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Does your family love zoos? They are great attractions for families to enjoy while traveling. But, some are better than others. Here are the 5 best family friendly zoos in the United States. Have you visited any of them? If not, you should plan a trip for your family soon. Keep reading to find out why they are worth the trip!
#1: San Diego Zoo in San Diego, California
First up on my list of the best family friendly zoos in the USA is the San Diego Zoo. There is a reason why this zoo is so famous. It is large, amazing, and has something for everyone.
The San Diego Zoo actually consists of two different zoos. The main zoo has over 12,000 animals and 650 different species. The San Diego Safari Park takes care of over 3,000 animals from 300 different species.
This is a great place to see many animals that you may have never seen in person before.
Additionally, they have a lot of interactive experiences for your family to enjoy. These include a variety of tours, behind the scenes experiences, and entertainment opportunities.
The zoo and safari park should definitely be at the top of your list of things to do during a trip to San Diego.
#2: Cincinnati Zoo in Cincinnati, Ohio
The next entry on my list of the 5 best family friendly zoos in the United States is the Cincinnati Zoo. This is another top notch zoo that is worthy of planning a family vacation around.
This is the second oldest zoo in the country. It cares for over 500 species of animals on 75 acres in the middle of Cincinnati. The zoo also serves as the city’s botanical gardens, so there are over 3,000 plant species scattered around the zoo.
There are a ton of things for families to do here from zoo keeper chats to carousel and train rides. But, the best thing to do at the Cincinnati Zoo is to marvel at Fiona and Fritz, the two most famous residents.
Fiona put the zoo on the map when she was born premature at only 29 pounds six years ago. She beat the odds and has thrived, while entertaining thousands of guests along the way. Her younger brother Fritz was born in August 2022. The two of them delight guests daily.
For more info, see my post on the Cincinnati Zoo.
#3: Fort Worth Zoo in Fort Worth, Texas
Consistently voted one of the top 5 zoos in the country, the Fort Worth Zoo is another must visit zoo for families.
This zoo sits in the heart of Fort Worth, making it very convenient for families to visit while in the city. It is home to approximately 540 species of animals.
One of the highlights of a visit to the Fort Worth Zoo is MOLA, the Museum of Living Art. This is the zoo’s reptile house, which was completely renovated and massively upgraded in 2010. This award-winning section of the zoo features reptiles in a state-of-the-art building with lots of interactive exhibits that appeal to adults and kids alike.
Another unique aspect of the zoo is its Texas Wild section. This part of the zoo is home to animals that are native to Texas. One species on exhibit here is the Horned Frog, which is the mascot of TCU, which is located just down the street from the zoo.
If you visit during the summer, be sure to pack your kids’ swimsuits and let them spend some time playing in the zoo’s splash pad. They will love it!
Want to know more? Check out my post on the Fort Worth Zoo.
#4: Reid Park Zoo in Tucson, Arizona
One of the smallest entries on my list of the best family friendly zoos in the USA is Reid Park Zoo in Tucson, Arizona.
While this zoo, like all the others on this list, has a wide variety of unique animals and lots of fun entertainment options for families, its size is one of the best things about this one. Its compact size is what makes it so wonderful for families.
You can easily explore the entire zoo is just a few short hours. Plus, you won’t tire yourself or your kids out by having to walk miles and miles while you are there.
This is one of the only zoos I’ve ever visited that has a rare Baird’s tapir. I was so excited to see it! This incredible creature is listed as an endangered species.
Head over to my post on Reid Park Zoo for more information.
#5: Bearizona in Williams, Arizona
The last of my best family friendly zoos is Bearizona in Williams, Arizona. This one is a little different from the others on this list because it is more of a wildlife park than an actual zoo.
The main part of Bearizona is a drive-thru park where you can get up close with bears, mountain goats, bison, antelope, wolves, and other large animals. After you have driven through this section as many times as you want, you can head to the smaller section, which is more of a traditional zoo.
While Bearizona doesn’t have as many animals as the other zoos on this list, they have interesting exhibits. And because it is smaller and not as popular, there are not as many crowds, which means you can view the animals without jockeying for a better viewing position.
When we visited Bearizona, I didn’t expect much. But, it turned out to be one of the best parts of our trip. We all loved our time here. I highly recommend anyone planning a trip to the Grand Canyon to add on some time in Williams to visit Bearizona.
Check out more in my post on Bearizona.
Zoos are one of the best attractions for families to enjoy while traveling. The 5 zoos listed above are the best family friendly zoos in the USA. I highly recommend visiting all of them! In fact, I think they are all worth planning a trip around.
For tips on planning perfect vacations for your family, see my posts on how to plan amazing vacations on any budget, how to plan an epic vacation, and tips to improve your vacations.
P.S. Need help finding the best places to go on your family vacations? My Ultimate USA Bucket List for Families will instantly give you 60 of the best vacation destinations for families in the United States! Get it for FREE in the box below and start planning your next trip today! Plus, as a bonus, you will receive my weekly email newsletter full of family trip tips and inspiration!
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