The 25 Top Zoos In The US For Families

top zoos in the us

Do you want to know where your local zoo ranks among the top zoos in the US?

Or do you love animals so much that you clicked on this post out of curiosity?

Well, we love animals too!

Who doesn’t love going to the zoo and checking out all the animal exhibits?

There are always plenty of amazing animals to see. Some of those animals might include gorillas, tigers, rhino, giraffes…

And our personal favorite…

Penguins!

Before we get too ahead of ourselves…

We want to show you our 25 top zoos in the US!

If you continue reading, you’ll see the 25 that made the cut. And you’ll also see some awesome animals that call those zoos home.

We’ve ranked these zoos on a number of factors that include:

  • Size of the zoo
  • Number of animals
  • Number of species
  • Types of attractions

Other important questions we asked ourselves when ranking zoos were:

  • Would kids love this zoo?
  • Are there enough things for the kids to do at the zoo?

It’s no secret that zoos are great attractions for families. Kids love the zoo!

So the top 25 definitely had to pass the kids’ test.

Most of the zoos on this list have playgrounds and children’s zoos. The kids will definitely tire themselves out if you take them to any of the zoos listed below.

Well, we hope you love animals because you’re about to see a bunch of them.

Check out our 25 top zoos in the US below:

 

25) Audubon Zoo

Edwin Butter / Shutterstock.com

Zoo Stats:

  • 58 acres in size
  • Over 2000 animals

Attractions Include:

  • Animal Presentations
  • Carousel
  • Swamp Train
  • Wet Splash Park for kids

 

24) Oregon Zoo

Png Studio Photography / Shutterstock.com

Zoo Stats:

  • 64 acres in size
  • Around 1,800 animals
  • Over 230 different species

Attractions Include:

  • Aviary Center
  • Behind The Scenes Tours
  • Carousel
  • Zoo Train

 

23) Kansas City Zoo

Rusty Dodson / Shutterstock.com

Zoo Stats:

  • 202 acres in size
  • Over 1,300 animals

Attractions Include:

  • Animal Shows
  • Boat Rides
  • Carousel
  • Penguin Encounter
  • Sky Safari Ride
  • Tram Rides
  • Zoo Train

 

22) Denver Zoo

HeavyT / Shutterstock.com

Zoo Stats:

  • 80 acres in size
  • Over 4,000 animals
  • Over 650 species

Attractions Included:

  • Animal Feedings
  • Carousel
  • Explore The Shore Play Area
  • Guided Tours
  • Zoo Train

 

21) Cincinnati Zoo

ivvv1975 / Shutterstock.com

Zoo Stats:

  • 77 acres in size
  • 1,900 animals
  • 500 species

Attractions Include:

  • 4-D Theater
  • Botanical Garden
  • Carousel
  • Zoo Train

 

20) Pittsburgh Zoo

Robert Pernell / Shutterstock.com

Zoo Stats:

  • 77 acres in size
  • Over 4,000 animals
  • 475 species

Attractions Include:

  • Aquarium
  • Beer Garden
  • Children’s Zoo
  • Restaurant with up-close, outdoor views of Wildlife
  • Zipline

 

19) Houston Zoo

Eric V Overton / Shutterstock.com

Zoo Stats:

  • 55 acres in size
  • Over 6,000 animals
  • Over 900 species

Attractions Include:

  • Carousel
  • Children’s Zoo
  • Giraffe Feeding
  • Play Area
  • Water Splash Area

 

18) Columbus Zoo And Aquarium

Jewett Photography / Shutterstock.com

Zoo Stats:

  • 234 acres in size
  • Over 7,000 animals
  • Over 800 species

Attractions Include:

  • 4-D Theater
  • Aquarium
  • Boat Ride
  • Carousel
  • Multiple Playgrounds
  • Pony Rides for Children
  • Zoo Train

 

17) Philadelphia Zoo

slowfish / Shutterstock.com

Zoo Stats:

  • 42 acres in size
  • Over 1,300 animals

Attractions Include:

  • Behind the Scenes Tours & Guided Tours
  • Carousel
  • Hot Air Baloon that takes guest up to 400 feet in the air for spectacular views (extra cost)
  • Miniature Train Rides
  • Outdoor bird aviary
  • Swan Pedal Boats

 

16) Dallas Zoo

Steven Ringler / Shutterstock.com

Zoo Stats:

  • 106 acres in size
  • Over 2,000 animals
  • Over 400 species

Attractions Include:

  • Behind The Scenes Tours
  • Carousel
  • Cheetah Encounter
  • Children’s Zoo
  • Giraffe Feeding
  • Miniature Train
  • Safari Monorail
  • Wildlife Shows

 

15) Brookfield Zoo

Spandau_Goulet / Shutterstock.com

Zoo Stats:

  • 216 acres in size
  • Over 2,300 animals
  • 450 species

Attractions Include:

  • 3D Theater
  • Behind The Scenes Adventures
  • Carousel
  • Dolphin Shows
  • Family Play Zoo
  • Giraffe Feeding
  • Penguin Encounter
  • Safari Tram

 

14) Minnesota Zoo

Jeffrey Wiles / Shutterstock.com

Zoo Stats:

  • 485 acres in size
  • Over 2,300 animals
  • Over 450 species

Attractions Include:

  • Camel Rides
  • Carousel
  • Family Farm Animals
  • IMAX Theater
  • Interactive Woodland Adventure Playgrounds
  • Live Music Performances
  • Penguin Feedings
  • Reef Shark & Bay Shark Feedings
  • Splash Pad for kids

 

13) Living Desert Zoo

Zack Frank / Shutterstock.com

Zoo Stats:

  • 1,800 acres in size
  • Over 430 animals
  • Over 150 species

Attractions Include:

  • Behind The Scenes Tours
  • Botanical Gardens
  • Carousel
  • Giraffe Feedings
  • Hiking Trails
  • Indoor Discovery Center
  • Private Safaris
  • Wildlife Hospital and Conservation Center

 

12) National Zoo

Kent Weakley / Shutterstock.com

Zoo Stats:

  • 163 acres in size
  • Around 2,000 animals
  • Around 400 species
  • 30-40 species listed as endangered animals

Attractions Include:

  • Guided Tours
  • Miniature Train
  • Tide Pool
  • Tube Water Slide
  • Several dining options that offer food, desserts, and craft beer

 

11) Oakland Zoo

7032925164 / Shutterstock.com

Zoo Stats:

  • 100 acres in size
  • Over 700 animals

Attractions Include:

  • Camping Experiences
  • Children’s Zoo
  • Gondola Rides
  • Interactive Learning Trails
  • Kid Race Car Rides
  • Kiddie Coaster
  • Panoramic View of San Francisco Bay
  • Playgrounds
  • Safari Rides
  • Zoo Train

 

10) Oklahoma City Zoo

Iansa / Shutterstock.com

Zoo Stats:

  • 119 acres in size
  • Around 1,900 animals
  • 512 species

Attractions Include:

  • Botanical Garden
  • Carousel
  • Children’s Water Stream
  • Children’s Zoo
  • Giraffe Feeding
  • Museum
  • Sea Lion Presentations
  • Stingray Tank
  • Zoo Train

 

9) Phoenix Zoo

Daniel Zuckerkandel / Shutterstock.com

Zoo Stats:

  • 125 acres in size
  • Over 3,000 animals
  • Over 400 different species
  • Largest non-profit zoo in the US

Attractions Include:

  • 4D Theater
  • Carousel
  • Discovery Farm for children
  • Farm with farm animals and tractors
  • Pedal Boats
  • Playground
  • Puppet Shows
  • Safari Cruiser Tours
  • Trek Area and Tree House for children
  • Water Splash Area

 

8) St. Louis Zoo

youngryand / Shutterstock.com

Zoo Stats:

  • 90 acres in size
  • About 18,000 animals
  • About 700 species
  • Animals Always SculptureĀ ( the largest sculpture at any zoo)

Attractions Include:

  • 4D Theater
  • Carousel
  • Children’s Zoo
  • Insectarium
  • Safari Tours
  • Sea Lion Show
  • Stingray Exhibit
  • Zoo Train

 

7) San Antonio Zoo

LParkerTX / Shutterstock.com

Zoo Stats:

  • 57 acres in size
  • Over 3,500 animals
  • Over 750 species

Attractions Include:

  • Animal Encounters
  • Behind the scene interactions with Hippos and Tortoises
  • Butterfly garden
  • Carousel
  • Giraffe Feedings
  • Themed breakfasts (make reservations in advance)
  • Zoo Train

 

6) San Francisco Zoo

Kara Jade Quan-Montgomery / Shutterstock.com

Zoo Stats:

  • 100 acres in size
  • Over 2,000 endangered and rescued animals
  • 250 species

Attractions Include:

  • Bike tours
  • Carousel
  • Gardens
  • Miniature train
  • Playground

 

5) Zoo Miami

Sunti / Shutterstock.com

Zoo Stats:

  • 750 acres in size
  • Over 3,000 animals
  • Over 500 species

Attractions Include:

  • Behind The Scenes Tours
  • Carousel
  • Feedings For Giraffes, Rhinos, Camels, Giant Tortoises, and Parrots
  • Monorail
  • Pedal Boats
  • River Ride
  • Safari Tram Tours
  • Wildlife Tours

 

4) Indianapolis Zoo

Odegov Vladimir / Shutterstock.com

Zoo Stats:

  • 64 acres in size
  • Over 3,800 animals
  • 320 species

Attractions Include:

  • Carousel
  • Dolphin In-Water Adventure
  • Family Coaster
  • Feedings For: Flamingos, Budgies, Lorikeets, and Giraffes.
  • Nation’s Largest Shark Touch Pool
  • Playground and Treehouse
  • Skyline Ride
  • Train Rides

 

3) Bronx Zoo

MasterGraph / Shutterstock.com

Zoo Stats:

  • One of the largest wildlife conservation parks in the US
  • Over 4,000 animals
  • Over 600 species

Attractions Include:

  • 4-D Theater
  • Butterfly Garden
  • Camel Rides
  • Carousel
  • Children’s Zoo
  • Monorail
  • Nature Trek
  • Penguin Feedings
  • Sea Lion Feedings
  • Zoo Shuttle

 

2) Henry Doorly Zoo and Aquarium

Dane Jorgensen / Shutterstock.com

Zoo Stats:

  • 130 acres in size
  • 962 species
  • Largest cat complex in North America
  • World’s largest nocturnal exhibit and indoor swamp
  • One of the world’s largest indoor rainforests and indoor deserts

Attractions Include:

  • 3D Theater
  • Aquarium
  • Carousel
  • Guided Backstage Tours
  • Skyfari Sky Ride
  • Stingray Beach
  • Tram Rides
  • Zoo Train

 

1) San Diego Zoo

canoak / Shutterstock.com

Zoo Stats:

  • 100 acres in size
  • Over 3,500 rare and endangered animals
  • 650 species and subspecies
  • Over 700,000 exotic plants

Attractions Include:

  • 4-D Theaters
  • Animal Encounters
  • Botanical Gardens with Tours
  • Guided bus tours
  • Kangaroo Bus
  • Miniature train rides
  • Play areas
  • Skyfari Aerial Tram
  • Shows

 

Hopefully, this list of the top zoos in the US gives you some inspiration for places to visit in your future travels.

If you’re planning on visiting some of the cities listed above, make sure you plan a day at the city’s zoo.

These zoos provide all types of fun for kids and adults!

Have you ever visited one of the zoos listed above?

Tell us what it was like in the Comment Section!

Check out this next: If you love wildlife and the outdoors, you’re going to love this list of our favorite national parks in the US.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *