While not being in the major league of zoos, this is still one of the major attractions in the city. Due to its relatively ... More
Reid Park Zoo
While not being in the major league of zoos, this is still one of the major attractions in the city. Due to its relatively small size, the zoo can be explored at a leisurely pace in less than two hours. The animals are on display in pleasant natural settings. Chances are you will envy the two polar bear cubs as they happily float in ice-cold water while you're chafing in the 90+ degree Tucson summer heat.
I have been going to this zoo since I was a child. It has turned into a beautiful small zoo that is fun for everyone. My kids love feeding the giraffes and riding on the zoo train after seeing all the fun animal exhibits. During the hot weather, they even get to play in the little splash park located next to the otters! It is reasonably priced and well shaded. It is definitely a great zoo to visit!
FYI: The photo is of the old entrance; it is much nicer now. I have been to over 3 dozen zoos in every part of the country, and this is one of the best small zoos. Rhinos were recently moved to a larger grass & tree yard with african stork & gazelle in with them. Zoo is well shaded throughout - a necessity in summer in Tucson. In fact, I actually like it better than the two bigger zoos in Phoenix (I have heard Phoenix residents say the same thing). Brand new "green architecture" education center will provide a cool indoor place on hot days.
Most people's favorites are here, except there is no reptile house and no children's zoo (but docents take out small creatures for kids and adults to touch). Giraffes, polar bears, black jaguars (my favorites here), lions, two walk-in aviaries, tapir and more. A true oasis in the desert (and fully accredited by AZA). For photo enthusiasts like me, many good photo ops.
My only criticism is poor food choice at cafe; eat at a nearby restaurant instead.
Turn after turn we were amazed to see the variety of animals that live there. Especially when you think this is intown Tucson. The area didn't have the dirty animal smell that you find some places. I was with my husband and our 5 year old, it was a total of $14 admission for all of us, not bad. We thought we had seen all there was, went out of the park to take the little train ride around the pond ($2/person). Only later when I got the map from my son did I discover that we had missed a good chunk of the park... so we're going back next weekend!
Oh, I loved this zoo! The giraffes were my favorite exhibit! They are so friendly and so full of personality! You can get close enough to feed them (which we did) and they are beautiful! We also saw lions, tigers and bears (oh my!). We also saw rhinos, ostriches, zebras, macaws, etc. This is a wonderful place to take your children. They have a huge array of animals and the terrain is all wheelchair safe.
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