetop Trail; the Kidzone Playground; and the Naked Mole Rat playground) conveniently built in where kids can blow off steam.

Be sure to feed the giraffes the crunchy romaine lettuce, check out the African Savanna for the big, memorable animals and wonder over to the African rainforest to see the gorillas. The Zoo also has an aviary, an Amphibian & Reptile Experience for the creepy and crawly and shady bamboo trails. For families with babies or sensory needs, the zoo has one private nursing area and ample baby changing spots. In addition, stroller and wheelchair rentals are available (on a first-come, first-serve basis). Rent them at the Zoo’s main gift shop located at the front entrance or bring your own. A single stroller is $10; double is $12. Wheelchairs are $10.

GOOD IDEAS

β€” Buy tickets ahead of time.
β€” Plan your route with this map.
β€” The zoo takes about three hours; more if you are doing the train and carousel.
β€” Go early when it’s hot; dress cooly with comfy sneakers; wear sunscreen.
β€” Pack snacks/lunch or spend bucks at the restaurants.
β€” Park in the Grant Park Gateway facility at 759 Boulevard S.E. Atlanta, GA 30312. Rates are $3 and hour or $12 a day.
β€” Like all zoos, there’s lots of walking. Bring your strollers.
β€” If you will be staying longer in Atlanta, consider purchasing the Atlanta CityPASS to save up to 44% on several Atlanta attractions & skip lines.
β€” Plan where to stay with this Atlanta Hotel Guide or through Airbnb.

 

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About the Author

Susan Swindell Day

Susan Day is the editor in chief for this award-winning publication and all-things Nashville Parent digital creative. She's also an Equity actress, screenwriter and a mom of four amazing kids.