Whether you're looking for a local destination or planning a cross-country road trip, there are plenty of amazing places to explore and discover the wonders of the animal kingdom with your kids, from the towering giraffes of the African savannah to the colorful schools of fish in the depths of the ocean.
Here are 5 of our favorite zoos and aquariums across the country to see animals ... plus we've got some GREAT ways to save on tickets from our friends at CertifiKID!
San Diego Zoo
The San Diego Zoo is a must-see in Southern California. Winding paths through the tropical oasis of a botanical garden bring you to more than 4,000 rare and fascinating animals, including koalas, Galápagos tortoises, tigers, eagles, and more. Our favorite experience? The San Diego Zoo Safari Park immerses you in an active, hands-on safari experience where herds of animals roam natural habitats in a 1,800-acre reserve. Choose from a variety of exciting safari expeditions by tram, caravan truck, electric cart, zip line, and more, all with expert guides and fascinating animal information.
Where else besides Nashville Zoo can you brush a goat, feed a lorikeet, and pet a kangaroo all on the same day?! Nashville Zoo is home to nearly 6,000 animals and also includes guest favorites like the Soaring Eagle zip line, Wilderness Express Train, and Wild Animal Carousel. Don't miss Nashville Zoo's Jungle Gym either — this is a Middle Tennessee legend with over 66,000 square feet of fun for children of all ages. Have a blast running, swinging, and climbing just like the other wild animals in the Zoo!
If you're in the Cincinnati area, you must visit Fiona and Fritz at the Cincinnati Zoo. This sister-and-brother hippo duo is so hip they even have their own fan club! The hippos aren't the only attractions here: USA Today readers named Cincinnati Zoo — the second oldest zoo in the United States — the No. 1 zoo in the U.S. in 2021.
New England Aquarium
The new Aquarium Experience has arrived! Let your imagination swim wild. See the New England Aquarium’s 21st-century transformation, featuring a spectacular new Caribbean coral reef teeming with more than 2,000 animals. The renovated 200,000-gallon Giant Ocean Tank features crystal-clear views of sharks, sea turtles, stingrays, and thousands of tropical fishes. There are also bustling penguin colonies, playful seals, and the smooth skin of a cownose ray gliding under your fingertips. The Aquarium is a treasure trove ready for exploration by families and ocean lovers in downtown Boston.
Explore the mysteries of the deep at Georgia Aquarium! Georgia Aquarium is the largest aquarium in the Western Hemisphere! It contains more than 11 million gallons of water featuring stunning displays of sea life, exhibits and programs. Don't miss the new gallery called SHARKS! Predators of the Deep®. This exhibit takes you from fear to fascination as you explore the epic views and experience unique encounters with these fierce new residents.