Cincinnati Zoo and Botanical Garden
Adventure. Conservation. Education. Community.
The mission and vision of the Cincinnati Zoo & Botanical Garden is dedicated to creating adventure, conveying knowledge, conserving nature, and serving the community. With the addition of our fourth pillar to our Mission Statement, Serving Community, we recognize the responsibility to partner with diverse and economically challenged communities in our daily work.
The Zoological Society of Cincinnati was founded in 1873 and officially opened its doors in 1875, making the Cincinnati Zoo & Botanical Garden the second oldest Zoo in the United States. The Zooâ€™s original animal collection was very small, originally consisting of just eight monkeys, two grizzly bears, three deer, six raccoons, two elk, a buffalo, a hyena, a tiger, an alligator, a circus elephant, and over four hundred birds, including a talking crow. The Zoo was founded on 65 acres in the middle of the city, and since then has acquired some of the surrounding blocks and several reserves in Cincinnatiâ€™s suburbs.
Didn’t know what to expect. We were on a family vacation to see The Ark and Creation Museum and my wife and son wanted to go to the Cincinnati Zoo after seeing reviews and seeing the good responses from it. This. Place. Was. Awesome! We spent the WHOLE day here. Arrived @ 10:30am and left around 4:30. If you have kids they’ll probably enjoy themselves greatly. My son LOVED this. Going from one animal to the other trying to find them wherever they we in there in-habitat. Since being there all day we packed lunch and drank water there. The Zoo is HUGE which I didn’t expect. The amount of animals they have here was unexpected. Bathrooms were in pretty good places to reach when needed. Staff were pleasant. For the price this Zoo is well worth the money! Very well put together!
I love the zoo! My daughter loves it too. I bought a family membership shortly after my daughter was born. Even though our daughter wasn't old enough to be aware of any of the animals yet, this was a great place to go to get out of the house. Now she's a year old and loves seeing all the animals. The price of membership has gone up around $50 from last year, but it's still worth it to us. The number of times we visit per year more than covers the cost of membership. Plus, with the gold membership we've been able to take a lot of friends for free throughout the year. Of course food and drinks inside the zoo are pretty expensive. It's great that you can buy a souvenir plastic cup for around $6 and then, with the membership discount, refill the cup for $.89 whenever you want. The zoo has soft serve ice cream at several locations. I wish they'd offer a souvenir ice cream dish that you could get refilled whenever you visit for a discounted price. I and all the other parents I go here with would really appreciate that.
Due to the winter many exhibits were closed. This is to be expected. The train was also closed which we were not expecting. I would not recommend going to the Festival of Lights with small children if the train is not running because it is too much walking for children to get bored looking at lights. In the summer, the zoo can be very crowded and overwhelming. Food prices are high but you can pack a lunch which is great. With all the exhibits it is a wonderful way to get out of the house. However, younger children are bored very quickly. I would recommend for children over 4 years old.
The zoo is a great Cincinnati tradition. Getting a pass is the way to go. I recommend getting a level that includes parking because the lots are much more convenient than finding street parking. They usually have a deal on membership in March. There is a ton to see at the zoo. It's easy to come for a couple of hours or spend the whole day. You can bring a picnic lunch in or there are a number of places to get food... their main restaurant is usually very crowded at meal times though.
Fiona!!! She's such a joy! Watch the YouTube video of her life from when she was born until about her first 6 months of life! A very good presentation from the zoo and the zoo keepers! They've done a lot of work to keep her free of germs and parasites! Great job folks! Your time payed off and she's a great joy for everyone to see and enjoy! 😂