Family Fun at the Memphis Zoo

The Memphis Zoo is made up of 76 acres of land that include 19 exhibits like the Teton Trek, Northwest Passage, and China with its giant pandas, Ya Ya and Le Le. Overall, the zoo is home to 3,500 animals that represent over 500 different species and was rated as the #1 zoo in the country back in 2008.

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The admission price to the Memphis Zoo is extremely reasonable considering its size and number of attractions considering that it comes in slightly cheaper than the Nashville Zoo on every age bracket.


Adults (Ages 12-59): $15
Children (Ages 2-11): $10
Seniors (Age 60+): $14
Parking: $5

Being a history geek, one of my absolute favorite things about the zoo’s appearance is that they embrace the Memphis – Egypt link in the theming of their entrance as seen below. Once you pay and move toward the interior there are several areas where small children can play in the water or adults can dip their feet to cool off as we did on this 95 degree day.

Below are some photos from most of the Memphis Zoo’s major exhibits that we were able to capture on our visit.


Penguin Rock across from the zoo’s rides area is home to over 30 African penguins, with American white pelicans that are also nearby.

Cat Country is a 3 acre exhibit that is focused on both predators and prey that include African lions, cheetahs, Reeve’s muntjac, leopards, meerkats, caracals, capybaras, klipspringers, cougars, Sumatran tigers, Bengal tigers, red pandas, and more…

The old Carnivora Building Building where these cats used to live was renovated and has now become the Memphis Zoo’s primary restaurant, the Cat House Cafe. We enjoyed lunch here and found it to have reasonable prices. The entire right side as you walk are windows overlooking an exhibit where the animals can sit and watch you which was entertaining.

Primate canyon is an outdoor exhibit that includes western lowland gorillas, Sumatran orangutans, and siamang gibbons, along with lion-tailed macaques, Mona monkeys, Sulawesi macaques, eastern black-and-white colobus, and savanna baboons.

China is a personal favorite exhibit since it makes the Memphis Zoo one of only four in the United States that include giant panda’s. Other animals in this area include Asian small-clawed otters, Père David’s deer, white-cheeked gibbons, François’ langurs, and colorful birds.

Teton Trek is a 4 acre exhibit that was opened in October of 2009 that has features of Yellowstone National Park including a replica of the Old Faithful Geyser, an enormous replica of the Old Faithful Inn called the Great Lodge, and several animal species on exhibit like grizzly bears, elk, and timberwolves.

The Northwest Passage is home to the zoo’s polar bears that include an underwater viewing building, sea lion, observation bubble, and 500 seat amphitheater for daily sea lion shows, along with a tribute to the First Nations culture in Canada’s western province British Columbia. The Northwest Passage also has bald eagles and black bears!

African Veldt includes African elephants, white rhinos, giraffe (that you can feed!) and many others along with elephants.

The Zambezi River Hippo Camp is adjacent to the Primate Pavilion and south entrance to the African Veldt and is home to hippos, crocodiles, vultures, monkeys, flamingos, and more.

The zoo has several attractions for little ones like a carousel and miniature train that offers a scenic view of the Once Upon A Farm exhibit along with a slew of gift shops and eateries…

Our family absolutely loved the Memphis Zoo and even though the Nashville Zoo is closer… we really fell in the number and quality of the attractions at the Memphis Zoo. The only critique we had is that on some of the exhibits where transparent partitions were in place, they needed a significant cleaning since a film partially obstructed our view of the animals. All in all though it was a really fantastic day and the kids look forward to visiting again soon!

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