philly zoo


The Philly Zoo is Open, Here’s How It Looks in the New Normal

The Philadelphia Zoo is once again up to the public. Thursday marks the first day the general public can visit the zoo since it closed on March 17.

On Monday the Philadelphia Zoo officially opened with remarks by Zoo President and CEO Vikram H. Dewan, Philadelphia Health Commissioner Dr. Thomas Farley, Rep. Donna Bullock and Councilwoman Jamie Gauthier. Afterwards members were welcomed to enjoy the park.

The Zoo has new safety precautions put in place for your comfort.

NEW SAFETY PROTOCOLS: * All visitors MUST reserve / pre-purchase timed-tickets for admission.
* Tickets will not be available for purchase onsite.
* Social distancing and Masks are required for guests 2+
*  Indoor animal exhibits and attractions remain closed.* Touchless toilets, faucets, paper towel and soap dispensers.
* Hand sanitizing stations throughout the campus.
* More grab and go food selections and touchless transactions at food locations.
* Guests can bring their own food in the Zoo.
* “Clean Team”- staffers dedicated to sanitizing and cleaning high touch areas.
*  New procedures that allow public safety officers to check bags without touching.

How cute, these girls each found a peacock feather for a souvenir.

High-touch attractions — such as the swan boats, carousel, and WildWorks climbing course — will stay closed to create less touch and more distance. Also on hold are activities like educational talks from zookeepers to avoice large crowds gathering.

Although the beer garden is closed for now, food is still being served outdoor dining is still happening at a social distance.

Animals are on the move like never before at Philadelphia Zoo with Zoo360, a first-in-the-world system of see-through trails passing through treetops, crossing over pathways and connecting habitats, giving animals like amazing big cats, majestic primates and marvelous meerkats the opportunities to travel and explore.

Visit our young western lowland gorillas, baby sloth bear cub, giraffes, hippos, white rhino, zebras, Amur tigers and more at America’s first Zoo.


Philly Zoo Kicks off Spring with Urban Green, Zoo Key and Creatures of Habitat

On Thursday April 4, 2019 the Philadelphia Zoo made several exciting announcements which included the ribbon cutting of The Urban Green, an exciting new dining destination and outdoor food marketplace, featuring three food trucks which will debut today, Saturday along with the opening for Creatures of Habitat animal LEGO® exhibit and the return of the Zoo Key.

Creatures of Habitat Rabbit and her hoppy friend at the Philadelphia Zoo on Thursday, April 4, 2019.

Rachel Harvey and Suzanne Harvey. Rachel won a contest about her childhood memories of the Philadelphia Zoo Key at the Philadelphia Zoo on Thursday, April 4, 2019. She wrote “I was so excited to read that the Philadelphia Zoo decided to bring back the beloved Zoo Keys. Just the other day I was cleaning and found mine (what a great and coincidental timing) and was immediately flooded with great memories of growing up and visiting the Zoo with my mom, brother and Nana. My brother and I always “fought: over who got to use our keys to learn more about each animal exhibit, facts that we had probably already heard, but it didn’t really matter, we were always still so excited. Here’s to hoping my old zoo keys still work when they reinstate them at the zoo this April. #zookeymemory

Zoo Board member Jody McNeil Lewis wore her children’s original zoo keys around her neck to the reception at the Philadelphia Zoo on Thursday, April 4, 2019.

Sheila Hess, City Rep at the Press Conference

Vikram H. Dewan, President and CEO of the Philadelphia Zoo

There are the Zoo keepers who recorded their stories and behind the scenes information used in the special zoo key audio books at the Philadelphia Zoo on Thursday, April 4, 2019.

Amy Shearer, Chief Marketing Officer at The Philadelphia Zoo, Vikram H. Dewan, president and CEO of the Philadelphia Zoo and Sheila Hess, City Representative cut the ribbon to Urban Green with the help of local school kids at the Philadelphia Zoo on Thursday, April 4, 2019.

The Creatures of Habitat is a gazillion piece animal adventure featuring 12 life-size (and larger than life size) sculptures designed by artist Sean Kenney and meticulously crafted from thousands of individual LEGO® bricks!

The exhibits will spotlight the issues animals in the wild are facing and the heroes working to save them.

A boy trying out his Zoo Key unlocking insider secrets and stories about the magnificent creatures living at Philadelphia Zoo, told by animal keepers who care for them at the Philadelphia Zoo on Thursday, April 4, 2019. You can use your Zoo Key, or buy one for $3.00 at the Zoo to hear the stories.
For more information or to purchase and print tickets online, visit us at www.PhiladelphiaZoo.org.


Philly Zoo Summer Ale Fest Plus The Watering Hole Beer Garden

Philly Zoo Summer Ale Fest Plus The Watering Hole Beer Garden

Once-a-year, the Philadelphia Zoo opens its gates after-hours for an adults-only celebration featuring local beer, live music and delicious food. Mike and I headed to the Zoo on July 16th, his birthday, and one of his favorite events in the Summer, The Philly Zoo Summer Ale Fest. A few pixs appeared on Metro Philly, but I wanted to give you more info and pixs here….


Although the zoo balloon was in all it’s glory, it’s not open at night. But it made for great photos


Every year the event sells out. So as soon as they mention tickets are on sale, usually in June, go get them.

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Nearly 1,000 summer ale fans lined up to get their wrist bands and sample beer mug


This year they went with a much larger cup than the ones they’ve used in the past. DSC_6704 (Custom)

But if you must, bring your own pretzel necklace

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I headed straight for the new Watering Hole – beer garden-. This year the Philly Zoo began selling beer through out the zoo, and created a beer garden for folks to hang out. It’s a great date place.


There’s food

A robust menu offers a variety of 10 craft and domestic beers including, Victory Summer Love Ale, Victory Prima Pils, Victory Headwaters Ale as well as New Belgium Flat Tire, River Horse Summer, New Belgium Snapshot, Stella, Goose Island IPA and Tröegs Sunshine Pils. For guests who prefer wine, Woodbridge Pinot Grigio, Chardonnay and Cabernet are also available.  Beverages are served in clear, eco-friendly cups with prices ranging from $6.00 to $8.00 inclusive of taxes. Refreshing drinks, delicious light fare and an enjoyable atmosphere make this “the” spot to be this summer.


and fun sculptures to take selfies on



There’s bathrooms too

The Watering Hole was designed in partnership with Groundswell Design Group, creators of some of the most popular beer gardens in Philadelphia.  Entrance to The Watering Hole is included in Zoo admission; hours of operation are Friday – Sunday from 11-4pm and holidays. For more information or to purchase Zoo tickets visit www.PhiladelphiaZoo.org.


and lots of picnic benches and tables


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Back out to the festival


The first year they had food stations by restaurants, but now with the popularity of watering

food trucks, there’s a much more diverse food selection. DSC_6798 (Custom) DSC_6779 (Custom)

There were a lot of beverage tents, and

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even with 1,000 people the lines moved quickly


All the zoo exhibits were open, which I never made it too or we’d have more photos. There were also several zoo keepers running around with fun games like Guess The Butt,

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or another favorite, guess the dung




As darkness fell, I headed over to the Festival Tent where there was live music



and a whole lotta people partying

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and dancingwatering

it was a good time. Really it was, we had a blast. Did I mention there was free parking at the zoo parking garage adjacent to the zoo for this event.

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Mike and I love the Philly Zoo so much, we bought a family pass for the year. Even if we only use it a couple times, we’re glad to support the zoo. It’s more than just animals.