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Spend A Day At The Cleveland Metroparks Zoo

Updated on October 21, 2015

Cleveland Metroparks Zoo Visitor Information

The Cleveland Metroparks Zoo is a great place to spend a day for both young and old alike. It is Cleveland's nature's wonder. It is just one of the many things to do in Cleveland. The zoo is spread over 165 acres and all of the exhibits display the zoo animals in their natural habitats.

The zoo is divided up into sections based on the types of animals and the sections are spread out quite a bit. The upper level of the zoo is quite a hike as it is at the top of a steep hill. However there are free trams that take you around to the various exhibits and they pick up and drop off at scheduled tram stops. Of course if you prefer to walk it's a great hike through the zoo.

Parking at the zoo is free and shuttles run continuously between the parking lot and the main entrance. The zoo has plenty of facilities for picnicking so bring a basket for a nice picnic lunch amongst nature. You can also buy food at one of the many snack bars throughout the park. The zoo also offers several gift shops so you can buy souveniers of your day at the zoo.

Spend a Day at the Cleveland Metroparks Zoo
Spend a Day at the Cleveland Metroparks Zoo

Cleveland Metro Park Zoo Hours Of Operation

The Cleveland Metroparks Zoo & The Rain Forest are open all year except January 1 and December 25.


  • Daily from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.
  • The main gate opens at 9:30 a.m.
  • The Zoo Box Office closes at 4 p.m.
  • Memorial Day through Labor Day, on Saturdays, Sundays and holidays, the Zoo and The RainForest remain open until 7 p.m. and Zoo Box Office closes at 6 p.m.

Cleveland Metroparks Zoo Map credit to the Cleveland Zoo website.
Cleveland Metroparks Zoo Map credit to the Cleveland Zoo website.
The RainForest at the Cleveland Metroparks Zoo
The RainForest at the Cleveland Metroparks Zoo
Giraffe at the Cleveland Metroparks Zoo
Giraffe at the Cleveland Metroparks Zoo
Bear at the Cleveland Metroparks Zoo
Bear at the Cleveland Metroparks Zoo

Areas Not To Miss At The Zoo

The Cleveland Zoo is spread out over a large area of land. The exhibits are beautifully designed to show off the natural habitat of animals in the wild. You get an up close and personal view of the animals as you trek through the exhibits.
Here is a brief description of the zoo animals in each section:

  • African Savanna - In the African Savanna you will find lions, giraffes, zebras, monkeys, rhinoceros, and flamingos. The animals have room to run and there are viewing platforms around the savanna.
  • Australian Adventure - The Australian Adventure features animals from down under. A train runs through the habitat, giving the patron an up close view of the animals.You can see koalas, kangaroos, wallabies, and native sheep and goats. This area contains a train ride and a walkabout where you can go through a traditional Australian farm.
  • Northern Trek - Polar bears, wolves, tigers, reindeer, and seals call this area home. Here you will also find the seal and sea lion feeding exhibit. Also Wolf Wilderness gives visitors a comprehensive look into the environment and wildlife of a northern temperate forest.
  • Primate, Cat & Aquatics Building - The Primate, Cat, and Aquatics building is located on top of steep hill which you take a tram to or hike if you're up to it. Once there, you can view cheetahs, tortoises, and gorillas. The building is home to snow leopards, multiple breeds of monkeys, piranhas and fish, sharks, and lemurs.
  • The RainForest - The RainForest is a separate building from the main zoo and has a separate charge. The lower level of the building is the ground floor of the rainforest where the anteaters, leopards, crocodiles, fish, and turtles live. There is a simulated rainstorm on the ground floor of the RainForest.The second floor of the RainForest is home to the middle rainforest and upper tree dwellers in the actual rainforest. You will also find anacondas, pythons, orangutans, birds, and bats. The RainForest features a twenty-five foot waterfall.
  • African Elephant Crossing - This is one of the newest exhibits at the Cleveland Zoo. It offers exceptional viewing of the massive animals. It is spread over five acres of grass covered woodlands.

Special Events At The Zoo

The Cleveland Zoo runs many special events throughout the year. They vary so you should call the zoo for hours and admission prices. Here are some the zoo events:

  • Boo At The Zoo - Boo at the Zoo is a neighborhood of safe Halloween entertainment geared towards kids. There is a spooky delight on every corner including animals on exhibit each evening.
  • December Days At The Zoo - December Days offers holiday activities that the whole family can enjoy including animal programs, seasonal music, eco-friendly crafts, holiday cookie decorating and more.
  • Thanksgiving Day At The Zoo - Thanksgiving at the zoo offers free admission and special feedings for animals.
  • Camping With The Animals - Occasional programs are available to spend the night at the zoo.

Map To The Cleveland Metro Parks Zoo

Cleveland Metro Parks Zoo:
3900 Wildlife Way, Cleveland, OH 44109, USA

get directions

Flutter! Butterfly at the Cleveland Metroparks Zoo
Flutter! Butterfly at the Cleveland Metroparks Zoo

Things Not To Miss At The Cleveland Metropark Zoo

  • FLUTTER! allows you to walk among dozens of free-flying butterflies from around the world. The beautiful butterflies are large and brightly colored, the exotic assortment of species includes the blue morpho and and pink cattle heart butterflies amongst others. You can even watch the hatch of new butterflies as they emerge from the chrysalisis.
  • Get up and close and personal with many of the zoo animals. Check at the gate for a daily schedule of events.
  • Ride a camel in the Australian Adventure during the summer months.
  • Public giraffe feedings at 2:00 p.m. every day at the giraffe deck.
  • Touch is a zoo program that lets visitors reach into a pool and touch stingrays and sharks. The stingrays swim in giant circles around the perimeter of the pool. Visitors can reach their hands in, palms up, and let the stingrays glide over their palms. $1.00 extra cost.
  • Dinosaurs is another attraction that features robotic dinosaurs that eat, sit on nests, and protect their young. There is an additional $1.00 fee .

Nightdwellers At The Zoo


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    • Ardie profile image


      7 years ago from Neverland

      I enjoy the Cleveland Zoo at least once a year. My kids love going to see the elephants because our small town's zoo doesn't have the room for them. Excellent information for anyone intersted in visiting the zoo :)

    • Simone Smith profile image

      Simone Haruko Smith 

      8 years ago from San Francisco

      Love the inclusion of the zoo map! This is a great overview.

    • LeanMan profile image


      8 years ago from At the Gemba

      Looks like a great place to go if I am ever in the area, thank you.

    • Boomer60 profile image


      8 years ago

      Awesome article! I definitely think going to the Cleveland Zoo would be a great idea during Thanksgiving weekend. Cleveland is not that far from us. The zoo definitely looks awesome.


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