Have a ‘wild’ time at these zoos and aquariums
A trip to the zoo or aquarium is truly a “wild” way to spend family time. Where else can you get nose-to-nose with a polar bear, eye-to-eye with a jaguar or watch a family of great apes at play?
Zoos and aquariums have evolved since the days of metal cages and undersized fish tanks. Animal attractions today are fun and educational, replicating natural habitats and offering hands-on creature encounters.
America is home to some of the world’s best animal attractions, including these nine standouts.
America’s first zoo was chartered in 1859 in Philadelphia, though the Civil War delayed its opening until 1874.
Today, the 42-acre zoo is home to more than 1,300 animals. Among its animal habitats is the popular Big Cat Falls, named for the waterfall at the exhibit’s heart. Here, visitors get up-close views of endangered felines from around the world, including Amur tigers and a rare black jaguar.
A star exhibit is the McNeil Avian Center, located in the circa-1916 Bird House, where visitors walk among free-flying rare and exotic birds, such as an ivory-billed aracari, native to South America.
The zoo’s historic landmarks include The Solitude, the 1784 country estate of John Penn, grandson of Pennsylvania founder William Penn. The neoclassical-style home is open for tours.
Visit philadelphiazoo.org or call (215) 243-1100.