If you love animals, and you don't mind walking, you'll love the Kansas City Zoo. It comprises 202 acres nestled in the hills and valleys of beautiful historic Swope Park. This award-winning zoo is known for being more spread-out than other notable zoos, such as the St. Louis Zoo. It's been ranked No. 1 in the nation for its African animals and exhibits, which seems to be the reigning family favorite — besides the polar bear, of course! The animal exhibits are separated from each other by beautiful landscaping, which adds to the natural, immersive feel of the zoo experience.
When embarking on a zoo adventure with small children, there are a few tips and tricks that could make your trip easier and more memorable. First of all, keep in mind that there will be walking. Tram rides are always on option, but you must pay per segment, and the costs can add up when you're trying to see several different areas in one trip.
The Zoo does tend to get crowded, especially on weekends (as is true of most zoos) so consider planning to arrive right at nine when the zoo opens. Fewer people means more opportunity to see the animals, as some tend to be quite shy, and with their ample habitats, they are often prone to hide.
In the summer, days with a heat warning mean half-price admission, plus a free tram ride, making for a budget-friendly trip if you're up for braving the heat. Misting fans spread throughout the park are a welcome way to keep cool -- and, of course, they're always a hit with the kids!
Address: 6800 Zoo Drive, Kansas City, MO
Image: Corey Harris - Flickr Creative Commons License
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