10 Big Questions (+ Answers) That Everyone Asks About Zoo Atlanta

Zoo Atlanta in Grant Park is a special place for families – both human and animal. From the fuzzy warm cuddles of  Ya Lun and Xi Lun, the adorable panda twins, to the wiggles and wonders of the Scaly Slimy Spectacular Amphibian and Reptile Experience…there is so much to do and love in a world that is home to more than 1,000 animals representing more than 200 species!

Zoo Atlanta

These are the questions we primarily get from social media, email, etc….answered for you based on our 2020 visit!

What safety measures is Zoo Atlanta taking now?

We visited Zoo Atlanta in October 2020, and felt quite at ease here especially since the bulk of the activities are outdoors. Here are few tips to help you make a decision about visiting now:

  • All tickets are for timed-entry. Timed entry means you must plan ahead to transfer your CityPASS into a timed-ticket for a specific day (if you’re going that route)
  • Everyone over 10yo must wear a face mask unless you are eating or drinking.
  • Most of the exhibits are open but there is only one way in and one way out, as the Zoo has carefully crafted a one-way route to minimize contact with others.
  • The petting zoo is open for people to see the animals, but the “petting” part of the petting zoo is on hold during COVID.
  • Nourish Café is temporarily closed, as is Splash Fountain and some other rides and attractions. There are a few outdoor kiosks selling food, though.
  • Yellow boxes are printed in front of almost all the exhibits, allowing every family to gather there while staying a safe 6 feet from another family.

How can I get Zoo Atlanta tickets at a discount?

Our first advice is to use CityPASS Atlanta for the ultimate discount, especially now that you have up to 30 days to visit all the included attractions. You’ll save over 40% off general admission prices.

Second, tickets purchased via the Zoo are cheaper is you schedule a visit Monday through Thursday.

The ultimate discount is FREE, right? With your library card, Georgia residents can check out the Zoo Atlanta Library Pass for FREE admission for a family of four. (Yes, Fulton County libraries are open!)

What’s new at the zoo?

If you ask us, the most exciting new addition to the zoo is the African Savanna exhibit for the elephant, giraffes, zebras, rhino and more. The new elephant environment here is more than 3x the size of the elephants’ former habitat! It includes three small ponds with waterfalls, a gentle slope mimicking the African plains and an enrichment wall.

Zoo Atlanta’s three African elephants are not the only ones who received a new home. The giraffes, zebras and ostriches share a new space – bordered by habitats for the meerkats and warthogs.

Last but not least, Mumbles (who at 9 years old weighs over 4,300 pounds) arrived to the zoo this year – and he is adorable!

For more news about what’s new (like Virtual Safari Camp, and 2021 dates for Nightcrawlers and Twilight Treks) be sure to join the newsletter.

There is a Zoo Atlanta Panda Cam? Tell me more!

We adore the Panda Cam!! Click on the link to see it. If they are not visible, you can see our video of the pandas wrestling together during our last visit. Cooper told me the red pandas were his favorite – until he saw these twins playing together.

At the zoo, the giant pandas may be seen year-round at virtually any time of day. Because they are native to high-elevation cool mountain forests, in the warmer months they will generally be in their climate-controlled dayroom habitats. In the cooler months here in Atlanta, they may be either indoors or in their outdoor habitats.

Is it true that Ivan (from the book and Disney movie) was at Zoo Atlanta?

The kids and I read The One and Only Ivan a few years ago – crying and laughing our way through it the whole time. We love how Disney recently released the movie, too!

For those of you not in the know, I don’t want to be a spoil-sport – but Ivan finds his way to a new home in the end. And in real life, that home was at Zoo Atlanta. (OK, it’s not a documentary, but it is truly based on Ivan, who is a real gorilla.)

He was placed at Zoo Atlanta because it houses the largest group of captive western lowland gorillas in the nation. You can’t see him today – Ivan died in 2012 at the age of 50 – but his memory lives on.

What are the coolest Zoo Atlanta events?

Brew at the Zoo is one of the Zoo’s most popular events that *usually* occurs each Memorial Day weekend. Following a hiatus in 2020, the signature event is back on tap with a few updates in place for 2021 only, including four chances to attend this summer. This year, the event will be held on Thursday, May 27, 2021, as well as Friday, June 25; Friday, July 23; and Friday, August 27. The event includes beer and wine tastings, free carousel and train rides, music and access to special Keeper Talks, animal demonstrations and more around the Zoo. This event is for 21+.

Boo at the Zoo and Breakfast with Santa are the other popular events held each year — and your kids will love them!

What’s the parking like here?

Let’s be honest – it can be difficult or expensive to park at some of Atlanta’s attractions…but the best part about the zoo is that parking is FREE. There are not a lot of Atlanta attractions that can boast that added benefit. For the best spots, get here early.

Is a membership worth the cost?

Membership options are so affordable, and considering all that the zoo has to offer, they are well worth the investment.

A family membership includes two adults and four children. You can gain access to member-exclusive events, as well as discounted admission for guests or other zoo events. This would be a great gift to give too; I’ll be keeping this on my list of ideas when Christmas rolls around.

Is the Slimy Spectacular exhibit really just a bunch of snakes?

Snakes? Yes – but so much more, too!

The Slimy Spectacular exhibit is one of the best I’ve ever seen, with 100 animals representing 70 species. Entering through the 45 ft tall glass dome, my boys soaked up everything about this creepy, crawly world! We loved seeing the alligator snapping turtle SO close, comparing the sizes of the anaconda and boa constrictor, and seeing all the different colors that frogs come in.

They have an amazing variety of snakes, lizards, frogs and turtles; you never felt like you were looking at the same snake in every glass box. They even have a couple of cobras!

Is Treetop Trail open?

Zoo Atlanta’s new Treetop Trail encourages you “walk on the wild side!” It’s an aerial adventure with ladders, bridges, nets, tightrope-style walking…and so much more! There are no height or age restrictions to partake in the Treetop Trail fun, but you must be able to safely fit in the harness. I spoke with the staff, and they told me that the youngest they’ve seen up on the ropes was a very tall 3yo.

This is open with special precautions during COVID.

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