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Tucson, Arizona is the perfect destination for a family getaway. And one of the best things to do during your time in Tucson is visit Reid Park Zoo. This is especially true if your kids are younger. This isn’t the biggest zoo you will ever see, but what it lacks in size it more than makes up for in quality. Here is everything you need to know in order to have a fun day with your family at Reid Park Zoo!
As I mentioned above, Reid Park Zoo is small, but it has an impressive lineup of animals. Of course, they have all the common zoo animals you would expect to see, like giraffes, elephants, rhinos, zebras, alligators, and lions. You will also find flamingos, meerkats, a few different species of monkeys, and two species of bears.
One of the things I love about Reid Park Zoo, however, is that they have some animals that you don’t normally see at zoos. This is the first zoo I have ever visited that had a Baird’s Tapir or a Capybara. They also have an anteater, two species of lemurs, African wild dogs, and a beaded dragon.
Not only do they have a great variety of animals, but they have provided them with wonderful habitats. These enclosures provide the animals with plenty of room, while also giving the guests lots of space to view the animals. With most of the exhibits, you don’t have to fight other people for a chance to get a glimpse of your favorite animal.
Another thing I love about the enclosures at Reid Park Zoo is that they are designed in such a way that it is easy for children to see the animals. For many of the larger animals, the exhibits are lower than the sidewalks around them, so the walls are lower. This makes the animals more visible to kids.
I also love the aviaries at Reid Park Zoo. There are two of them. They each include numerous species of birds. At first glance when you walk through them, you don’t notice any birds. But as you spend more time in them, you begin to see birds at every turn. You will find them on the ground, high up in the trees, and all around you.
In addition to viewing the animals, there are several other entertainment options at Reid Park Zoo that will enhance the fun of your visit. (Please note that some of these options are currently suspended due to COVID-19 restrictions.)
For starters, you can take a ride on the zoo train and/or the carousel. These are always favorite activities of kids. Both of these do require an additional fee.
If you are looking for more animal focused entertainment options, you have several choices. First, you can take part in the various zoo keeper chats and animal presentations that take place throughout the day. These give you a chance to ask questions and get more information about your favorite zoo residents. The keeper chats are free with your zoo admission.
Reid Park Zoo also offers giraffe feedings. These are a lot of fun and give you a whole new perspective on giraffes. You will have to pay an additional fee to feed the giraffes.
Lastly, for the ultimate experience, book a behind-the-scenes tour with one of the zoo’s amazing animals. These tours allow you to get up close with a particular species and learn about their care and training. Each tour is limited to 10 people or less. They are available for an additional fee and must be booked in advance. You can choose from tours with rhinos, tortoises, giraffes, elephants, or more.
Food & Merchandise
To round out your zoo visit, you will find a gift shop at the entrance to the zoo.
While you are allowed to bring bottled water into the zoo with you, you are not allowed to bring in outside food. But, you will find a cafe inside the zoo if you want to stop for lunch or just a snack during your visit. Alternatively, you can have a picnic in the park just outside of the zoo with your own food.
Prices & Operating Hours
Reid Park Zoo is open every day of the year except for Thanksgiving and Christmas Days. From October through May, the zoo is open from 9 am until 4 pm. During the summer months, it opens at 8 am and closes at 3 pm.
Admissions rates are $10.50 for ages 15-61. The senior admission price is $8.50. Children aged 2-14 are $6.50. Babies up to age 2 are free. The zoo does offer a discount for families if you are in the SNAP or WIC programs.
We thoroughly enjoyed our visit to Reid Park Zoo. It is one of our favorite zoos that we have ever visited. I love that it is small. You can tour the entire zoo in about two hours. I also really enjoyed the design of the exhibits. This is the perfect zoo experience for families with small children.
I was really impressed with the variety of animals on display and the overall quality and layout of the zoo. I highly recommend visiting Reid Park Zoo during your trip to Tucson. You won’t regret it!
Reid Park Zoo, located in the heart of Tucson, Arizona is a small, but high quality zoo. You can easily see everything in the zoo in a couple hours. It is definitely worth adding to your list of must-do activities in Tucson.
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