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Ten Reasons to Visit The Toledo Zoo. Visitor’s Guide & Photos

Summer is my favorite season. Warm weather and sunny skies make the perfect combination to visit The Toledo Zoo. The Toledo Zoo invited us to visit free of charge to facilitate this article. All opinions are my own. Your experience may differ.

Here are 10 reasons why we think you should visit.

1. The Toledo Zoo is just a one hour drive from Detroit

The Toledo Zoo and Aquarium is located in Toledo, Ohio. The zoo is just a one hour drive from Detroit via I-75, making this an easy day trip getaway. My kids were excited that we were traveling to another state, and a different zoo. It was a brand new adventure that created so much excitement.

2. The variety of animals at the Toledo Zoo

The Toledo Zoo is home to more than 10,000 individual animals, which represent over 720 species. This gives visitors an opportunity to not only learn about native species, but also they can get an up close look at exotic animals they may never get a chance to see otherwise.

red panda at the zoo.

3. Vising the Toledo Zoo is a great learning experience

During your visit, you will be exposed to an insane amount of knowledge including animal names, facts, habitat information as well as how an animal looks, sounds, and even smells. Some exhibits even allow visitors to touch the animals, offering a truly multi-sensory experience.

4. The interactive experiences are so much fun at the Toledo Zoo

The Toledo Zoo offers some amazing behind the scenes tours (for an additional fee) that really give visitors the chance to have an immersive experience. Visitors can choose to tour the Reef Tank and Aquarium, feed stingrays, get up close with a rhino, meet and greet some penguins, or even participate in an elephant training session. There are also tours available where you can meet and feed a red panda, Galapagos tortoises, cassowary as well as an ostrich.

Emersen the Galapagos Tortoise at The Toledo Zoo.

In addition to the behind the scenes tours, the zoo offers visitors many interactive experiences. Some examples include the brand new barn yard exhibit, the walk through two-story tropic environment in the brand new ProMedica Museum of Natural History, fish touch pools, and so much more.

5. Spending time outside is good for you

Studies have shown that spending time outdoors is good for you. Spending time outside reduces the risk of type II diabetes, cardiovascular disease, premature death, preterm birth, stress, as well as high blood pressure.

6. Get off your screens for the day

Visiting the zoo is a great way to connect with your family and distract everyone from their screens. Seeing all the animals in their habitats provides an opportunity for dialog, conversations, as well as connections with your family.

7. Exercise

Be prepared for lots of walking!!! During our visit we walked over 12,000 steps. That is about 6 miles. The best part is that it didn’t seem like a lot of work. I’m sure the kids had many more steps as they spent time on the playground and on the splash pad, while I sat back and watched.

Nature's Neighborhood.

When you visit, you might want to plan some extra time to visit Nature’s Neighborhood which is filled with fun. There’s a playground, complete with rockwall, slides as well as a stream where children can get wet and use tools to influence the waterway. Towels along with bathings suits are recommended if your children want to play on the splash pad.

Splash pad at The Toledo Zoo.

8. Create memories with your family

A trip to the Toledo Zoo may be the opportunity to create memories to last a lifetime. My children will likely forever remember their interaction with Emerson (the Galapagos Tortoise), or their up-close experience with the polar bear. Don’t forget to take a few photos (make sure you are in them too). Be sure to ease the stress of the day by taking your time and enjoying the moments. You don’t have to see the whole zoo in a day (it is unrealistic). Normally, we ask each child what animal is a must-see for them, and just make sure we see those animals.

up close with a Polar Bear

9. Support the conservation of endangered species

Not only does the Toledo Zoo participate in a global conservation effort, but they also participate in local conservation efforts through the Wild Toledo Program that transforms abandon lots to urban prairies.

10. See some beautiful historic buildings.

The Toledo Zoo was proposed in 1900 as a way to make the city a tourist destination. As you stroll along visiting the animals at the Toledo Zoo you may also find that some of the older buildings are just as intriguing. In fact, the zoo has one of the largest collections of buildings that were constructed under the Works Progress Administration (WPA) in the 1930’s. Franklin D. Roosevelt created the WPA with an executive order on May 6, 1935. It was part of his New Deal plan to lift the country out of the Great Depression.

Reptilia, a 1930's building.

Several zoo buildings were built during this time such as Carnivora, Reptilia, the Aviary as well as the Aquarium among many others. These buildings reflect a vintage Spanish and Moorish influenced architecture.

Overall, the Toledo Zoo proved to be an amazing adventure for our family. We simply can not wait to go back and see all the animals we missed.

Connect with the Toledo Zoo

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You may also enjoy these day trip adventures:
Imagination Station – Toledo, OH
Greenfield Village
Belle Isle: a Great Staycation Destination for Summer
Maybury Farm in Northville

Amber Louchart
Author: Amber Louchart

Amber is the proud mother to four beautiful children, Damian (27), Rosaleigh (14), Carlyn (11), and Naomi (8). Her family also includes four cats. She loves being a stay-at-home mom and feels blessed to be able to care for her children full-time and provide them with so many opportunities through Metro Detroit Mommy. In addition to Metro Detroit Mommy, Amber has a passion for hosting karaoke with Malibu Entertainment.  She enjoys the metro Detroit nightlife especially, singing, dancing and meeting new people.