Situated in Druid Hill Park near downtown Baltimore, the Maryland Zoo in Baltimore is the third oldest Zoo in the United States. More than 1,500 animals are represented in
the Zoo’s varied natural habitat exhibits in areas such as Polar Bear Watch, the Maryland Wilderness, African Journey and the award-winning Children’s Zoo.
Here is my two cents about this zoo.
It's a pain to get to and it's not in a great neighborhood, that's true. When I use to drive there without a gps it was super stressful because the streets there are tricky.
Once you get into the zoo complex, though, it's really well maintained! Super safe! I've had a pass to the zoo for three years now because I don't think it's worth the money to just come once, truthfully. But because there are so many fun activities for my kids and it's such a manageable, walkable zoo, I've found that I actually come here more than I visit the DC zoo, which isn't much further away time wise from my home. As a member they also do a lot of fun programs - we've done their Easter Egg hunt as well as Member Mondays where members can get carousel rides and train rides for free!
There is a good mix of big and small animals - not a lot of buildings and they have done a nice job of revitalizing some of the older habitats (especially the penguins!). Some still feel dated like the giraffe house so we don't usually go in there and just look at them outside if we can.
The children's zoo trail is a favorite - the big tree slide is closed for refurbishment right now but all the other parts are open and fun - sitting in a nest, jumping on lilypads, climbing through a cave.
We usually try to eat a bit early and get seating under the big shelter near the concession stand. There are a lot of picnic tables nearby also.
My kids think the tram ride is so awesome, it's a highlight for them. I think it's a bit of a pain ( you have to fold you stroller up) but it's not that big of a deal.
There is a big playground right near the tram stop, up beyond the prairie dog habitat. That's always our motivation to get towards the parking lot, to get a few minutes to play :)
This is "our" zoo and my kids love it!
My family visited the Maryland Zoo on a Saturday morning in October. The weather was beautiful.
The Maryland Zoo has many large animals like lions, elephants, giraffe, chimps, zebra, and polar bear; it has the majority of the animals that little kids most want to see when they visit the zoo.
The zoo offers many opportunities for visitors to learn about protecting endangered species and conservation. All of the animal enclosures appeared to be well maintained and of good quality.
There are boardwalk paths connecting most of the animals in two separate loops: the Maryland Wilderness and the African Journey. Both loops feature an aviary with birds; I found both aviaries to have an impressive display of birds.
The African Journey loop is home to lions, giraffe, elephant, lemur, chimps and zebra. This is the home to the big animals - the ones that your toddler can name and recognize.
The Maryland Wilderness Loop features many habitats found in the state of Maryland: marshes, stream, caves, meadows. This area featured man-made caves with reptiles, river otters, and farm animals. There are a few fun slide in this area.
The Maryland Zoo is not one of the largest zoos in the country. It is a nice size for a city zoo. Families can see all the animals in 2-3 hours.
There were very few indoor areas at the Maryland Zoo. It is not a place that I'd choose to visit in poor weather.
There is a 5 minute tram ride from the entrance to the animals - or moms with strollers (who don't want to take their baby out of the stroller) can opt for a 10-15 minute walk.
Maryland Zoo vs National Zoo
For young kids ages 3-5, I prefer the Maryland Zoo over the National Zoo. The Maryland Zoo is walkable for preschool kids and has a lot of play areas for tots and young children. There is a train at the Maryland Zoo - which made my five year old son very happy.
We only purchased popcorn. But, the food choices and quality looked to be average or maybe even a bit above average for this type of attraction.
The Maryland Zoo in Baltimore compliments the nearby National Zoo very nicely. The Maryland Zoo is home to many large animals like giraffes, rhinos and polar bear that are missing from the National Zoo. It's definitely worth a visit for families visiting Baltimore especially if they do not have a local zoo close to home.
Disclosure: Complimentary passes were arranged for my family by Visit Baltimore for the purpose of this review. All opinions are my own.
We visited the zoo during the winter so we could get half price admission. Because of the season, I was not expecting to see all the animals, but a good number of them were out. However, the place just looked run down. I was very glad we hadn't paid full admission; the atmosphere was definitely unimpressive. We packed a lunch and ate in a building that looked old and dirty. We checked out the food prices, and like most places, they were super high. This is not an attraction we will visit often.
We visited this zoo in April over spring break. It was a Tuesday morning and it wasn't crowded at all! It is a bit pricey as far as admission goes. $14.50 for adults, $10.50 for children 2- 11, Under 2 is free. Going on a Friday, Saturday or Sunday? $16.50 for adults and $11.50 for children. The kids really loved the polar bears and tundra buggy. The volunteer there said they will be renovating the tundra buggy soon. So that is something to look for. After we spent some time with the Polar bears we went over to African Journey. It was quite a nice walk on a boardwalk. They have rhinos which I do not see very often at zoos. We loved feeding the giraffe ($2 per branch). This is something we have not done before. They also have a very nice indoor/outdoor monkey house. My 18 month old loved it! We brought a picnic lunch and we were able to find a picnic table over by the snackbar that was in the shade. I was so happy we packed a lunch because the food prices were ridulous. I wouldn't even purchase ice cream because it was just too much. After our lunch we visited the barnyard area and our last stop was the Maryland Wildnerness section. I LOVED this! I thought it was so cute. They had lily pads for the kids to jump across, a large birdnest for the kids to sit in and a large tree slide. To me this was such a unique attraction. We live in NJ so I am hoping we can visit this zoo again sometime.
It has been a while since I have visited the Baltimore Zoo, but my last experience there made me never want to return. Not only do you have to pay to get in (compared to the DC Zoo, which is free), but at 14 dollars a person it is pricey! Another disappointment: I wanted to take my 2 year old niece, and you have to pay for them to get in as well. I understand that it costs them money, etc, but I would say a good 90% of places we go to are free under 2-3.
For the cost, the animals are very hard to see, the activities/information available is less than adequate, and the park is in much less than ideal shape. I would only recommend this if you need a quick, semi-educational trip and don't have the time to drive to DC instead.
The Baltimore Zoo is located in downtown Baltimore, but once you're inside the Zoo, you would never believe you were in the city. It is an absolutely beautiful park. However, I think the price to get into the zoo is outrageous: $15 for adults, $10 for children over 2. So for my family of 4 to spend the day (right, who are we kidding spend the morning until naptime) at the zoo it would cost us $40!!! I live only 20 minutes from the city and 45 minutes to the National Zoo in DC. I would much rather travel the extra distance to the National Zoo. It is a much better zoo and it's FREE. They even have free parking, if you are willing to walk a little further. In my opinion, the cost of this zoo is simply not worth the product. It's nice, but nothing that special.
Our family goes here each year. We love to see all of the animals! The polar bears are always exciting and entertaining and the zoo staff is always extremely nice. It's never a dull day at the zoo and you can really plan to spend a day here. Lots of food, animals, and exercise! Kids always learn something new and leave with a new animal in mind. The prices for tickets aren't too bad either!! Recommended in the spring! In the summer it can be a little too hot.
If your kids must go to zoo while in town, you could stop here, The zoo coul certainly use a renovation, and the exhibits are spaced pretty far apart. Be prepared for alot of walking. We were members here last year, but didn't renew because of our recent disappointment with the lack of upkeep.
As recent arrivals to Baltimore, one of the first things we did was check out the zoo. The price is comparable to other zoos I have been to ($13-15 for adults, $9-10 for children depending on when you vist), with very reasonable membership packages. We sprang for the membership and have visited 1-2 times/week since. Parking is free. I haven't visited on the weekends, but the weekdays (particularly in the morning) are very quiet, so even toddlers will be able to take their time at each exhibit.
I will be honest and say that older kids who have visited other zoos will probably not find much to be impressed with - aside from some neat extras like feeding the giraffes, it is a fairly no-frills atmosphere that feels more like a walk in the park than A Big Event. There is no aquarium, and a fairly predictable selection of animals for a small zoo.
However, my three-year-old absolutely loves the laid-back environment, which consists mostly of wide paths and trails that he can follow easily. The three areas of the zoo are the Polar Bear Watch, the African Journey, and the Maryland Wilderness featuring The Children's Zoo. There are also many cool spaces for little ones to explore, such as a giant tree trunk with small exhibits at the ground level and a big slide at the top, and the Tundra Buggy which lets you look down into the polar bear exhibit.
At the center of the zoo there is a park area with a few rides (the Carousel was a big hit), concessions, and restrooms. That area in particular is very nicely maintained and offers both outdoor and indoor seating for packed lunches (or if you just need to take a break from exploring!).
If I only had a long weekend in Baltimore, the zoo would probably not make the list of attractions I would be sure to make time for, but if you live in the area and are looking for a relaxed morning out I would highly recommend it!
I am not very impressed with the Baltimore zoo, when I went half of the animals were not there and its not like it was a hot day for them to be inside. Also the animals didnt seem very happy, I have been to other zoo's and have seen much happier animals. Good for children that want to see the animals though but dont expect much.
I haven't been here with my daughter yet. She is too young. But I have been here many times with other kids. Lots of animals to see. Only thing that was a little annoying was that everything is so spread out! On a hot day walking far with kids can be exhausting.
The Maryland Zoo is such a fun place. My kids love the children's part of the zoo. The big rope bridge is fun, there are 2 slides, a petting zoo, and lily pads for the kids to jump across. They have been doing construction but it doesn't seem to get in the way. We always pack a lunch and find a shady spot to sit and relax.
This is a great family day out. They have everything from a petting zoo to polar bears. There are many exotic animals as well as everyday animals. Take a lunch and eat at any of the many picnic tables available around the park. The polar bears are a lot of fun to watch. And watch the website they always have lots of family related events.