Memphis Zoo

★★★★★

About Memphis Zoo

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4728 Spottswood Avenue Memphis, TN

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4.5 2
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I was raised on the San Diego Zoo, but I found that the Memphis Zoo isn't too shabby, either.

They do have a pretty broad collection of exhibits, and my favorite part is that Tuesdays are free w/ student ID or Tennessee drivers license.

It may be crowded on those days, but this really is a good-sized zoo, so you can get around.

4
★★★★☆

I was raised on the San Diego Zoo, but I found that the Memphis Zoo isn't too shabby, either.

They do have a pretty broad collection of exhibits, and my favorite part is that Tuesdays are free w/ student ID or Tennessee drivers license.

It may be crowded on those days, but this really is a good-sized zoo, so you can get around.

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When we moved to Memphis I was so excited that we had access to such a nice zoo. It is centrally located and accessible from 2 different main roads, but be prepared for a traffic jam getting into the gate. Parking is $3 (free for members) and abundant. You may bring a wagon to pull the kids, coolers and gear if you would like.

There are several lines for admission into the zoo (with members having their own line.) General Admission is $13 adults, $8 for kids ages 2-11 and $12 for seniors 60+. (Membership ranges from $60 single to $99 Family+) Tuesday afternoons are free for TN residents after 2pm. Be prepared to show ID to get in free or with your membership card.

Once inside the zoo you have the opportunity to shop at a number of gift shops, rent strollers (single or double) and wheelchairs, eat at a variety of snack carts and snack bars- some including BackYard Burgers. Food is priced as you would expect at an amusement park or zoo, coolers are welcome in picnic areas but no glass or straws are allowed for the safety of the animals.

There are plenty of bathrooms scattered around for convenience- mostly clean and well stocked. There are changing areas for babies in all of them.

Some of the exhibits are air conditioned and be sure to pay attention to when the feeding times and keeper chats are at all of the exhibits. There is a sea-lion show 3 times daily. Lots of rides in the kiddie area and a zoo tour tram that is only $1 for an all day pass per person (it is wheelchair accessible and stroller friendly as well). There is a large playground with nice equipment on site as well.

The exhibits are well kept, though some are a bit dated. They are working on new exhibits and constantly upgrading the existing ones. Memphis is one of a handful of zoos in the USA to have Giant Pandas on loan for the next few years. (On free Tuesdays be sure to have an extra $3 if you want to see the pandas. They are free on regular admission days and to members).

Allow me to suggest membership if you live locally and plan to visit more than a few times a year. I am a stay at home mom to a preschooler, and we try to come a couple of times a month when it is not scorching hot outside. We invested in the $99 family+ membership and myself, my husband, our child(ren) and 1 other adult per visit get in free and pay no parking. we also get invited to fun events throughout the year and discounts on some special programs.

Tips:
1)Tuesday afternoons are VERY crowded... come at your own risk with small children as they may not be able to see well at most exhibits due to the crowd.
2) Bring your wagon, very handy to hold that gear.
3) Bring a camera and sunblock.
4) Spring months (March, April and May- esp. April) are field trip months for schools. Expect anywhere between 3000-5000 school kids there mon-fri. Plan with this in mind! They are usually gone by 1pm, so you may adjust your trip time accordingly.

This may well be the best $100 our family of photographers and animal lovers has ever spent.

PROS: Great animals, lots of amenities, good parking, reasonable membership rates
CONS: traffic into zoo, crowds on free day, expensive concessions

5
★★★★★

When we moved to Memphis I was so excited that we had access to such a nice zoo. It is centrally located and accessible from 2 different main roads, but be prepared for a traffic jam getting into the gate. Parking is $3 (free for members) and abundant. You may bring a wagon to pull the kids, coolers and gear if you would like.

There are several lines for admission into the zoo (with members having their own line.) General Admission is $13 adults, $8 for kids ages 2-11 and $12 for seniors 60+. (Membership ranges from $60 single to $99 Family+) Tuesday afternoons are free for TN residents after 2pm. Be prepared to show ID to get in free or with your membership card.

Once inside the zoo you have the opportunity to shop at a number of gift shops, rent strollers (single or double) and wheelchairs, eat at a variety of snack carts and snack bars- some including BackYard Burgers. Food is priced as you would expect at an amusement park or zoo, coolers are welcome in picnic areas but no glass or straws are allowed for the safety of the animals.

There are plenty of bathrooms scattered around for convenience- mostly clean and well stocked. There are changing areas for babies in all of them.

Some of the exhibits are air conditioned and be sure to pay attention to when the feeding times and keeper chats are at all of the exhibits. There is a sea-lion show 3 times daily. Lots of rides in the kiddie area and a zoo tour tram that is only $1 for an all day pass per person (it is wheelchair accessible and stroller friendly as well). There is a large playground with nice equipment on site as well.

The exhibits are well kept, though some are a bit dated. They are working on new exhibits and constantly upgrading the existing ones. Memphis is one of a handful of zoos in the USA to have Giant Pandas on loan for the next few years. (On free Tuesdays be sure to have an extra $3 if you want to see the pandas. They are free on regular admission days and to members).

Allow me to suggest membership if you live locally and plan to visit more than a few times a year. I am a stay at home mom to a preschooler, and we try to come a couple of times a month when it is not scorching hot outside. We invested in the $99 family+ membership and myself, my husband, our child(ren) and 1 other adult per visit get in free and pay no parking. we also get invited to fun events throughout the year and discounts on some special programs.

Tips:
1)Tuesday afternoons are VERY crowded... come at your own risk with small children as they may not be able to see well at most exhibits due to the crowd.
2) Bring your wagon, very handy to hold that gear.
3) Bring a camera and sunblock.
4) Spring months (March, April and May- esp. April) are field trip months for schools. Expect anywhere between 3000-5000 school kids there mon-fri. Plan with this in mind! They are usually gone by 1pm, so you may adjust your trip time accordingly.

This may well be the best $100 our family of photographers and animal lovers has ever spent.

PROS: Great animals, lots of amenities, good parking, reasonable membership rates
CONS: traffic into zoo, crowds on free day, expensive concessions

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