I Love the Akron Zoo - Akron, Ohio
The Akron Zoo is the best little zoo around. Yes, I am biased because I grew up in Akron, Ohio. But I also have some facts and personal experiences to support my stance. First I will share MY reasons for loving the Akron Zoo then I will follow up with some facts about the zoo that may persuade you to come take a visit!
The Akron Zoo, which is located at 500 Edgewood Ave in Akron, Ohio 44307, is only a 15 minute drive from my house. Inflated gas prices make the location of this zoo a major bonus in my book.
The Akron Zoo is a smaller-scale zoo that you can walk through in just a few hours. You can still see everything without rushing around like a maniac. If your little one wants to spend 20 minutes watching the lion sleep you can relax and let him knowing you will still easily fit in the rest of the exhibits. I can take my three kids to the Akron Zoo at 10 am and still be home by 2 pm.
Waterfalls and flowers galore, what’s not to love?! Even the most allergic individual won’t be able to stay out of these magnificent gardens filled with sculptures and benches. And yes, the children can stick their hands in the fountains – I have even seen adults do it! Okay, I admit – it was me. This is the perfect stop on the very hot day at the zoo.
Breakfast with the Penguins!
You will have to keep an eye out for this one on your own. Information can be found on the web site’s calendar of events. Breakfast with the Penguins is an annual event and a limited number of people can participate. I will be taking my daughter to this one because she is obsessed with penguins!
Oh, sorry. This one left at the end of 2011. But you know what – it delighted my children for years so I am leaving it in the article. Who knows, maybe someday soon the jellyfish will return. However, losing this exhibit opened more space for a new reef exhibit – which will debut in May 2012.
The zoo boasts a new carousel featuring ALL your favorite animals. Stick your kid on that sucker and claim one of the many rocking chairs set around for weary parents.
Train and Petting Zoo
Your kids can also take a miniature train ride through farm country and come face to face with sheep, goats, and pigs. Does that sheep over there look hungry to you? Good, you can visit that little hut and buy some biscuits to feed him and his friends. Don’t forget to look in the shaded cages– you might catch a glimpse of the owl.
Akron Zoo Initiatives
This zoo may be tiny but it’s still using resources wisely to benefit animals all over the world. The Akron Zoo is committed to conservation in the form of restoration, preservation, and reintroduction programs. The Akron Zoo designates 1% of all gate receipts and donations from the wishing well to the Akron Zoo’s Conservation Fund to support field research, to preserve habitat and to develop education programs.
Yes, you pay more for these experiences. But many kids already have so many toys they don’t play with. Why not gift an experience and save yourself the heartache of finding that new “beloved” $40 toy in the back of the closet? You can gift experiences such as Animal Encounters, a Behind the Scenes Tour, being Keeper for a Day, acting as Zoo Veterinarians for a Day, and becoming Trainer for a Day. For more information about these unique experiences click Akron Zoo – Unique Experiences.
Zoo Updates and Expansions
In 2013 the Akron Zoo will be opening a new exhibit, the largest expansion in the zoo’s history! The Mike and Mary Stark Grizzly Ridge will include over 6 different animal species including grizzly bears, black bears, red wolves, and coyotes. In addition, the river otters and the bald eagle are getting new exhibits that will offer both more room to roam.
The Akron Zoo also offers several age-appropriate educational activities and opportunities. It offers Zoo Camp, ZooMobile, On Grounds Education Programs, Homeschool Programs, Early Childhood Programs, and Snooze at the Zoo. For more information on any of these programs please visit Akron Zoo – Education.
The Akron Zoo can hold your next party – whether it is for a birthday, an afterhours engagement, an outdoors picnic package, a corporate meeting, or a wedding shower or reception. The zoo has numerous facilities available for rental and your party can even be catered.