The Most Fun We’ve Had In Pittsburgh At The Pittsburgh Zoo And PPG Aquarium

by Crystal Carder

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 Disclosure: I was provided with a free ticket to the Pittsburgh Zoo and PPG Aquarium in exchange for this blog post. 

Can you believe we’re winding down to the end of another school year? My kids only have 3 more days to go and this mom can’t be more excited to have her boys all to herself.

 Of course, the end of the school year means the end of the year field trips. In my area, most of the field trips are planned around the Pittsburgh and Washington DC areas. This year, my first grader got to take a trip to the Pittsburgh Zoo and PPG Aquarium in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. 

In case you’re not familiar with the Pittsburgh Zoo and PPG Aquarium, the zoo is one of only six major zoos and aquariums combinations in the United States. 

With over 77 acres, the Pittsburgh Zoo and PPG Aquarium is constantly adding new animals and exhibits. In fact, this year, they just opened two new exhibits, Dinosaurs at the Pittsburgh Zoo and the Jungle Odyssey. On the day my son got to go the Pittsburgh Zoo and PPG Aquarium, we all had to wake up early and meet up with the bus that was going to be driving my son and his class to the zoo. 

Instead of following the bus, I decided to go ahead to try to beat the bus, so I could get my tickets. 

I arrived at the zoo right about the time they opened at 9:30 am and was able to get our tickets without any wait. 

By the time my son’s class arrived, my two younger children were aching with excitement. Since the escalator was being worked on, we decided to walk up the small hiking path instead of using the elevator to get up into the zoo. 

As soon as you get into the zoo, there are so many things to see; a gift shop, carousel, and Dinosaurs at the Zoo. Since Dinosaurs at the Zoo is an add-on exhibit, we decided to visit it on our way out.

Inside the zoo, some of the first animals you see are tigers, a Komodo dragon, pink flamingos, and a leopard. The animals were all out and moving that morning, so we couldn’t get enough of the exhibits.

We tried to spend a few minutes at each exhibit, but the kids already had their minds set on what animals they wanted to see, really badly; giraffes, elephants, monkeys, and fish, so they rushed through the first few animals.

When we got to the elephants and the giraffes, the kids thought for sure they found their favorite animal. The elephants were moving around so much and there was so much viewing area that we were able to spend quite a while watching them before we moved on.

Next up, we went where I wanted to go, the monkey exhibit. This exhibit is inside and full of different kinds of monkeys, an orangutan, and a few gorillas. Of course, when we got to the orangutan, he was sleeping, so we didn’t get to see him doing anything orangutans usually do.

By the time we made it to the gorillas, I almost got really upset because the cage was empty, but thankfully, that was only because they were outside.

Gorillas have always been one of my favorite animals at the zoo, but they are also always one of the most popular animals to watch. While we did get to watch the gorillas for a little bit, it was a little too crowded at the window to get too many good pictures to share with you.

These guys were so full of energy that they were amazing to watch. This one just set in the corner, but he was so adorable, that I couldn’t resist taking this photo.

Next, we walked to the new part of the zoo that is still being built called, The Islands. By the time we got there, it was raining, so it was refreshing that many of the exhibits had a roof over them to shelter us from the rain.

By the time we left The Islands, we decided we couldn’t wait any longer and had to check out the PPG Aquarium.

The PPG Aquarium is fairly big and completely different from the Mote Marine Aquarium that we went to in Sarasota, Florida. This aquarium is over 45,000 square feet and 2-stories high.

As you can imagine, there were a ton of different species of fish and marine life in there. Our favorite ones though were the penguins who lived in a habitat complete with the Pittsburgh Penguin’s flag.

Since there were so many species of fish, I decided to create a short video of a few of my favorite fish to show you all, check it out below.

After the aquarium, we kind of went every which way we could. We saw a dancing polar bear (check that video out on my Instagram), we saw some snakes, and we let the kids get up close with deer and kangaroo inside of the Kid’s Kingdom. Before it was time to leave though we still had one more stop to make, Dinosaurs at the Pittsburgh Zoo.

As I mentioned earlier, Dinosaurs at the Zoo is an add-on item, so it isn’t included with the general admission tickets, but I highly recommend it. Dinosaurs at the Pittsburgh Zoo features a world of lifelike dinosaurs that move and make noises. My boys have been into dinosaurs for the last few months so they loved this. The dinosaurs looked and sounded so real that they thought for sure they were real. Check out this video below to get a small idea of what Dinosaur at the Pittsburgh Zoo really is.

Unfortunately, by the time we left Dinosaurs at the Pittsburgh Zoo, the weather had taken a turn for the worst, but thankfully, we got to see pretty much all the zoo had to offer. My family had so much fun that we cannot wait to come back.

If you would like to visit the Pittsburgh Zoo and PPG Aquarium, head over to their website to learn about special events, ticket pricing, and more!

If you’re in the area the week of June 17th to June 24th, check out Eat’n Park Family Week. The event runs Saturday to Saturday and is full of lots of smiles. Each day will feature a new theme with tons of activities, animal encounters, and mascot appearances.  Also

Also, every Wednesday is Wild Wednesdays from 12 to 2 pm. Grove through the Zoo while you enjoy themed music, crafts, and animal enrichment each week. Sponsored by PA Leadership Charter School


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Robin Rue (@massholemommy) June 5, 2017 - 3:03 pm

I have never been to Pittsburgh! I would LOVE to go someday. The zoo sounds amazing.

Hey Sharonoox June 6, 2017 - 11:28 pm

This zoo looks so fun! I really like the idea of zoo and aquarium on the same location. The animals are so fun to watch. We love going to zoos!

Blair villanueva June 7, 2017 - 3:37 am

Glad your kids loves visiting the zoo and they are not afraid with animals. Your kids looks adorable too.

Missy June 8, 2017 - 4:33 am

Looks like a blast! I love taking my kids to the zoo about an hour from our home because it’s perfect for all ages. It’s hard to find activities that interest both toddlers and teens.

Annemarie LeBlanc June 8, 2017 - 9:26 am

My husband grew up in an area close to Pittsburgh. We might be able to visit this zoo when we travel there to meet up with his relatives. Looks like we’re going to have a great time.

Echo June 8, 2017 - 2:23 pm

The zoo is always a hit with my kids. Its like a new adventure every time we go!

MaryAnne June 9, 2017 - 6:41 pm

I really would love to visit this zoo some day it looks pretty awesome!

Garf June 10, 2017 - 4:13 pm

Glad you guys had fun at the zoo. The zoo is perfect for all ages.


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