Zoo Atlanta Review: A Comprehensive Guide

With a vast variety of exhibits and attractions, Zoo Atlanta is perfect for a day out with the family or a day date of exploration.

Keep reading for our Zoo Atlanta review.

Zoo Atlanta is a great place to learn about animals from all over the world. The Zoo is also home to many special events throughout the year, so there’s always something new to see and do.


The zoo has an Africa exhibit, an Asian exhibit, and a children’s petting area, as well as other attractions like a carousel and train ride. You can see lions, tigers, elephants, pandas, and more at this zoo – making it a truly international experience!

Zoo Atlanta’s history

Zoo Atlanta has a long and rich history, dating back to 1889 when businessman George V. Gress purchased a bankrupt traveling circus and donated the animals to the city of Atlanta. City leaders opted to house the collection in Grant Park, which remains the zoo’s present location.

The zoo’s collection expanded in the 1930s with the personal donation of a private menagerie owned by Asa G. Candler, Jr., and continued to grow in the 1950s and 1960s with renovations and construction. However, by the early 1970s, many of its exhibits and facilities were outdated and showing signs of disrepair.

In 1970, a small group of concerned citizens founded the Atlanta Zoological Society in hopes of revitalizing the zoo. Thanks to their efforts, Zoo Atlanta underwent a major renovation in the 1970s which brought it up to date with modern exhibits and facilities.

Today, Zoo Atlanta is one of Atlanta’s most popular tourist destinations, attracting more than 1.2 million visitors each year.

Zoo Atlanta’s mission

Zoo Atlanta is a place where people can come and learn about the animal kingdom. They offer educational programs for people of all ages, and their exhibits are geared towards teaching people about the animals that live in them.

In addition to their exhibits and educational programs, Zoo Atlanta also does conservation work in the wild. They work to protect animals from extinction and help to preserve their habitats.

Animal Habitats & Exhibits

Zoo Atlanta is home to many different exhibits, each showcasing a different type of animal and the habitats in which they live.

With over 200 animals at Atlanta Zoo, you are sure to find your favorite – Red Panda, anyone?

African Savanna

The African Savanna is one of Zoo Atlanta’s most popular exhibits. Here you can see lions, elephants, zebras, and more in a habitat that simulates the African plains.

Within this area of the Zoo is the Zambezi Elephant Center is home to a herd of African elephants. The center also offers educational programs about these magnificent animals.

Ford African Rain Forest

The Ford African Rainforest is home to monkeys, gorillas, and lemurs.

This exhibit is designed to simulate the rainforests of Central and West Africa, and it features a waterfall, streams, and a variety of plants native to the region.

The Living Treehouse, a revitalized home for drill baboons, Mona monkeys, and red ruffed lemurs, also houses an open-air aviary for 15 species of African birds.
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The Scaly, Slimy Spectacular at Zoo Atlanta is a must-see for anyone interested in the world of amphibians and reptiles. The experience features dozens of species of creatures from around the world, including gaboon vipers, prehensile-tailed skinks, green anacondas, Gila monsters, green tree pythons, Jamaican iguanas, and diamondback terrapins.

This incredible exhibit is a celebration of the beauty and diversity of these often misunderstood creatures, and it’s a great opportunity to learn more about them and the important role they play in our planet’s ecosystems.

Asian Forest

The Asian Forest is home to tigers, orangutans, Giant Pandas, red pandas, Komodo dragons, and more!

This exhibit simulates the forests of Southeast Asia, and it features a variety of plants native to the region.

The Zoo’s Sumatran tigers are some of the rarest tigers in the world, and their exhibit is one of the only places in the United States where you can see them.

The Zoo’s orangutans are also a popular attraction, and their exhibit features a climbing structure that allows them to swing and climb just like they would in the wild.

The Red Panda Habitat exhibit features a variety of plants native to the red panda’s native habitat in the Himalayan Mountains, and it also has a stream where the pandas can cool off on hot days.

Kid Zone

The Kids Zone is a well-shaded, interactive area just past the dining options, built specifically for children!

In addition to the opportunity to pet and feed Llamas, Goats, and Sheep, The Kids Zoo features a play area with small slides, the Carousel, rope climbing, and a train.

Special events at Zoo Atlanta

The Zoo hosts a large number of special events for kids as well as adults-only events.
Some of the most popular ones include:

  • Boo at the Zoo
  • Cookies with Santa
  • Brew at the Zoo (adults only)
  • Sippin’ Safari (adults only)

Things you should know

Tickets

You can get your tickets directly from Zoo Atlanta.

Under 3 = free
Child (3-11) = $17.95-$24.60
Adult (12-64) = $23.45-$32.20
Senior (65+) = $21.95-$29.95

But, you could save 44% with the Atlanta CityPASS on this and four more popular Atlanta attractions and museums!

The Atlanta CityPASS is an all-inclusive ticket that gets you access to Zoo Atlanta, the Georgia Aquarium, the World of Coca-Cola, CNN Studio Tours, and either the College Football Hall of Fame or Fernbank Museum of Natural History.

Plus, you get to skip most ticket lines!

Where to eat

There are quite a few food options within the zoo, from light snacks and frozen beverages to full meals at Nourish Cafe.

There are even a couple of food trucks inside the zoo!

Parking

Zoo Atlanta is located in the heart of Atlanta, and it is easy to get to from anywhere in the city. The Zoo is accessible by public transportation, and there is an onsite parking lot. After parking your car, look for a parking meter nearby.

Hours of Operation

The Zoo is open all year except or Thanksgiving and Christmas Day.

Monday – Friday 9:00am to 5:00pm
Saturday & Sunday 9:00am to 6:00pm

Tips for a great visit to Zoo Atlanta

A visit to the zoo can be a fun and educational activity for people of all ages. Here are a few tips to help you make the most of your visit:

1. Plan ahead and check the zoo’s website before you go. This will help you better understand what animals will be on exhibit and what type of activities will be available.

2. Dress for the weather and wear comfortable shoes. You’ll be doing a lot of walking, so it’s important to be prepared.

3. Pack snacks and drinks to keep your energy level up. Many zoos have cafes, but they can be expensive.

4. Bring along a backpack or bag to carry any essentials like sunscreen, hats, and extra money.

5. Be respectful of the animals and their habitat. Remember that you are visiting their home, and they are not entertainment for you. Zoo staff is there to help ensure both your safety and the safety of the animals, so follow their instructions carefully.

6. take advantage of opportunities to learn more about the animals through educational programs or talks given by experts.

7. And finally, have fun! A visit to the zoo is a great way to learn about different species and escape from the everyday grind for a little while. Enjoy your time exploring all that your local zoo has to offer!

FAQs about Zoo Atlanta

How long does it take to visit Zoo Atlanta?

We were there for just under 3 hours, but we didn’t have any children with us. So, we didn’t ride rides or feed animals. I’d plan for 4 hours if you have children with you.

Is the Atlanta Zoo free on your birthday?

No. Atlanta Zoo does not offer free or discounted tickets on your birthday.

When is the best time to go to the Atlanta Zoo?

Weekdays are the least crowded times to visit Zoo Atlanta. The Zoo is open every day except Thanksgiving and Christmas.

Can I bring food to Atlanta Zoo?

Yes! Zoo Atlanta allows guests to bring their own food and drinks into the Zoo. However, several dining options are available inside the Zoo if you prefer not to pack a lunch.

Remember NOT to pack the following in your picnic basket, though:

  • alcohol
  • plastic straws
  • glass containers

How much are rides & attractions at Atlanta Zoo?

Obviously, prices are subject to change, but at the time of writing this article, the train and carousel were each $3.00 per person.

Treetop rope trails is $9.95 for non-members.

Our final thoughts:

Zoo Atlanta is one of the most popular attractions in the city, and for good reason. With a variety of exhibits featuring both local and exotic animals, there is something for everyone at Zoo Atlanta.

Whether you’re interested in learning about the different species that call Zoo Atlanta home or just want to enjoy a day out with the family, Zoo Atlanta is a great choice.

DISCLOSURE: I was recently invited to Atlanta on a FAM Tour to enjoy a weekend of exploring and delicious meals in exchange for an honest review. Any opinions stated are strictly my own and were not influenced by anyone. Also, no money exchanged hands.

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