PA Travel Logo

Must-See Zoos in Pennsylvania

Lions and tigers and bears…along with elk, giraffes, gorillas, exotic birds and much more — all can be found at one of Pennsylvania’s many zoos. Year-round zoo experiences throughout the commonwealth help to educate visitors of all ages about animal conservation efforts and provide the chance to see creatures of the wild firsthand. From small community zoos to large, world-renowned sanctuaries, Pennsylvania is home to some of the most unique animal exhibits in the country.

Philadelphia Zoo - Philadelphia and the Countryside

The Philadelphia Zoo is known as “America’s first zoo” and is home to more than 1,300 animals, many of which are rare and endangered. The zoo, fulfilling its mission of conservation, science, education and recreation, supports and engages in conservation efforts to protect endangered species around the world. In 2015, the Philadelphia Zoo debuted another first: Zoo360 Animal Exploration Trails. These exploration trails are a first-of-its-kind and consist of four trails — Treetop Trail, Great Ape Trail, Gorilla Treeway and Big Cat Crossing. These trails allow guests to experience the zoo in a whole new way, with animals roaming around them.

Pittsburgh Zoo and PPG Aquarium - Pittsburgh and its Countryside   

Meet elephants, polar bears, gorillas, penguins and more at the Pittsburgh Zoo, which has been educating and entertaining crowds for more than 100 years. Exhibits feature naturalistic habitats, including an Asian Forest and an African Savanna. In 2000, the zoo added the 45,000-square-foot PPG Aquarium, the only public aquarium in the commonwealth, which is home to sharks, eels, penguins, stingrays and much more. Kids ages 2-13 can learn about the importance of wildlife through lessons, animal encounters, tours, songs, and crafts at the Animal Adventures Summer Zoo Camp.

Elmwood Park Zoo - Philadelphia and the Countryside

Celebrating more than 90 years as Montgomery County’s premier destination for animal lovers of all ages, the Elmwood Park Zoo features over 300 animals native to North and South America. Through its programs, special events, day camps, “Zoo Snooze” camp outs and more, the zoo aims to foster an appreciation for wildlife that inspires active participation in conservation. This summer the zoo will complete construction on "Majestic Predators", a new series of Jaguar exhibits.

Erie Zoo and Botanical Gardens - Pennsylvania’s Great Lakes Region   

The Erie Zoo features everything from lowland gorillas to African waterbirds with special events and activities for the entire family. Go on an African-inspired safari to see cheetahs and rhinos at the Zoo’s Kiboka Outpost, or meet red pandas and orangutans in the Wild Asia exhibit. The Children’s Zoo features special educational programs and even an animal show theater and indoor wildlife carousel.

ZooAmerica® - Dutch Country Roads

ZooAmerica® began as The Hershey Zoo in 1916 when Milton S. Hershey opened his private animal collection to the public. Today, the zoo features more than 200 North American animals, including bears, bobcats and lynx. Guests can even take advantage of a special falconry demonstration or naturalist educational sessions. A unique experience for all, the Great Southwest Biome features Ocelots that are twice the size of an average house cat and are the only spotted cats remaining in the United States.

Lehigh Valley Zoo - Lehigh Valley

Lehigh Valley Zoo is home to more than 300 animals representing 125 species from African penguins to zebras. The zoo hosts more than 125,000 guests annually and offers hundreds of educational programs, camps for all ages and family-friendly events, making it one of the most vibrant educational and cultural institutions in the Lehigh Valley.

Lake Tobias Wildlife Park - Dutch Country Roads

Established in 1965, Lake Tobias is unique as it is not just a zoo, but it’s also a working farm. In addition to the peacocks, chickens and guineas roaming freely about the grounds, Lake Tobias also has 50 acres of exhibits and displays including a petting zoo. From African lions and Bengal tigers to American alligators and Burmese pythons, Lake Tobias has a variety of wildlife to observe and enjoy.

Clyde Peeling’s Reptiland - Valleys of the Susquehanna

Clyde Peeling's Reptiland is an AZA accredited zoo specializing in reptiles and amphibians from around the world! Enjoy modern indoor exhibits of over 40 species year-round. During warmer months, experience life-size animatronic dinosaurs and hundreds of colorful parakeets with exciting seasonal exhibits. Stunning naturalistic habitats, fun interactive exhibits, live shows, and hands-on animal encounters make Reptiland an educational adventure for the whole family!