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Phoenix Zoo

455 N Galvin Pkwy, Phoenix, Arizona 85008 | 602.273.1341
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24 Reviews
Type: Animals and Playgrounds & Playspaces
Ages: All Ages
Cost: $$
Hours of operation: Open daily. Hours vary seasonally. Check website

The Phoenix Zoo was recently voted one of the top 5 zoos in the nation. Lions, elephants, monkeys and more.

 Jun-Sep: 7am-2pm weekdays, 7am-4pm weekend


24 Reviews for Phoenix Zoo

January 09 2016
1 family found this helpful
Violetwhite_word
"An impressive zoo! "

The largest privately owned zoo in the United States, the Phoenix Zoo is impressive in its range of animals as well as how visitors can interact and visit with them. Located in the shadows of the sandstone buttes of Papago Park, the zoo is home to more than 1,400 animals.  It is made up of four main areas with the the themes: The Arizona Trail (American Southwest flora and fauna), the Africa Trail (animals from Africa), the Tropics Trail (residents of the rain forests), and the Children's Trail, which includes a petting zoo.  It also provided some of the coolest experiences my family has had in a zoo!

Here some of our favorites:

MONKEY VILLAGE
Visit an open exhibit where the squirrel monkeys live.  The jumped over our heads and scamper through bushes just inches away from us!  It was amazing to be so close to them, watching them play and explore their surroundings.

VISIT SAVANNA
Climb into an overlook tower that gives a great view of a vast habitat that includes giraffes, zebras, and antelopes roam. It is quite a sight!

SEE AN ELEPHANT
My kids don't consider a zoo to be complete without an elephant in residence.  The elephants in this zoo are lively characters too.  This may be because of how their habitat is set up.  There are plenty of things for them to do --- activities that keep them busy with objects hanging from trees and things designed to make the maneuver.  It was fun to watch the elephant that was out during our visit.  In fact, I'm not sure we've ever spent such a long time watching an elephant!

INCREDIBLE COLLECTION OF SNAKES
Holy Moley!  I have never seen so many snakes in one collection!  Creepy!  

Other things we did:
We rode the safari train which was fun but cost extra and honestly, we could have done without it.  

Our visit was during Thanksgiving week so the 4D theater featured a Polar Express experience.  It was a pretty fun way to enjoy a condensed version of one of my family's favorite Christmas movies.  The scent of hot chocolate filled the air as the beverage was served on the train, frost his our faces as the train made its way to the North Pole.  4D Theater is really something!

All in all, this was really a nice way to spend the afternoon.  I would highly recommend it to other families!  

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pips
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March 10 2013
0 families found this helpful
Violetwhite_word
"A Great Winter Zoo"

At our house we love zoos and there is always something fun to see and do at the local zoo. This zoo is set against the papgos and it makes a lovely back drop. It's best to take kids fall-spring, or really, really early in the morning and make sure you pack plenty of suncreen, hats and water or be prepared to stop and by water so you don't get dehydrated along the way. The zoo is fun for kids as it's not overwhelmingly big and has a nice flow around acentral circle by the gates. It's easy to see everything in about 4 hours with the highlight being the Giraffes at the back of the zoo and a camel/pony ride if you're luck. The Phoenix zoo doesn't have the glitz and glam of other zoos, but they have just added some great new exhibits that are well, well worth the visit and have given the zoo a lot more drawing power. Another great time to go is sunset just because of the setting. Our family's personal favorite is to go to Zoo lights during the holiday season. Kids and adults will delight alike in the singing and dancing trees and in picking out all the lit up animals as you walk through the zoo at night. The best part about it is if you're visiting from somewhere else in December it's unlikely that you'll have to get too bundled up to enjoy a beautiful walk around outside at night and enjoy the lights.

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aztest
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February 26 2013
0 families found this helpful
Violetwhite_word
"Under construction"

My first time at the Phoenix Zoo left me a tab disappointed.

It was pricey, under construction and a lot of the animals weren't event in their cages.

But it seems like a spot really popular with kids and parents.

May give it another go and see if it fares better.

February 25 2013
1 family found this helpful
Violetwhite_word
"What?! There are ANIMALS here?"

We have a membership here and, although the animal enclosures are great, my kids (7-2) love the play areas here. There is an awesome "treehouse" right near the entrance. It even has a wooden furniture inside. We always spend at least a half hour there when we go to the zoo. Another play area they enjoy is the spider web in the children's area. It's a giant spiderweb made of rope! So much fun. And then there are the caves by the monkey enclosure. There are tunnels that look like the inside of a cave and a slide that comes out of it. So if you have the time or need a break from visiting the animals. my kids would suggest you stop and play for a while.

January 26 2013
1 family found this helpful
Violetwhite_word
"The Fabulous Phoenix Zoo"

The Phoenix Zoo is a wonderful experience!  The variety of animals that they have is wonderful and I really think we've visited over 40 times.  We've never been bored!  The zoo is constantly expanding and bringing new and better exhibits.  It is a big zoo, so be prepared with good walking shoes and bottled water and a snack.  Food there is pricey (though we always spring for the delicious kettle corn).

One of our favorite exhibits is the squirrel monkey enclosure.  You can actually walk into their habitat and watch them swing and run and play.  It is mesmerizing for both kids and adults.  Note that you are not allowed to take in any food or strollers.  There is stroller parking right outside the enclosure.  Also, make sure to wash your hands when you leave (you never know if you touched something a monkey touched)!  If you do not wish to enter, you can see most of the enclosure from outside the gate (which is what I tend to do if I have a sleeping baby in the stroller)!

Don't miss the orangutan exhibit! It is really new and fabulous (and air-conditioned in the hot Phoenix  summer)!  My kids love the barn area where you can pet goats.  Also, don't miss the elephant feeding where the kids can throw a carrot to the elephants for a snack.  Very fun!

During the summer, we would often come to play at the splash pad and at the man-made cave near the back of the zoo.  They turn it into a waterfall/tiny waterslide area for the kids.  Great place to cool off!

An annual membership to this zoo is definitely worth the money and pays for itself in 2 visits.  The one-day cost is high.  Locals can sometimes get free passes from the libraries in the area (called a Culture Pass).  These are available on a first-come, first-serve basis.

Lots to see and do here!  Don't miss it!

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Mrs.GIAm
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March 17 2012
0 families found this helpful
Violetwhite_word
"Always Fun At The Zoo"

Great, spacious zoo! Go early morning so all animals will be wide awake. Lot's of shade if needed. I recommend feeding the Giraffes before they get bored of seeing people.
We enjoy the Zoo Lights in winter and the Zoo Family Days in summer. They always have some kind of fun activity going on so make sure and check the website first.

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sarahjo
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May 17 2011
1 family found this helpful
Violetwhite_word
"Phoenix zoo"

This zoo is very kid-friendly - lots of shade, play areas, splash pad  and picnic areas etc.   As zoos go, it's a little dissapointing for a large metro area but you can get up close to the giraffes, monkeys and a few others plus they have a petting zoo.  They also have some very creative kid camps and events.   It's hard on kids and animals to do the zoo during the summer but they do have some after hours events that make is accessible.  Over all, a fun place to visit with kids!  

JessLove
JessLove
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February 19 2011
1 family found this helpful
Violetwhite_word
"Big zoo, lots to do"

We went here on a weekend in January, and the weather was perfect. I was expecting more people at the zoo, and there were lots, but it’s so spread out that it wasn’t crowded. The walk from the parking lot was short & parking is free. The animals were plentiful, though lots were napping...next time we'll go earlier in the day. There was an ‘Arizona’ section with local wildlife like coyotes, plus all of the standard animals such as elephants, lions, tigers, etc. The Savanna exhibit was huge & included giraffes, some Texas long-horn cows, ostriches, etc. There is a lookout you can climb up into to see the Savanna area better, and we were there right when they were being fed, so the giraffes were really close! There’s also a cute kid’s section of the zoo with a petting zoo, tractors to climb on and a small shaded playground- our 2 & 4 year-olds had a blast! Surrounding it were some kid-sized shaded tables- perfect for bringing a picnic lunch to. We bought lunch at the zoo, which seemed pretty expensive & took FOREVER to get - the chicken fingers & sweet potatoes fries were tasty, but the grilled cheese sandwich was the worst I’d ever had (dry & tasteless). I think next time we’ll bring our own picnic lunch to save time & money. There was also a super cool-looking playground with a treehouse that we’ll have to check out next time- it was nap time for us.

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cytmommy
Icon_reviews_xsmall 25 Icon_helpful_votes_xsmall 9
January 12 2011
0 families found this helpful
Violetwhite_word
"Not just another trip to the ZOO"

I love going to the Zoo and the Phoenix zoo is no exception.
Start by traveling over the bridge just to get to the gate and you will be stopping to peer over the edge.  You never know what might be lurking below.  The children's petting zoo is a great place to take the kids.  If it is hot out, check out the train, which will take you around the park and well worth it if you go in the middle of the summer. Take a water bottle or you will be stopping way to often.  There are plenty of small eateries along the way, but keeping hydrated in the desert is always a challenge - even at the zoo.   The giraffe exhibit is by far my favorite and the kids can't get enough, especially when they get the chance to be there for feeding time.  If you ever get the opportunity to go in the winter, check out Zoo Lights.  Going to the zoo at night is a whole new experience, but be sure to dress warm as it does get cold in the winter - even in the desert.  

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krstnj
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January 11 2011
0 families found this helpful
Violetwhite_word
"Maybe when the kids are a bit older"

I was impressed with the zoo but I think my kids will have more fun when they are a bit older. They are 3 & 1. We'll try again later in the year. :~) I liked the open exhibits & the fact that you can get up close to so many of the animals. We also went on a free/discount special day. It was crowded but I thought the staff was helpful & the even planned well.

January 11 2011
0 families found this helpful
Violetwhite_word
"Animals? What animals?"

The animals at the zoo are always hiding.  In the summer, it 's just too hot for all the animals with their fur coat to come outside.  In the winter, it seems that they are cold and hibernate.  I've been to the zoo a handful of time and I never really get to see a variety of animals.  The flamingos in the front are always pretty as are the giraffes.  Other than that..everyone always hides.  Oh and in the summer, there is also a nice water park area for the younger kids to cool off.   Overall, go to the zoo on the first Saturday of the month when it's free, otherwise don't waste your money.

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cducray1
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January 10 2011
0 families found this helpful
Violetwhite_word
"The Phoenix Zoo..not in the summer"

My family of 5 love this zoo. There are several activities for children other than just animal exhibits. I have been several times during the year and would suggest not going in the summer.  It is extremely hot and uncomfortable. We could barely make it through the entire park.  There are lots of fun season-themed events that are fun, such as Zoo Lights.  Any other season is perfect for this zoo.

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tarenae
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January 12 2011
0 families found this helpful
Violetwhite_word
"Great Zoo!"

This is a great place for the kids. The zoo lights were fantastic.  My son loved the "twisty" slide on the playground. He never wanted to leave!  The animal exhibits are easy for any age to view. Good food, reasonable prices, fun for the entire family! We can't wait to return!

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ajwesmith
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February 16 2011
0 families found this helpful
Violetwhite_word
"Excellent Zoo!"

Huge zoo with tons of animals and activities for kids.  Plenty of hands on exhibits and experiences for kids (stingray "petting", giraffe feeding, camel rides, etc..).  There are a few splash pad areas, to keep cool in the AZ sun.  Never feels crowded because it is big!  Love this zoo!!!

January 12 2011
0 families found this helpful
Violetwhite_word
"Great Times!!"

As long as it is not too hot-a good time will be had!  We went on safari train around the whole park then went to areas we wanted to hit.  Great petting zoo.  Paid extra for camel rides which was a hit.  Spray pad was very fun when weather is warm.  We always have had a good experience at the zoo.

Joy
Joy
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December 23 2010
1 family found this helpful
Violetwhite_word
"had a great time"

I took my 6 year old son here in January 2010 and he loved it. Although there were a few closed exhibits, he thoroughly enjoyed himself. We paid the extra $3 to ride the bus around the park, which was nice. We learned a lot and it was great to be off our feet for a little bit. We were able to see the whole park in one day - got in about 10am and left by 4pm. The monkey habitat was fun - just don't touch anything! The petting zoo was one of my son's favorite things to do here. Also, when you first arrive, they take your picture that you can buy before you leave. I paid a little less than $30 for 3 5x7s and they turned out very nicely.

December 23 2010
0 families found this helpful
Violetwhite_word
"One of the best zoos we have visited"

I consider myself a bit of a zoo aficinado and the Phoenix Zoo is one of the best we have been to. I was expecting a nice zoo but nothing of this caliber. Many of the exhibits were large and updated. The Arizona Trails area was a great introduction to the animals of the desert from coyotes to cougars to big horn sheep. There are plenty of typical zoo animals from giraffes (which you can feed) to elephants to cheetah to rhinos. The camel rides were a big hit with my kids. So was the farm area. But honestly I think the playground with the two story treehouse and tunnel slide was their absolute favorite. I have to admit,  if I were a kid I would never want to leave either. My favorite was the squirrel monkey enclosure. It was sort of like an aviary but with monkeys. The monkey were running around free all around you (I never saw any come in close contact with any humans) and it was so neat to look in a tree a  few feet away and see a monkey. Another neat feature about the zoo is that you can bring bikes or rent them (they have those fun four person bikes) and pedal around the park. Its a large zoo and having a bike would certainly be a fun way to explore it. Another fun feature are the paddle boats in the lake in the middle of the zoo. We spent a full day at the zoo and didn't come close to seeing or doing everything. As a matter of fact I had to drag my son out of there kicking and screaming. I can't think of a bigger vote of approval than that!

tsut410
tsut410
Icon_reviews_xsmall 26 Icon_helpful_votes_xsmall 19
December 23 2010
1 family found this helpful
Violetwhite_word
"Great Zoo"

The zoo had a lot to offer. I enjoyed that they had exhibits and shows around the clock. Unfortunately we went in July and it was extremely hot and it was hard to enjoy ourselves. The exhibits are pretty for apart so prepare for tons of walking. My son loved the camel rides, the cost was about $20 which included a photo. They also allow you to rent little floats for the "lake".

December 23 2010
0 families found this helpful
Violetwhite_word
"Phoenix Zoo"

The Phoenix Zoo (AZ) is a nice zoo to visit if you are in the area October-May.  During the hottest months of the year June-September it is not a place to go with small children! If you go, bring your kid's swim suits as there are several different water play areas through out the zoo! A great way to cool off! There are also a few nice playground areas. Whenever you visit do not forget a cooler of waters -AZ is a hot dry place dont under estimate that! This zoo has the nicest and cleanest petting zoo I have ever been to! They have purell pumps throughout and large sinks stocked with soap and paper towels in the barn. Refreshments are pricey so we pack our own. It is not a huge zoo and there are no colder climate animals. If you own a zoo pass to your local zoo and this is on the reciprocal list it is definately worth going.

December 23 2010
2 families found this helpful
Violetwhite_word
"Wonderful Place for Families"

The Phoenix zoo is one of the largest zoos we have visited.  There is so much to see that after four hours we still hadn't seen everything. Unfortunately, the heat became too much for us and we called it a day around 2 PM.  The heat was a bit much for the animals, too. Sounds funny, but a lot of park rangers told us that day that the animals were sleeping in the shade/in their den because of the heat.  Definitely a consideration - everyone goes to the zoo to see the animals.

One tip that I wish I had known before I got there - there are water parks through out for the kids. So, bring or let them wear bathing suits and be sure to bring towels. The water park makes the day easier to enjoy with the option of cooling off.   I hope we have the chance to go back again.  

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