The Philadelphia Zoo is America's First Zoo and recently celebrated its 150th Anniversary, though the first 15 were not open to the public because of a delay caused by the Civil War. The idea for a zoo was brewing for a while in the minds of many of the city's leaders including Ben Franklin, and eventually, with the help of Dr. William Camac, came to fruition. The property selected for the zoo included the home of William Penn's grandson, John Penn. That home, named The Solitude after a Duke's lodge, remains on the zoo property today. In addition to remaining in the same original location, the zoo also still has original Victorian gates and gatehouses. Such a historical and interesting place!
The zoo has around 1300 animals of all sorts. It also has around 1.2 million visitors per year, so it can't be that hard to find. Here is the address:
3400 W Girard Ave
Philadelphia, PA 19104
Here is a full-sized map of the zoo. I'm sure you can pick one up when you're there, but this may help you plan your trips to see the hippos and monkeys and big cats and polar bears and rare animals and... you get the picture. Speaking of pictures, do me a favor. Next time you're there, take a photo of the gates or a cool animal or whatever and email it to me. I'll update this post with it.
Philadelphia Zoo Hours and Ticketing
In Season Hours, March 1 - October 31, 2011: 9:30 am - 5:00 pm daily
Child (age 2-11) $15
Child (under 2) FREE
If you are in the Philadelphia area and plan on going more than one time per year, you really should become a Zoo Member. Zoo membership costs just a little more than your one-time family visit and gets you free parking, discounts on rides and other benefits, including free or discounted admission at Reciprocal Zoos. How cool is that?
Again, the website for the zoo is a wealth of information and pictures. Take my summary and editorial as a highlight to what I think people might find most interesting and useful. I can't wait to take my own children there next time I get back into town. Let me know how your trip goes.