I received complimentary tickets for posting this review. All opinions are my own.
School is almost out for the year and I couldn’t be more ready to get on with summer. I’m so ready for vacations and fun, that I couldn’t wait for our son’s school to take a field trip to the Pittsburgh Zoo and PPG Aquarium over Memorial Day weekend.
Pittsburgh Zoo and PPG Aquarium are literally one of my family’s favorite places to go to in Pittsburgh! The zoo has been a place I’ve visited since I was a kid and I’ve made many great memories there. While our visit came at the start of the zoo’s busy season, we still had such a great time visiting that I can’t wait to go back again! If you’ve never been the Pittsburgh Zoo and PPG Aquarium, you definitely should start planning your visit for this summer!
Our Experience at the Pittsburgh Zoo
A day at the zoo with little ones is always so much fun! During our time at the Pittsburgh Zoo, we got to see some of our favorite animals up close and watch them in their habitats. Since the zoo is laid out in sections by country, it’s really easy to find out what animals you should be seeing and learn where all of your favorite animal species come from. We loved walking through the African Safari because that is where the giraffes, elephants, and zebras are.
The zoo has done an amazing job making it easier for everyone to peak at all their favorite animals and they now offer more than just one viewing area for the zoo’s most-watched species including the gorillas.
There are so many animals to see at the zoo, but one of my favorite areas to walk through was actually one of the newest additions to the zoo in 2015 – The Islands.
The Islands is this really cool 22,000 square-foot exhibit that has endangered species. Most of these animals are outside and you can get extremely close to them. Some the animals even have warning signs, like the one below, to keep you from getting sprayed because you’re literally that close!
If you’re visiting the zoo with kids, the zoo also has some really fun activities to keep antsy kids from getting bored. In fact, that’s one of the reasons Pittsburgh Zoo was rated one of the top children’s zoos in the country!
Kids Kingdom should be one of the last places you visit at the zoo because once you visit, your children won’t want to leave there! Kids Kingdom offers fun play areas with slides, a petting zoo, and a close look at animals kids love.
Our family spent hours looking at the different animals inside the Pittsburgh Zoo! Even though it was a busy day, we still got to spend plenty of time watching all of the animals that we wanted to. We even got to spend some time watching the 1-year old gorilla, named Frankie, play outside.
PPG Aquarium Experience
As a kid, one of my favorite things about visiting the Pittsburgh Zoo and Aquarium was the aquarium itself. The PPG Aquarium is located inside of the Pittsburgh Zoo and offers an array of aquatic species from every watery habitat on Earth.
Inside the aquarium, you can find all things from sharks to penguins to clownfish.
While the aquarium isn’t as big as some, it is a great place to introduce children to the aquatic life. Plus, the zoo and aquarium are always planning new and exciting events. Every winter, the aquarium even marches the penguins in a parade outside in the chilly Pittsburgh weather.
We had such a fun time visiting the Pittsburgh Zoo and PPG Aquarium this year! While things have changed slightly since our 2017 visit, we love all that the Pittsburgh Zoo and PPG Aquarium have to offer. Whether you’re looking for something to do or a unique learning experience, you can find it all at the Pittsburgh Zoo and Aquarium.
Things to Know Before Your Visit to the Pittsburgh Zoo & PPG Aquarium
Before you plan your visit to the Pittsburgh Zoo and PPG Aquarium, there are a few things that are nice to know including:
- You are allowed to bring in your own snacks and drinks.
- The zoo opens at 9:30 am during the summer and 9 am the rest of the year.
- Walking at the zoo is a bit hilly, no steep climbs, but it is not flat walking.
- You can rent wheelchairs, strollers, and scooters at the zoo, but it is best to reserve them ahead of time during the zoo’s busy season.
- The zoo and aquarium are extremely kid-friendly and there are multiple play areas for children.
- Parking at the zoo is free and there is plenty of parking.
- Ticket price includes both the zoo and the aquarium. You can’t purchase one without the other.
- You can add-on fun experiences like meeting a giraffe or ziplining to your visit.
- The aquarium does have some shark, but they are not big sharks.
I hope this post helps you plan your visit to the zoo and aquarium. For more travel guides and tips, check out my adventure section.