4001 SW Canyon Rd, Portland, OR 97221
Sept. 3, 2019 - May 24, 2020 - 9:30 a.m. to 4 p.m. May 25, 2020 - Sept 2, 2020 - 9:30 a.m. to 6 p.m.
outdoor-adventures, plans-for-kids, days-out-with-little-kids, fun-paid-activities
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Portland's Oregon Zoo will Impress You with its Commitment to Recreating a Natural Experience
A trip to the Oregon Zoo offers kids so much more than shuffling from one exhibit to the next to see animals in insufficiently-sized living spaces; instead, the Oregon Zoo is truly a joyous experience for all parties involved! Imagine wandering on stroller-friendly paths through large trees, ferns and other native vegetation to observe beautiful creatures in rich and adequate, well-designed habitats. Picture learning about these creatures through several modalities, including zoo talks with staff members, written text on placards, interactive exhibits and even opportunities to touch the animals. Dream about your family learning about conservation and stewardship as they are weaved into learning opportunities so kids can discover the importance of preserving and respecting these special plants and animals. This is what the Oregon Zoo is all about!
Visit the Top Paid Attraction in the Pacific Northwest!
What is striking about the Oregon Zoo is the intentionality of the exhibits and the organic transitions between them. There are five major exhibit areas: Great Northwest, Fragile Forests, Asia, Pacific Shores and Africa. There are 2,585 individual animals that represent 215 species or subspecies. Among them, there are 15 endangered species and 7 threatened. The Oregon Zoo is also active in 62 Species Survival Plans, programs that help coordinate species conservation, research, husbandry, management and education initiatives.
Between the exhibits are small vistas, diverse food and drink stands, sandy play areas with toy dump trucks for kids to take a play break, fun animal sculptures and plenty of northwest foliage to admire. The paths that link these exhibits are wide, paved and well marked so it’s nearly impossible to get turned around. The exhibits are beautiful and seem to be designed in a way to maximize viewing of the animals, even in times when they might be less active or sleeping. For example, the dens for the lions, wild dogs and otters are easily viewed from the glass so it’s not uncommon to get an up-close-and-personal look at sleeping animals.
From a logistical point of view, the Oregon Zoo is an easy place to bring the entire family. It’s part of the 400-acre Washington Park located in the hills of Southwest Portland. There is a large hourly parking lot available if you choose to drive, and a MAX station right next to the zoo entrance if you choose to take public transit. Parking is limited and will typically fill up by 10:30 am on summer weekends. If you take public transit, save your ticket and get $1.50 off the price of Zoo admission.
Inside the zoo, the paths are paved and wide, perfect for strollers of all sizes. There are even strollers available to rent at the entrance for $8 (single) and $11 (double). Changing tables can be found at almost all restroom locations and there are four nursing rooms scattered about the park. There is also a large, grassy concert lawn (the Zoo hosts shows there during the summer) to sprawl out, eat and take a break. There are plenty of places to grab a bite to eat or bring some snacks from home to save a little money.
Make the Oregon Zoo part of your must-see list when you visit Portland. It’s the perfect opportunity to blend fun and learning for the whole family!