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I Love the Akron Zoo - Akron, Ohio

Updated on January 22, 2012
Akron Zoo Sign
Akron Zoo Sign | Source

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!

Fountain in the Gardens
Fountain in the Gardens
Gardens at Akron Zoo, Akron, Ohio
Gardens at Akron Zoo, Akron, Ohio | Source


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.

Penguins!! | Source
Jellyfish at Akron Zoo
Jellyfish at Akron Zoo | Source

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!

Jellyfish Exhibit

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 Bear Statue
Akron Zoo Bear Statue | Source
Educational opportunities abound!
Educational opportunities abound! | Source

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.

Unique Experiences

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.

13 out of 30
13 out of 30


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    • Ardie profile imageAUTHOR


      6 years ago from Neverland

      LOL never, ever share your popcorn anyways. Do you KNOW the germs those kids are introducing to your treat with their dirty hands? Ick. Im glad you went and had fun =) I havent been to a single zoo yet this summer so Im glad you commented here. I need to get back to my old habits and go see my penguins - plus our zoo just had two new snow leopard babies!!!

    • RealHousewife profile image

      Kelly Umphenour 

      6 years ago from St. Louis, MO

      I did go to the Chicago Zoo! It was cool!

      It is Zoo weather right now...and I was thinking about it again and remembered, oh yeah, the girls said I am too big:) lol I will go alone and then I won't have to share my popcorn on the train! ha!

    • Ardie profile imageAUTHOR


      6 years ago from Neverland

      Hi Audra =) I have missed you too. I say we set up a date to have breakfast with the penguins together. You bring the bf and I will bring my kids. It will be a blast!!

      Hello Shalini :) thanks for reading and commenting. Akron Zoo is very small but its still my favorite by far!

    • shalini sharan profile image

      shalini sharan 

      6 years ago from Delhi

      A zoo can actually be amazing, reminds me of the zooin my town

      good work

    • profile image


      6 years ago

      I miss you Ardie! I wouldlove to have breakfast with the Penguins! Love your hub!

    • Ardie profile imageAUTHOR


      6 years ago from Neverland

      Marge, I am so very excited that someone local came across this Hub :) There are so many great things about the Akron Zoo. I visit several times a year with my daughters. However I've never been to the Boo at the Zoo. I will have to keep it in mind for this year :) Thanks for stopping in and for taking the time to comment. You just made my day!!

    • profile image


      6 years ago

      I have volunteered at the Akron Zoo for 22 years, thank you for doing such a great job of promoting our zoo. My favorite big zoo in Ohio is Toledo--that zoo is awesome!

      If any of you make it to "Boo at the Zoo" (we were the first zoo in Ohio to have this event) stop by the King and Queen station---almost 90% of the time I'm working at that station. Come see us in 2013 when the new exhibits open.

    • Ardie profile imageAUTHOR


      6 years ago from Neverland

      Hello Rolly - its always a pleasure to see you around :) I cannot wait to go back to the zoo this summer and see how the construction projects have progressed. I will tell a secret here - my mom is terrified of grizzly bears and she is NOT happy they will be brought to Akron hahah poor mom!

    • Rolly A Chabot profile image

      Rolly A Chabot 

      6 years ago from Alberta Canada

      Hi Ardie... sounds like a wonderful place to visit and check out all the possibilities. There are always some secret places hidden away to be discovered by those who are adventurous enough to spend the time. Great hub and certainly well worth the trip. Thanks for taking the time to share so many exciting highlights.

      Hugs from Canada

    • Ardie profile imageAUTHOR


      6 years ago from Neverland

      Hi disu and thanks! Planning on coming cross country to visit my tiny zoo? :)

    • disujaalbart profile image


      6 years ago from california

      Hello Ardie. Nice Post Ma'am..

    • Ardie profile imageAUTHOR


      6 years ago from Neverland

      Hello dear rsusan :) If you ever come to my boring, sleepy state of Ohio I will take you to the zoo and we can feed the penguins! Thanks for reading.

    • rsusan profile image

      Rika Susan 

      6 years ago from South Africa

      Thanks for a very enriching virtual stroll through the Akron Zoo, Ardie. Loved it. Looks like a place I would want to visit for real.


    • Ardie profile imageAUTHOR


      6 years ago from Neverland

      Sharyn! If you ever come to Akron for the zoo you better email me first so we can do lunch :) Then you can take my kids to the zoo while I relax hahah

    • Sharyn's Slant profile image

      Sharon Smith 

      6 years ago from Northeast Ohio USA


      Can you believe that as close as the Akron Zoo is to me, I have never been there. Of course, it's because the Cleveland Metroparks Zoo is a little closer :) But now you make me want to drive south for a visit. I have heard from others too that it is a great zoo to visit. Thanks for all the info :)


    • Ardie profile imageAUTHOR


      6 years ago from Neverland

      Hello PCC, thank you so much! And thanks for throwing keywords into my comment hahah I didn't even remember our safari parks. We have some good ones here too that you can drive through or ride a covered wagon through. Maybe an idea for another Hub for me! Thanks - you're the best. Now Im off to reply to your comment on my Fighting Infertility are so bad ;)

    • poshcoffeeco profile image

      Steve Mitchell 

      6 years ago from Cambridgeshire

      Ardie, your ZOO REVIEW is cool and I love the pictures. It look really nice there. We used to visit Zoo's when our boy's were younger. We have safari park's here in the UK where you can drive around them in your car.

    • Ardie profile imageAUTHOR


      6 years ago from Neverland

      Joelipoo, thanks for bringing up Toledo - I didnt even realize they have a zoo! Air museum is close too, right? Another fun trip :)

      IJR112, I prefer the Akron Zoo when I want something close and easy to walk with three small kids. BUT I do love the Columbus Zoo too - I have some great pics from there as well...maybe another hub!

      Hi Wesman, agreed! Any zoo that helps spread awareness through education and conservation is an awesome zoo :) Speaking of - LOVE your animal Hubs...just havent commented on any yet. If you do go back to the Texas zoo and get some pics please share.

    • Wesman Todd Shaw profile image

      Wesman Todd Shaw 

      6 years ago from Kaufman, Texas

      Oh I think all zoos are pretty wonderful. They certainly help spread awareness and appreciation of things that a lot of persons don't have access to ever seeing otherwise.

      I, a month or three ago visited a zoo in Texas. It was a totally un planned deal, and so all the camera I had was my mother's cell phone! ugh! I'm going to make a point of going back so that I can take better pictures!

    • IJR112 profile image


      6 years ago

      The Akron Zoo is great, I agree. However, nothing beats the Columbus Zoo!

    • Joelipoo profile image


      6 years ago from Ohio

      I am interested in that new aquarium in Cleveland too. It's receiving some rave reviews even though it just opened. It's supposed to be great. Toledo has a nice zoo too. It's about the only thing worth seeing in that city.

    • Ardie profile imageAUTHOR


      6 years ago from Neverland

      Hi disujaalbart, thank you so much!! :)

    • disujaalbart profile image


      6 years ago from california

      Hello Ardie, Very nice read from you. Beautiful Hub Keep it up

    • Ardie profile imageAUTHOR


      6 years ago from Neverland

      Cardisa, I couldn’t help it! Then after I stuck my hand in of course I had to let the kids do it too. Do you have a zoo close to you? I don’t think I realized you were in another country!!!

      Haunty, I knew you would see things my way :) Akron Zoo IS the best. Im excited to see the new additions.

      Joelipoo, thank you :) Inexpensive, doh! Why didn’t I add that to the list of reasons why I love this zoo? I think we’re fortunate too. I’ve taken my kids to the Col, Cin and Cleveland zoos too. Amazing. Next I want to visit the new aquarium in Cleveland!

      RHW, hahah you are never too big for the zoo. Seriously though, what am I going to do when my kids say the same thing?! I know – I will rent-a-kid to take with me. I will keep the zoos you mention in mind. I’ve been planning family vacations around great zoos near and far. Last year we hit PA and this summer I want to see the one in Chicago.

      Hi JAS :) thanks for reading! If you do ever decide to visit our tiny zoo just let me know and I will show you around. I prefer the smaller zoos because you can see everything without being too tired to drive home. The gardens are only a few years old (will have to verify that – they seem newer in my memory) and every year they are better and better.

      Hello MissOlive. You have roots here! I bet it would only take you 3 days to drive here hahaha Thanks for the read and for the vote :)

      Duffsmom, thank you so much for such awesome words! Now that you say it – I really DO love my community…never thought about it much before :)

      Teresa Coppens, Im so glad this hub made you remember happy time :) I will look up the Toronto Zoo and see if they are zoo members together. But I am wondering if many zoos present similar programs. I will also have to see how far a drive it would be for me and the kids to visit Toronto and have a vacation. I know there’d be plenty to do.

      Sunshine, thank you for reading! I remember seeing a preview for that movie - looks GREAT. I know my littlest will love it – she wants to buy a zoo too. She says she will build it in the field across the street from our house. And of course I get in free. She says when people ask her why I get in free she will stomp her foot and say “because SHE is my mom”. YOU are impressed with us?! Woman, you are in the single digits of your HubChallenge. YOU are my role model. I see you doing it and I know I can too :)

    • Sunshine625 profile image

      Linda Bilyeu 

      6 years ago from Orlando, FL

      I love the Zoo! I just saw the movie We Bought A Zoo and I still want to buy a Zoo! Be sure and watch the movie when you get a chance and HAVE TISSUES available!! Keep on hubbin' ... 30 will be here before you know it! I'm so impressed with you, Bela and Steve!:)

    • Teresa Coppens profile image

      Teresa Coppens 

      6 years ago from Ontario, Canada

      Wonderful hub of your local zoo. Akron Zoo reminds me very much of the Metropolitan Toronto Zoo . I taught highschool near this zoo for ten years and kept a membership for years before having kids and then for many years during my kids younger days even though we'd moved an hour away. The Toronto zoo was impossible to complete in one day but it features many similar programs and has a conservation philosophy similar to the Akron Zoo. I enjoyed your hub very much. It brought back lots of fond memories!

    • duffsmom profile image

      P. Thorpe Christiansen 

      6 years ago from Pacific Northwest, USA

      Such a wonderful hub with a great positive tone. I love to see people truly enjoy and support their community. Great job!

    • missolive profile image

      Marisa Hammond Olivares 

      6 years ago from Texas

      Ardie -this is a fun hub. I love the zoo and would love to visit Akron Zoo someday. My Dad was from Ohio and we used to travel up there fairly often. Quite a road-trip from South Texas :)

      I like how you featured the various areas and activities. Cute pictures too. And who could resist a fountain?!?!

      voted up!

    • Just Ask Susan profile image

      Susan Zutautas 

      6 years ago from Ontario, Canada

      This looks like a zoo I would like. We have a small zoo but it is a farther drive away. One of favorite parts of any zoo is the Children's Petting Zoo. I guess I'm just a kid a heart. I really like the garden picture at the Akron Zoo and I too would be tempted on a hot day to stick my hands in the fountain.

      Enjoyed your tour of the Akron Zoo.

    • RealHousewife profile image

      Kelly Umphenour 

      6 years ago from St. Louis, MO

      I LOVE going to the Zoo Ardie! Last summer the girls wouldn't go with me - they said I am getting too big:) lol I am thinking about going to ours when the kids go to school on a warm day to take photos. I would have a blast visiting your Zoo, I bet.

      Memphis has a very cool's been a while but I loved theirs too! St. Louis is pretty great but I don't have a lot to compare it to:)

    • Joelipoo profile image


      6 years ago from Ohio

      Nicely done, Ardie. We frequented the Akron Zoo often when I was younger because we are only a half hour from it. It was always a good place to go spend the day, and it was relatively inexpensive compared to the other zoos. I must say we are rather fortunate in Ohio with our zoos.

    • Haunty profile image


      6 years ago from Hungary

      I love this cute little zoo and your awesome tour of it makes this hub such a pleasure to read. Akron zoo is the best!

    • Cardisa profile image

      Carolee Samuda 

      6 years ago from Jamaica

      I knew it was you who stuck your hand in the I love animals and would have loved the experience, pitty I live in another country :(


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