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Go Wild at the Birmingham Zoo

Go Wild at the Birmingham Zoo

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At a little under a two hour drive, the Birmingham Zoo is the perfect day trip option for your little explorers to enjoy. The zoo is packed with crowd-favorite animals including zebras, giraffes, a lion, elephants, and more, and is sure to keep the entire family entertained for several hours.

A family stands on the carousel at the Birmingham Zoo.
The entire family will enjoy their visit to the Birmingham Zoo.

Go Bananas at the Birmingham Zoo

Parking is up close to the gates at the Birmingham Zoo, even on a fairly busy Saturday. We grabbed our stroller to take Oliver in, and it was a great decision since the pathways were plenty wide enough and stroller/wheelchair accessible. Before going in, we slathered on the sunscreen, and that was a good call, because you’ll be getting plenty of sunshine during your visit.

The day we visited, we were able to walk right up to one of the ticket booths at the entrance to purchase our ticket, however you can also opt to purchase your tickets online in advance. The entrance is newly-built and offers an impressive first look at the zoo with a gift shop to one side and membership desk to the other.

Once inside, you enter into a gorgeous area with a small green-space for animal encounters and programs throughout the day. You can go in several directions as the zoo essentially makes a big loop around that returns to the entrance. We opted to go to the Children’s Zoo area first.

A faux rock face boasts the entrance of the children's zoo.
The Children’s Garden is home to several attractions as well as animal habitats to see.

Journey Through the Zoo

The Children’s Zoo

The Children’s Zoo at the Birmingham Zoo is complete with a splashpad, carousel, and a walking trail that takes you past otters, various birds, and more. We enjoyed walking through the enclosed butterfly garden and seeing all the farm animals in the Alabama Barn.

The Black Bear Trail in the children’s area will also be a can’t-miss stop for the kids. There’s a large glass area in which you can view the Birmingham Zoo’s resident black bear along with interesting facts about the animals.

The spashpads were a popular stop for visitors and definitely a welcome spot to cool down on the hotter days. Be sure to bring a swimsuit or change of clothes for the little ones. There are bathrooms (complete with changing tables), a nursing room, and a sensory room conveniently close to the splashpad area.


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The area also has one of the zoo’s restaurants as well as Dipping Dots, Icees, and other snacks, so it’s the perfect spot to take a small pitstop. There are plenty of tables and seating for guests to enjoy their food or for guardians to rest while their kids play in the splashpad.

A young boy walks across the blue ground in the Birmingham Zoo's splashpad.
The splashpads in the children’s zoo is the perfect place to cool down on hot visits.

The Trails of Africa

When you picture a trip to the zoo, you likely picture lions, giraffes, and elephants. All of those and more can be found in the Trails of Africa portion of the zoo. The area is made up of a small circle where you can see the animals in their habitats. You can also see coyotes, zebras, the eastern bongo, and duikers in the area.

This portion of the zoo is also home to the playground, but it was undergoing renovations at the time of our visit. Guests can also purchase up-close encounter experiences including one with the giraffes.

Two zebras stand in their habitat at the Birmingham Zoo.
Guests will love stopping by to see the zebras.

Primates of South America

We loved walking through the Primates of South Africa area of the Birmingham Zoo. The air conditioned building is a nice change on hot days, and the building offers a private nursing area, bathrooms, and a changing area for babies.

We especially enjoyed seeing the orangutans and the jaguar. There’s several benches is these areas as well for guests that want to stop and watch the animals playing in their habitats.

A one year old boy dressed in green sits on a bronze statue of an orangutan at the zoo.
The zoo has several bronze statues of animals scattered throughout for photo opportunities.

The Southern Bayou

The Southern Bayou is home to the American Alligator and complete with a swampy-bayou habitat. From the southern bayou, zoo guests can walk past several bird habitats and then into the reptiles building. The building is home to various snakes as well as different varieties of lizards.

The California Sea Lions are also in this section of the Birmingham Zoo. Guests can enjoy sea lion shows during select times of the day or can add on an encounter for an additional fee.

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An alligator lies on the banks of green covered water at the zoo.
The American Alligator calls the Southern Bayou area of the zoo home.

Other Add-On Experiences at the Birmingham Zoo

Scattered throughout the zoo, guests can opt to take part in additional encounters and rides. Many need to be purchased 24 hours in advance, so plan accordingly. The attractions include:

  • Train ride through the zoo
  • The animal carousel – $3.95 for each guest 2 years and up

In addition to the rides, guests can add on animal experiences with the sea lions and giraffes for $130. Tickets for these experiences must be purchased online 24 hours in advance.


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A toddler leans against his dad as he sits on a leopard on the merry go-round.
The carousel is sure to be a wild ride for the kids.

Plan Your Visit to the Birmingham Zoo

Address: 2630 Cahaba Rd. Birmingham, AL 35223 (map)
Phone: 205-879-0409
Website | Facebook | Instagram

Admission: Tickets can be purchased online or at the gates.
Adults – $18.95
Child (Ages 2 – 12) – $13.95
Senior (65+) – $15.95
Infant – FREE

Stroller/Wheelchair/Scooter Rental
Single Stroller: $10
Double Stroller: $12
ECV Scooter: $28
Wheelchair: $10

Hours:
Sunday – 9AM – 5PM
Monday – CLOSED
Tuesday – CLOSED
Wednesday – 9AM – 5PM
Thursday – 9AM – 4PM
Friday – 9AM – 4PM
Saturday – 9AM – 5PM

Restrooms are available near the entrance, as well as scattered throughout the zoo.

There’s two dedicated nursing rooms in the zoo. One at the front of the zoo near the entrance, and one in the primates building. There are also a few areas that may offer enough privacy for distracted babies.

No outside food or drinks are allowed in the zoo, but food can be purchased at Nourish205, Wild Burger, Sidetrack, and the Elephant Cart.

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