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Franklin Park Zoo: An Intuitive Guide
June 14, 2023 By CityPASS
After checking out Fenway Park, the New England Aquarium, and the Museum of Science, the next stop of your Boston itinerary should be, without a doubt, Franklin Park Zoo. Kid-friendly and with plenty for the whole family to enjoy, the Franklin Park Zoo in Boston, MA, is a true delight. Situated on 72 acres, Franklin Park Zoo’s exhibits currently house 220 remarkable species of animals from around the globe.
Franklin Park Zoo is accessible by public transportation, including commuter rail, so you can get to the zoo from pretty much anywhere in the city. Ready for a wild adventure? Here’s everything you need to know to explore Franklin Park Zoo Boston.
Navigate the Zoo's Exhibits
Pygmy hippos? Giraffes? Monkeys? Where do you begin? When you read Franklin Park Zoo reviews, you’ll immediately notice that there are 63 exhibits to explore. With so much ground to cover, you might want to pick up a Franklin Park Zoo map on your way in to ensure you see all the highlights. Since there are so many, here are four standouts you shouldn't miss on a trip to the zoo at Franklin Park.
Discover the Tropical Forest With Lowland Gorillas
Gorilla Grove, Franklin Park Zoo’s gorilla exhibit, simulates the natural environment of these fascinating primates. As you explore, you’ll notice vines and trees for climbing, a sparkling waterfall, and plants for foraging for food as the animals would in the wild. You can come face-to-face with these magnificent creatures, as the habitat, which opened in 2022, offers visitors a 360° view.
Journey Through Serengeti Crossing
If you want to walk on the wild side in Boston, Franklin Park Zoo has many exotic animals in the Serengeti Crossing exhibit that are sure to amaze. You’ll find animals that roam the African grasslands, including zebras, warthogs, ostriches, and wildebeests. Open grasslands and gentle hills allow animals to wander freely and interact with their environment as they would in the wild.
Serengeti Crossing can be used for special events like weddings or corporate outings. It’s the perfect backdrop to make any special day truly unforgettable!
Encounter African Lions in Kalahari Kingdom
Visit the kings of the jungle in Kalahari Kingdom, where a pair of lion brothers have the lion’s share of attention. The exhibit lets you climb into a “crashed” Land Rover and see these fearsome felines face-to-face through the windshield. This exhibit is a roaring good time for the whole family, as lions are often a fan favorite at Franklin Park Zoo.
Other animals you’ll find within Kalahari Kingdom are red river hogs, African spurred tortoises, and kori bustards. In fact, the zoo’s kori bustard was hatched from an egg that was a gift from the Smithsonian National Zoo in 2003.
Venture Into the Outback Trail and Aussie Aviary
The Outback Trail lets visitors encounter creatures from down under, like red kangaroos, red-necked wallabies, kookaburras, and emus. Strolling through the Outback Trail makes you feel like you’ve hopped across the globe without even getting on a plane.
An interesting seasonal feature is the Aussie Aviary, which is a hit with the whole family. Hundreds of bright and beautiful budgies, or parakeets, fly around openly through the warm sunshine. You can feed the birds from a little seed stick, which might just entice them to land on your arm or shoulder.
Engaging Activities for Children
This zoo is known for its imaginative and exciting year-round activities. Some highlights include Zoo Lights Franklin Park during the holidays and the Butterfly Hollow exhibit in the warm months. As you stroll through the butterfly landing, you’re transported to a fairytale-like garden with music, whimsical houses, and colorful butterflies as far as the eye can see.
A day at the zoo is the perfect opportunity to let your child’s imagination wander while learning about the natural world. Franklin Park Zoo has many family-friendly areas and exhibits where children can explore and learn while having the experience of a lifetime.
Dining and Shopping at the Zoo
If you want a change from animal encounters, Franklin Park Zoo offers plenty of spaces where you can relax. You can grab a bite to eat or indulge in some retail therapy, all without leaving the zoo's confines.
Refuel at On-Site Restaurants
Because Franklin Park Zoo is committed to sustainability, these practices roll over to the zoo’s on-site concession stand, Giddy-Up Grill. Featuring wraps, burgers, salads, and pizzas, this southwestern-themed eatery is both kid and vegetarian-friendly, ensuring there’s something for all palates. For your convenience, you can sit down and enjoy your meal or grab something to go at the walk-up service window.
If you like, you can bring your own food and enjoy a leisurely lunch in any of the zoo’s picnic areas. They are scattered throughout the grounds, so you can take a break and enjoy the scenery at your own pace. When it comes to snacks, you can grab a tasty selection of munchies at the Kalahari Outpost during the warmer months.
Find Souvenirs at the Wild Things Gift Shop
No zoo trip is complete without a stop at the Wild Things Gift Shop. Browse the selection of apparel, plush toys, games, and more that will remind you of your trip to Franklin Park Zoo for years to come. And if you’ve forgotten something at home, don’t worry. Wild Things sells practical items, too, including sunscreen, umbrellas, water bottles, and batteries.
Explore The Franklin Park Zoo Like Never Before
Why wait in line to purchase tickets at the Franklin Park Zoo when you could buy a Boston CityPASS® ticket instead? This saves you both time and money on your trip to the zoo, as a CityPASS® ticket can save you up to at four of Boston’s top attractions compared to buying individual tickets, including at the Franklin Park Zoo.
You’ll get to explore other top attractions such as the New England Aquarium, the Museum of Science, Boston Harbor City Cruises, and Harvard Museum of Natural History. When it comes to having a wild time in Boston, buying a CityPASS® ticket is the way to go.
To get the most out of your stay in Boston, we recommend finding lodging near Boston's top attractions. Use this map to find the right lodging for you:
Header image Courtesy of Franklin Park Zoo