Located in the historic and beautiful Swope Park, the Kansas City Zoo's 202 acres are nestled inside valleys and rolling hills and is home to than 1,000 animals. The Zoo is divided into several sections: Australia, Tiger Trail (Asia), KidZone that includes the Discovery Barn, Peek-A-Boo Tree and an Endangered Species Carousel and a 100 acre-Africa Plains. The new Tropics, an indoor rainforest, opened in 2009 in the orignal Zoo building and polar bears will return in 2010.
Discounted Tuesday admission; $8 for Adults; $6 for Children (ages 3-11).
We've lived in KC for 20 years and the zoo is continuing to improve by bringing in new animals and updating some of the older exhibits. One of my favorite areas is still the open kangaroo exhibit (I've never seen another like it - the kangaroos have no barriers keeping them in, they just roam and sometimes cross the pathways).
We just got a new polar bear so now there's 2! And the polar bear exhibit is wonderful - very educational and you can see them swimming underwater and playing on ground. There's also an ariel chair lift over Africa that's open based on the weather (bring a jacket if you want to ride as it gets windy up there) and the boat ride is fun for kids too!
Younger kids will love the hands on areas/slides/upclose animals in the Discovery Barn and Rainforest buildings. And stop to see the sea lion show too!
The zoo is building a penguin area for late 2013 and we're excited to see it. They also just updated the Tiger exhibit which was long overdue and is now a really nice place to see them.
With the new additions, this zoo has become a lot more fun. There are still some slow parts where it can be a bit of a walk between exhibits, but it's worth it. We especially love the polar bear exhibit and Boo at the Zoo. It can be quite a hike for a little one, so bring a stroller.
I love how the Zoo is massively improving! They have a new director who has added Nikita the Polar Bear, the River Otters at the entrance. I think that it is reasonably priced, it IS expensive to take care of all of these animals properly~ and the KC Zoo DOESNT receive state funding.
Maybe I'm just spoiled by my local zoo (St. Louis Zoo), or maybe it really was just not a good zoo. For starters, it was pretty expensive in my opinion. Then once you're, in the exhibits are awful. Very small for the animals. The indoor areas were neat, though. After seeing the elephants, you walk for a REALLY long time before seeing any other animals. I am a HUGE fan of all things animal related, but I definitely wouldn't recommend this zoo.
We are Kansas City locals and really enjoy taking our one-year-old son and any children visitors to the zoo. We love the indoor aviary/rainforest exhibit and the otters. The Australia exhibit is also amazing with the free-running kangaroos. Please be advised that they are not in. A cage but run freely with the people.we didn't realize this when we visited and thought they had gotten out of their cages.
All in all, a great zoo for a smaller city!
This Zoo has improved so much over the past few year! New animals have been added as well as new landscapes. If you visit the zoo's website before your visit you can find printable activities to do while you are there. They have recently added a polar bear to their animal family with a nice indoor viewing area. The zoo is open year round! So, if you can bear the cold you can still go without much of a crowd.
I wasn't really impressed with the Kansas City Zoo. Although they do have some things worth seeing, most of the animal exhibits are not made well and so you really don't see many animals. And the exhibits themselves are few and far between. They don't have a lot and you have to walk literally forever to see anything. Not somewhere I would go out of my way for.
Make sure you come ready to walk. There are a lot of great animals and they have lots of room to run; but, that means there is a lot of walking from exibit to exibit. Wagons strollers are both welcome so be sure to bring yours for your little one.
Feel free to bring drinks, snacks, or a lunch along as food in the zoo is on the high side.
While there take the time to feed the Lorikeets, it's a neat experience and worth the wait.
We have a membership to the zoo this year and has been so fun to explore all that is there. It starts with playful otters, but the lastest, greatest attraction is Nikita, a three-year old polar bear that is so playful. My boys love watching his 12" diameter bear paws push right up against the glass they are next to as he does flips in the water! There is also a walk-thru lorikeet cage where the birds come and drink necter from your hand. If it wasn't snowing right now, the boys would be wanting to go to the zoo today!
This is a lot of walking so make sure you are up for it but if you can handle a long day of walking, it's a great time with the family. If you have a harder time, try going on a day that is cooler or take advantage of their trams. I believe the zoo is open year round but the animals tend to be more present in the spring and summer.
I like the zoo very much and my kid enjoyed a lot and we had great time together with friends and families.we gathered every time with lots of fun with kids and family members.we did loads of activities like fun photographs,games and lot more..atlast we ended our trip very happily with great photos.
The Kansas City Zoo is a perfect family activity. But it will be an all day activity! It's absolutely huge, and though they have a trolley to take you across the zoo grounds they make you pay extra for that. Which means you'll be walking a lot. In the end though I don't mind because that means bigger habitats for the animal residents. A great zoo!
I actually really like the Kansas City Zoo. Have had some great trips with my kids over the years. The zoo is rapidly improving and adding new exhibits yearly. It has several kid-friendly areas of play to keep younger children entertained. Animal exhibits are more natural, with a new sea otter exhibit, and polar bears for 2010.
The problem with the KC Zoo is it's size and the size of the exhibits. This zoo revamped and built larger exhibits a while ago-the pro is that if gave the animals more space in a created environment which mirrored their natural habitat more, the con is that because the exhibit is larger and you aren't elevated over most of them you may or may not ever see some of the animals. Due to the vast size of the zoo it is a long trek from one end to the next. There is a tram for a small fee that will take you down into Africa and out afterwards, but the rest of the zoo is still a lot to cover, especially for that 5 year old you didn't bring a stroller for. (Though you can rent strollers and wagons so its not a total wash if this happens).
The polar bears are coming in 2010 and fundraising is underway for a penguin exhibit as well. The zoo also offers a lot of workshops and special days at the zoo. Tuesdays are cheaper days as far as admission prices, which helps. I think this zoo is always looking for ways to improve and involve the public, so as a local I like that.
I think this zoo is best for older grade school children, who have an interest in habitats versus the preschooler wanting to see animals themselves.
We visit the Kansas City Zoo at least once per year. We love that they are always looking to improve the zoo and it's always well taken care. We really like the Kids Discovery Barn and are excited for the Polar Bear exhibit to open in summer 2010! The only complaint we have is the long trek to Africa and back (but there is a tram that doesn't cost much extra).
Overall, the Kansas City Zoo is a great place to take the family. Divided into sections--Africa and Australia--it can take quite a bit of walking to see the entire zoo. I would recommend choosing one area or the other for a 2-3 hour trip, but doing the whole zoo is a bit much. Tuesday admission is cheaper ($8 for adults, $6 for children).