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Work on a new “African Safari” exhibit at Nashville Zoo in Tennessee is to begin this fall. The 40-acre expansion project will include a walking path, a 12-minute boat ride, a restaurant and lodge, glamping tents and backstage tours. WKRN-TV
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10 Tips For Visiting The Nashville Zoo …From My Family To Yours
By meredith, animals , kids , nashville tn , nashville zoo.
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My family loves the Nashville Zoo .
It’s a beautifully designed oasis, carved from a family farm that was donated to the city .
The Nashville Zoo at Grassmere is easy to find on Nolensville Road, just south of Nashville off I-65 OR I-24.
Here’s a map and directions to the Zoo in Nashville .
The Zoo is open every day except Thanksgiving Day, Christmas Day, and New Year’s Day.
Here are our 10 “insider tips” for making the most of your Nashville Zoo visit:
#1 – Go early or late, but never in-between.
If you arrive promptly at the 9AM opening, you’ll find easy parking and a quiet mist over the trails. By 10AM, the school buses unload and baby strollers crowd the walkways. Or, get there after 1PM when the mothers take young children home to nap.
#2 – Bring plenty of bottled water or drinks along .
Tennessee summers are hot and humid, and the Nashville Zoo involves a lot of walking.
#3 – Think comfortable.
Take sun hats, track shoes for adults, strollers or Little Tikes pull-along wagons for kids. The Zoo rents cool canopied strollers if you forget yours ($7 single stroller, $9 double.)
#4 – Have a few dollar bills handy.
Nectar for feeding the birds in Lorikeet Landing costs $1/cup (and boy, do those greedy birds gobble it up!). Tokens for the Nashville Zoo’s Wild Animal Carousel are $2/ride. We take our own drinks and snacks, but soda machines and ice cream kiosks are sprinkled throughout the Zoo. Anyone care for a $4 Icee?
#5 – Don’t miss the Grassmere Historic Farm.
Must see at the Grassmere Farm : draft horses and sheep, the beautiful Croft House , kitchen garden, and cemetery . We didn’t even know the Grassmere Farm was there our first few visits!
Here’s a Nashville Zoo map , so you don’t miss anything!
#6 – Take a break… or two!
I noticed many new benches scattered along the trails. Other good spots for shady breaks include the Cracker Barrel rocking chairs around the Carousel, the safari tents on the African Elephant Savannah , the covered amphitheatre used for animal shows , and anywhere along the peaceful Asian Bamboo Trail .
#7 – Find a spot to enjoy a cool breeze.
The indoor Creatures of the Americas area is dark and air-conditioned. I also noticed that Alligator Cove and the Bamboo Trail ‘s hut both have powerful new fans. In the summertime, Publix sponsors a cooling mist tent between the playground and the Carousel.
#8 – Don’t weasel out of the Zoo’s awesome playground.
(I’ve tried.) Kids love it.
Here’s our family review of the Nashville Zoo playground .
#9 – Split 1 long Zoo day into 2 shorter adventures, especially if you have small children.
Suggested visit #1:
From the meerkats down the rest of the animal walk , followed by the Critter Encounters petting zoo and a walk through the indoor Creatures of the Americas . If possible, end with one of the shows held in the amphitheater .
Suggested visit #2:
- Gibbon Islands
- African Elephant Savannah
- Lorikeet Landing
- Grassmere Historic Farm
- Jungle Gym playground
#10 – Buy a membership!
Did you know you can “try before you buy?” If — at the end of your visit — you’ve decided you would like to return, the Zoo will apply that day’s entrance fees toward a new membership .
Here’s a current list of all the animals at the Nashville Zoo and a schedule for all the Keeper Talks .
I hope these tips make your visit to the Nashville Zoo even MORE fun. Share your own zoo tips in the comments below!
More Fun Stuff About The Zoo In Nashville
- Nashville Zoo Camps
- Newest Baby Animals At The Nashville Zoo
- Nashville Zoo Facebook Page
- Reviews Of The Zoo In Nashville
- Nashville Zoo Videos
- Nashville Zoo Twitter Page
- Birthday Parties At The Zoo In Nashville
- Nashville Zoo Educational Programs For Kids
I'm a wife, mom of 4, and resident of Brentwood, Tennessee. I love finding fun new things for my family to see and do in Brentwood and the Nashville area!
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Everything about tourist attractions
Nashville Zoo – tickets, prices, timings, what to expect
Edited by: Rekha Rajan Fact checked by: Jamshed V Rajan
Opened in 1991, Nashville Zoo is a true wildlife treasure of Tennessee and should be on your list whether you want to see animals or are organizing a family outing.
The zoo provides a chance to learn about the lives, habits, and lifestyles of animals, and the zookeepers share fascinating information with visitors.
In this article, we’ll share with you everything you should know before booking tickets for Nashville Zoo.
Top Nashville Zoo Tickets
# Nashville Zoo tickets # Nashville sightseeing Day Pass
Table of contents
What to expect, where to book tickets, how do online tickets work, nashville zoo ticket prices, discount tickets, nashville zoo tickets, how to reach, best time to visit, how long does the tour take, map of nashville zoo, restaurants, faqs about nashville zoo.
Step into the animal world and discover endangered and exotic species.
See amphibians like African Clawed Frogs, Eastern Hellbender, Poison Dart Frog, and arthropods like Goliath Bird-eating Tarantula.
You’ll be amused to watch the swimmers of the zoo, which includes fishes like Blue Discus, Lionfish, Piranha, Redhead Cichlid, and Red-Tail Triggerfish.
Kids and adults love to spend time observing giant animals such as Andean Bears, Clouded Leopard, Cotton-top Tamarin, Goats, Miniature Donkey, Meerkat, Horse, and Sumatran Tiger.
There is also a wide range of birds, including Flamingos and Hornbills, and reptiles like Rhinoceros Iguana and South American Bushmaster.
Back to Top
Tickets for Nashville Zoo are available online and at the ticket booth at the main gate.
We strongly suggest you purchase online tickets to get assured admission to the zoo.
During peak seasons and special events, the ticket demands are very high, and you may not get them if you plan to buy them offline.
However, you can keep such disappointments away by purchasing tickets in advance.
Also, why stand in long queues and wait for your turn when you can book tickets anytime and anywhere on your phone?
Moreover, online tickets come at great discounts and deals, making them worth every penny!
When you book early, you also get your preferred time slot.
Go to the Nashville Zoo ticket booking page , select the number of tickets, time slot, and date you wish to visit and book your tickets right away!
Upon completing the payment, you will receive a confirmation email.
On the day of your visit, show your ticket at the zoo entrance gate, and walk in!
Remember to bring your official IDs.
All visitors 13 years of age and older must pay US$23 for a ticket to the Nashville Zoo.
Children aged two to 12 pay only US$19 for entry.
Infants under two years old are admitted free of charge and without a ticket.
Children, infants, and military personnel are eligible for special discounts when purchasing tickets at the zoo ticket counter (remember to carry identification).
With a Nashville Zoo entry ticket, explore all exhibits in the zoo housing Leopards, Bears, Tigers, Sloths, Pandas, etc.
Experience animal encounters at Kangaroo Kickabout, Lorikeet Landing, and Critter Encounters.
Keep in mind that at Lorikeet Landing, you are only permitted to observe the birds; all feeding activities cost extra.
Access to Jungle Gym is included, but Wilderness Express, Wild Animal Carousel, and Soaring Eagle Zip Line are excluded.
Adult Ticket (13+ years): US$23 Child Ticket (2 to 12 years): US$19 Infant Ticket (up to 2 years): Free
Save time and money! At just US$81, you can buy a Nashville sightseeing Day Pass , valid for 4 consecutive days, that allows you access to a customized itinerary of attractions in Nashville. Enjoy up to 58% off admission at numerous exciting attractions, including the Johnny Cash Museum and the renowned Country Music Hall of Fame.
Nashville Zoo is a few miles from Downtown Nashville, Tennessee state of the US.
Address: 3777 Nolensville Pk, Nashville, TN 37211, United States. Get Directions
Nashville Zoo Station Inbound is within 0.5 miles (0.8 km) and can be reached by walking in 10 minutes.
If you’re traveling by car, turn on your Google Maps and get started.
Click here to view car parking lots.
All year long, the Nashville Zoo is open daily at 9 am. However, its closing time (4 pm or 6 pm) is subject to change.
Thanksgiving, Christmas, and New Year’s Day are the only days the Zoo Nashville is not open.
The best time to visit the Nashville Zoo is in the morning when it first opens at 9 am because the animals are most active.
Weekdays are better in comparison, as fewer visitors are around.
If you take a fast stroll through the animal exhibits and spend up to an hour at the animal experiences and Jungle Gym, it would take about 2 to 3 hours to wrap up your trip to the Nashville Zoo.
Set aside at least 2 to 3 hours if you want to ride the Wilderness Express, the Wild Animal Carousel and enjoy the Soaring Eagle Zip Line.
Your entire visit may therefore last up to 6 hours.
But when you’re here with kids, they won’t let you exit so easily.
When visiting Nashville Zoo, which is dispersed across a vast area and has so many exhibits and activities, it’s advisable to have a map .
You may quickly explore the zoo to find exhibits, drinking establishments, restrooms, ATMs, gift stores, etc., with the help of a map you’ve downloaded on your phone.
Around the zoo, you will see big boards with maps on them.
You can find restaurants and cafes to eat and drink with your group at Nashville Zoo.
Some of them include Quills Cafe & Grill, Screaming Gibbon Pizza Kitchen, Fat Cow Creamery: Coffee and Cones, Snake Bites, TN BBQ Depot and Carts, Kiosks, and Outposts.
You can find a wide range of food and drinks like Burgers, salads, Fries, Rolls, Coffee, Ice creams, Hot chocolate, Desserts, Popcorn, Cotton candy, etc.
Here are a few questions guests usually ask about Nashville Zoo.
You can buy Nashville Zoo tickets online by clicking here .
You can indeed leave the zoo and return, but you must let the keepers know in the Information Hut.
Yes! You are welcome to bring prepared meals. If you wish to eat lunch later, leave the food in your car and take it after your visit. Avoid carrying glasses, straws, or lids with you inside the zoo.
The zoo offers wheelchair rentals for the tour and is accessible to visitors with disabilities.
Yes! You can enjoy five categories of membership passes- Single, Dual, Household, Household Plus, and Safari Set.
Popular attractions in Nashville
Sources # Nashvillezoo.org # Wikipedia.org # Tripadvisor.com The travel specialists at TheBetterVacation.com use only high-quality sources while researching & writing their articles. We make every attempt to keep our content current, reliable and trustworthy .
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Nishtha Nogia loves to explore new places with family and friends. She travels to weave stories packed with fun, surprises, and laughter. For her, traveling is all about hogging local cuisines, interacting with people, and creating lifelong memories. She has a travel bucket list ready and is waiting to start ticking them one by one. Favourite Cities: Seoul, Paris, New York, and Istanbul.
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Nashville Zoo expansion plans: Lions, cheetahs, otters and more
Lions, rhinos, cheetahs, gorillas, penguins and other new critters are headed to Nashville as part of a $160 million expansion plan unveiled Wednesday by the Nashville Zoo.
The plan, which promises to more than double both the number of animals on exhibit and the zoo's developed acreage by 2020, was touted as a major boon to economic development. Zoo President Rick Schwartz predicted that the expansion, which also will add hippos, giant otters, spider monkeys and Andean bears to the zoo's menagerie, will mean an anticipated 1.2 million visitors a year. That's more than a 50 percent increase.
The announcement also served as a launch point for a private fundraising effort to see the project through. The zoo has received $28 million in commitments so far, including $15 million from the city.
"The potential here is unbelievable," said Mayor Karl Dean, who stood in front of the elephant enclosure as he endorsed the expansion plans.
Schwartz said the zoo's 188 acres would be developed once the plan is fully implemented. When the undeveloped land is included, the zoo is the ninth-largest in the United States.
Schwartz said the zoo has the capacity to rival some of the best zoos in the country, and mentioned the San Diego Zoo as one that draws visitors from afar.
"Our goal really is to make this a world-class zoo," he said. "A world-class zoo for a world-class city."
A new first impression
After driving down an expanded entry road, visitors would park in a much larger lot and walk into the zoo through a new, larger entrance featuring stroller rentals and an upgraded gift shop.
An African safari boat would give visitors unobstructed views as they ride through the new African exhibit space. Schwartz said that exhibit alone, which will feature lions, rhinos, cheetahs and many of the other new attractions, would more than double the number of animals on display at the entire zoo.
An interactive penguin exhibit would allow visitors to walk among and even pet the penguins before entering an underground room with a 360-degree underwater view of the playful polar birds frolicking and swimming behind the glass.
"Nobody has done that in the United States," Schwartz said. "It is going to be totally unique."
Even on their bathroom breaks, visitors could look into animal enclosures — marmosets for the women and naked mole rats above the urinals for the men.
Zoo officials plan to develop a farmers' market near the entrance, and they hope to have a zipline up and running by spring. New restaurants would give zoo visitors more dining choices while helping the zoo raise revenue.
Jim Bartoo, the zoo's marketing and public relations director, said the first completed exhibits will be the Andean bears and spider monkeys, which they hope to have finished by fall 2015.
The health of zoo visitors as well as the creatures they come to see would be a top priority. Security and first-aid stations would be added, along with a new animal hospital.
Bartoo said the new plans modified and expanded on the zoo's $130 million 2012 campaign for a 30-acre African exhibit.
The new plan, Schwartz said, will allow the zoo to build on steady growth in recent years — something Nashville officials hope will boost tourism and energize the South Nashville area around Nolensville Road.
Zoo attendance has been on the rise. In 2003, about 460,000 people attended the Nashville Zoo, a 13 percent increase from the previous year. This year, more than 800,000 visitors are expected.
Mary and Allen Diehl of Nashville live three miles from the zoo and visit at least once a week.
"I'm anxious to see this expansion," Allen said. "It'd be nice."
The zoo sits on about 82 acres. The adjacent 106 acres at Grassmere, off Nolensville Road, would be developed gradually over a period of several years.
"We are going to do this strategically so that we can use everybody's dollars in the best way to create a great zoo for Nashville," Bartoo said.
Reach Casey Harper at 615-259-8085 and on Twitter @CaseyHarper33.
Hadari was captured and imported to the United States at age one. She spent her first years as an attraction at Jungle Larry’s African Safari in Cedar Point, Florida. She was moved to the Nashville Zoo in 1995 with Kiba, another African elephant. Kiba died in 2009. At the Nashville Zoo, Hadari lived with African elephants, including Rosie and Sukari, and was cared for by her owners and Zoo staff. Hadari’s retirement and transport to The Sanctuary was planned in collaboration with her owner, the Nashville Zoo, and The Elephant Sanctuary.
On September 24, 2015, Hadari—a 33-year-old African, became the 25th elephant to retire to The Elephant Sanctuary in Tennessee. Hadari joined Flora and Tange in The Sanctuary’s African Habitat.
In preparation for Hadari’s move, The Elephant Sanctuary transported The Sanctuary’s recently renovated trailer to the Zoo grounds. Hadari was introduced to the trailer by her owner and given the opportunity to become familiar with it.
Upon arrival, the truck backed the trailer up to the Africa Barn. Trailer doors were opened, the safety bars removed, and Hadari followed as her owner called to her. She stepped onto the dirt ramp that led directly into the barn. Hadari discovered the first banana leaf along the way.
For those watching, it seemed only moments later that Hadari was in the barn feasting on produce, fresh cut browse, and a special welcoming treat of watermelon.
The barn doors were quietly shut as Hadari inspected her new surroundings, using her trunk to investigate every gate and every new smell. She often stopped her search to relish the welcoming array of foods. No one had to wait very long after the doors and gates were reopened before Hadari, with encouragement from her owner, exited the barn and began to discover The Sanctuary.
To everyone’s delight, Hadari walked along a length of the perimeter fence, stopping to reach for branches just on the other side.
Hadari spent her first night in The Sanctuary undecided as to whether she should be in the barn or checking out The Sanctuary in the moonlight. She did both.
Sanctuary Staff immediately found that Hadari has some unique features; long eye lashes with very expressive eyes, and hair that reflects red in the sunlight. Her feet and head appear smaller than the typical African elephant.
Tragically, on January 2, 2017, 36-year-old African elephant Hadari passed away suddenly and unexpectedly. She was found by Care Staff in a favorite area of the habitat, there were no visible signs of distress or injury. Hadari was known to be in good health, making full use of The Sanctuary this year, traveling throughout the habitat, knocking down trees, and sharing space with other elephants. Gross necropsy findings, combined with histopathologic evaluation of major tissues, showed good body condition. Hadari died unexpectedly, with no premonitory signs of illness. Pathologists report death was due to acute cardiorespiratory collapse; an abrupt disturbance in respiratory or circulatory function of unknown cause.
Hadari was loved by all and her absence is deeply felt. We will continue to honor and celebrate her remarkable life and the impact she had on the entire Sanctuary family, elephants and staff alike.
To leave a written tribute to Hadari, visit her Tribute Page .
September 24, 2015
Banana Leaves and Sweet Potatoes
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